January 24 – March 16, 2018

Opening Reception With The Artists
January 24, 2018, 6 – 8 PM

 In the first double exhibition to be held at SOCO Gallery, Anne Lemanski (b. 1969, Michigan, lives and works in Spruce Pine, NC) and Brad Thomas (b. 1969, North Carolina, lives and works in St. Paul, MN) will present new bodies of work, each representing distinctive shifts in their respected working practices. The gallery will host a public opening reception on Wednesday, January 24th from 6 – 8PM. This will be both artists’ first solo exhibition with SOCO Gallery.

Lemanski’s dynamic installation will be comprised of both her well-known sculptures as well as intricate prints, and marks one of the most personal explorations ever undertaken by the artist and a wholly encompassing experience. The meticulously crafted copper-wire armature sculptures she has been exploring since 1997 now take an innovative turn as the skins covering them are created by the artist from built, repetitive forms echoing remnants of the artist’s childhood, as opposed to the uniquely found materials that originally defined and enlivened her works. A range of prints utilizing unusual materials will reveal an artist engaging her roots and connected to a future vocabulary.

Thomas’ recent mixed media paintings and sculptures extend his long-held interest in the intersection between language and visual communication. The passage––“When words fail and all my pictures fade”––written in one of his many handmade artist’s books led him to seek solutions to a bigger question: “How do I communicate when that happens?” The new works featured in SOCO Gallery’s exhibition embody the artist’s interest in interrogating the power and limitations of the written word. Also featured in the Hold These Truths exhibition will be the first artist’s book commissioned for acquisition. Since 1990, he has filled over 50 handmade books that brim with colorful collages, writings, and paintings that have been described as “patchwork quilts of the subconscious.” The artist has observed that his books are a running dialogue between the state of himself and the state of the world.

Anne Lemanski (American, B. 1969) 

Lemanski received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan in 1992. She was the 2015 Windgate Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC; and Artist in Residence at Penland School of Crafts, 2004-2007. Lemanski is in numerous private and public collections including the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; and the U.S. Department of State, Art in Embassies collection, Karachi, Pakistan.

Brad Thomas (American, B. 1969) 

Thomas is a graduate of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Art + Art History. In spring 2015 he was honored with the department’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. His commissioned works have been featured at the North Carolina Museum of Art; The Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art; and The Craft Museum of Finland. His works are held in numerous private and public collections including the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. 


Here is a sneak peek of Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Lemanski’s Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit features new mixed-media sculptures and prints at the intersection of the material and the natural worlds. These recent works represent a refined utilization of the artists’ signature collage as well as images created from mundane objects significant to the artist ––matches, vintage tools , and even elements from a long-since-forgotten fortune telling game ––a ll become defining outer skins on meticulously-built metal armatures. A similar array of disparate imagery dots the candy-colored landscapes of the elaborately composed unique prints on aluminum, the first prints on aluminum ever done by the artist. The resulting body of work is the most personal exploration the artist has ever undertaken, mining complex family relations and the perseverance of memories within a vibrant context. Lemanski’s works are in the collections of the Mint Museum, Charlotte NC; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; and the U.S. Department of State, Art in Embassies collection, Karachi, Pakistan, among others.