"My work has been described as 'some otherworldly mash-up of quilts and paintings and sculpture and something else altogether' - that 'something else' is what interests me, whether I’m working on paper, with felt, or foil."
Hudson Valley artist Ellen Jouret-Epstein works in several mediums, but with a consistent approach. “I’ve developed my practice through experimentation with a variety of processes and materials – felt, foil, and now paper. I approach my work as abstract collage with a layering of elements that cohere into unique, mosaic-like compositions.“ Each piece develops formally through the manipulation and interaction of materials – drawing, painting, shaping, stiffening, burning, stitching – and a dose of chance.
Ellen’s inspirations range from fashion to nature, and even outer space. "I’m also a landscape architect, and my work inevitably creates a form of landscape or topography. I’m interested in the transition from one element to another, the common edges that, like topographic contours, are themselves a kind of drawing."
Three years ago, Ellen began working with illusory space through two-dimensional collage and mixed media drawing on paper and board. That led her back to the origins of her art practice in textiles and she began combining mixed media with woven paper. The earliest work in that series is patterned like a textile. The most recent work explores form and goes further with the illusion of space. Her process disrupts the systematic grid of woven structure and creates an unpredicted painting. Or an illusory sculpture?
Ellen quotes Adam Gopnik from a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine: “What makes good games matter is the commitment of their players to the rules as a springboard of invention.”
Ellen, a self-taught artist, began her art practice as part of the nascent fiber art movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Following a career in the not-for-profit sector and landscape architecture, she now maintains a full-time art practice from her home and studio in Germantown, New York.
“Material is a means of communication.”
Ellen Jouret-Epstein is based in Germantown, New York, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Studio visits may be arranged by appointment.