Form Study 12 by Vanessa Woods
12″x9″; collage; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.



at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, California, USA
5 September-17 October 2020

“Vestiges” is an exhibition by married artists Vanessa Woods and Josh Smith, who explore the complicated dynamics of abstraction, intimacy and the body. 

“Vestiges” consists of photographs and collages by Woods and Smith, who individually examine their experiences as parents and therein ideas of identity, intimacy, desire and the unknown. Despite using different media and approaches, their work is connected by a shared interrogation of the body, where the human form is revealed, obfuscated, and fractured. The use of extreme light and shadow provides a metaphor for the sense of mortality that comes with birth. In many of the images in the show, light reveals and enlivens the surfaces it encounters, while simultaneously acting as a tool of erasure and reorientation. 

Vanessa Woods makes collages from her own photographs and found material that makes us question what we see and how it’s created. Her work is deconstructed and reassembled through extensive layering, fragmentation, and re-photography. In this series, Woods’ exploits  the transformative properties of collage to erase the physical boundaries between individual bodies. Botanical material is also present in some Woods’ collages–working as a symbol of growth and fecundity.

Similarly, Smith’s role as a parent has informed his practice. In Smith’s photographs, the domestic sphere becomes unidentifiable–transformed by spare compositions and atmospheric light. Though these images originate from specific moments, the final works privilege poetic suggestion over that of the documentary.    

Tapping into notions of erasure, intimacy and the body the works in “Vestiges” navigate the places between light and shadow reorienting artifice and reality.

(text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


Jack Fischer Gallery
1275 Minnesota Street
San Francisco, California 94107 USA
(415) 725-0308

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