Cuts Make You.  Solo exhibition at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA 2016.
By Satri Pencak

There’s a place in the border lands between concept and object where Brooke Holve’s work issues from. In her 2016 solo exhibition, Cuts Make You., the precisely constructed pieces hedge in the direction of Conceptual Art. However, if the standard definition of Conceptual Art is that the idea is dominant over the object, then Holve’s work is so much more. Here, while the concept maintains significance, the object is of equal value. There is also ample consideration of material and process - all elements participating to generate conversations through associations, commonalities, and departures.

Much of the substance for this work comes from books, in numerous ways, through ideas, material, process, and structure. Using discarded books, and book materials such as fabric, tape, and paper, Holve cuts, parses, and sorts. Books that were once discrete objects and containers of stories are deconstructed, becoming new structures, and new stories. For Holve, cutting is a deliberate process. As one might use a pencil or brush, she uses blades to cut up, cut out, and leave voids, with the remnants becoming her palette of colors and shapes.

Holve’s art making is substantially influenced by her studies and experience in calligraphy, printmaking, bookbinding, and letterpress, but also by literature, travel, and a deep sense of physical and historical ‘place’.  And always, the word is not far - through sound, shape, and meaning, letters and words become subtle but potent visual patterns, movement, and components in her work.

As a group and individually the works in Cuts Make You. are directly and tangentially informed by process, material, geography, and story - then shaped by a keen sense of design, impeccable crafting, and conceptual witticism.


About the author:
Satri Pencak lives and works in Sonoma County. She is an Independent Curator and writes art reviews and essays for two blogs - and the Sonoma County Tourism website.