Listening Works

A solo exhibition by Martha Chason-Sokol

On View: March 17–April 16, 2022
Gallery Hours: Wednesday–Friday, 4–7 PM; Saturday, 1–4 PM
Reception: Friday, March 18, 2022, 6–8 PM
Artist Talk: Sunday, March 27, 2 PM

Gallery 263 is pleased to announce Listening Works, the first-ever solo exhibition in Massachusetts by Martha Chason-Sokol. This exhibit is part of Gallery 263’s Exhibition Proposal Series, a program in which shows are selected by a competitive jurying process. In Listening Works, Chason-Sokol displays small and large-scale sculptures, or characters, made from the discarded materials of her life. At the gallery, the characters—each of which the artist considers an archive—are presented in a public environment where they can develop new conversations and relationships.   

By utilizing the remnants of her consumption, Chason-Sokol reflects on the materials that tell her story with the understanding that viewers will have their own stories. She depends on the unmodified colors of the materials—magenta tape, bursts of cadmium red, turquoise plastic wrap, orange pill bottles, and many other hues—as well as various textures, like wrinkles, bumps, and shine. These colors and surfaces, along with the familiarity of the materials and organic shapes, visually connect viewers with her subject matter. In Gertrude—a piece that embodies line, layering, and the artist’s interest in referencing aging—Chason-Sokol wraps a partially broken pole lamp with her old painting clothes, a number of other discarded objects, plastic, and tape. When plugged into the wall, two of the bulbs are operational; in the dark, the sculptures cast shadows.

While the pieces on view in Listening Works are sculptural in appearance, they emerge through a drawing process in which the artist begins by listening to her internal conversations. As her hands make the work, she sees what appears and merges the forms with what she hears in the outside world. Chason-Sokol grabs what is around her and holds these items together with tape and other plastics, the only materials purchased. Personal objects—prescription pill bottles, clothing that is no longer wearable, discarded plastic that destroys our ecology, pole lamps that partially work, plumbing supplies, electrical debris, and other detritus—dictate the shape and voice of each piece. The resulting fantastical characters together form the fairy tale of the everyday world in which we all struggle to survive or thrive. Sculpture as drawn archive is the artist’s wordless conversation.

About the Artist

Martha Chason-Sokol is an artist living and working in Everett, MA. She is chair of the Everett Cultural Council and is a member of the Cambridge Art Association. She is also the founder and director of Art Lab Everett. The Art Lab offers workshops, hosts guest teaching artists, and presents pop-up exhibitions at the Garage Door Gallery @ Art Lab Everett. The artist holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University (1978) and a Master of Fine Arts from Lesley University (2022).

Experience Listening Works Virtually

This virtual experience of Listening Works was made possible thanks to the generosity of rtangent. rtangent’s interactive platform, Guided, allows interpreters to virtually lead a group of people through a guided experience of a physical or virtual space. When a narrator is not present, users are able to explore the space on their own.

Press

Gallery 263 advances the artistic endeavors of makers and performers, while fostering public engagement, enrichment, and exchange. Functioning as a creative nexus, Gallery 263 provides a contemporary voice for the arts in Cambridge and our regional communities.

Gallery 263 exhibits are free and open to the public.