Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to present Forget About It, new works by Allison Bianco. The prints in this exhibition use a combination of intaglio and screen print to depict landscapes diminished by massive oceans and immense skies. Through the shifting coastal scenes, Bianco delves into nostalgia, humor, and the inconsistency of memory.
To create her imagery, Bianco employs two distinct methods. In the first, she begins with historic images of coastal communities and couples them with anachronistic objects and abstracted shapes. Works in this category include Pouring on Jamestown that pictures the eastern side of Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, diminished by a vast expanse of ocean below. Layers of clouds and fog hang low over the land, printed in transparent seashell pink, day-glo green, and chartreuse, setting a stormy atmosphere that highlights the circa 1920s architecture and landscape. A second large etching, The Providence River Cover Up, explores the outlet of the Providence River. This landscape combines a nearly 100-year-old view of harbor-bound railroad tracks from East Providence with contemporary realities of rising tides. Over the century, much of the waterway has been hardened over and covered, as its function as a port diminished. Cartoon-like graphic shapes and orange warning flags serve to underline these changes and question the developments of the present day.
The second approach uses current images steeped in references to the past. The End of West Exchange offers a view of the edge of the Providence neighborhood known as Federal Hill. In the late 1960s, many dwellings were demolished to make way for the new highway. A small green cedar tree is situated in the approximate location of a family restaurant, the Tally-Ho! Winter Flounder is based on a freeway exit ramp in Smithfield, Rhode Island that transports the driver to an icy world with stone cliffs that resemble a mountain pass. A snow cloud drops in on the left panel, a gold foil balloon drifts over the arching granite mound, and an impossibly-placed flounder washes up and away on the flattened slate. Here, the unexpected objects come from specific personal references and impose themselves in the composition like fragments of memory.