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Elise Wehle
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Bio

Raised in California, Elise Wehle moved from her home to study art at Brigham Young University in the United States where she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts. However, it wasn’t until she lived in southern Europe that she understood what kind of art she wanted to make. Visiting Granada’s Alhambra, an ancient palace covered in hand carved pattern, was an especially transformative experience. There in Andalucía, Spain, is where Wehle became captivated by the intricacy of design. Her artistic focus shifted, and she began incorporating dense repeating patterns in her own works on paper. Although the Alhambra was her original impetus, Wehle pulls inspiration from a variety of sources, including cathedrals, illuminated manuscripts, and patterns of all shapes and sizes, to manipulate portraits and landscapes into new creations. The unifying thread that runs through all her work is the interference of the image by geometric design.

Wehle’s artwork has been exhibited across Europe and the United States. Notably, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design showed her work, and the Observer and Guardian featured her pieces in print and online. She continues to exhibit her work both nationally and internationally at art fairs and galleries.

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Raised in California, Elise Wehle moved from her home to study art at Brigham Young University in the United States where she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts. However, it wasn’t until she lived in southern Europe that she understood what kind of art she wanted to make. Visiting Granada’s Alhambra, an ancient palace covered in hand carved pattern, was an especially transformative experience. There in Andalucía, Spain, is where Wehle became captivated by the intricacy of design. Her artistic focus shifted, and she began incorporating dense repeating patterns in her own works on paper. Although the Alhambra was her original impetus, Wehle pulls inspiration from a variety of sources, including cathedrals, illuminated manuscripts, and patterns of all shapes and sizes, to manipulate portraits and landscapes into new creations. The unifying thread that runs through all her work is the interference of the image by geometric design.

Wehle’s artwork has been exhibited across Europe and the United States. Notably, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design showed her work, and the Observer and Guardian featured her pieces in print and online. She continues to exhibit her work both nationally and internationally at art fairs and galleries.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My artwork revolves around the time-intensive act of cutting intricate patterns using a utility knife. Moving my hands in the repetitive movements required by my work transforms my art practice into a meditative experience essential to my process. The themes of my art are centred on my attempts to connect my physical surroundings with the rich, complicated, internal and spiritual environments experienced within. The cut-out pattern interferes with the representational imagery, obstructing the seen with the unseen. No matter how many paper layers intersect with the photograph or drawing, the cut outs ultimately act as negative space, forming lines and shapes out of nothing. Despite the patterns’ clearly defined edges, they are actually invisible, like the experiences they represent.

Most of my inspiration comes from traveling across Europe while pregnant with my first child. As I visited the monumental chapels of France and Italy, I couldn’t help but notice the way the artisans used handcrafted ornament and sculpture to represent a vast spiritual world. I had a similar experience visiting the Moorish mosques of Southern Spain where pattern was used to describe something infinite. After I returned home to the States, I looked for other examples of this same phenomenon and rediscovered the Book of Kells. An illuminated manuscript covered in hand drawn pattern, it had the same effect on me. My recent work takes direct inspiration from the shapes and forms found in its pages.

EDUCATION

2012 | BFA, Studio Visual Arts, Brigham Young University

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2017 | Supernatural, Aureus Contemporary, New York, New York
2017 | Bish Bash Bosh, Aureus Contemporary, New York, New York
2017 | Elise Wehle, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee
2016 | Hong Kong Lentement, Le Grizzli Vert, Terraube, France
2015 | Elucidation, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, New Jersey
2014 | Obsessive Reductive, San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, California
2017 | In the Frame, Turnpike Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2013 | Cut Fold Shred, Florida Craftsmen, St. Petersburg, Florida

PUBLICATIONS

2017 | Artmaze Magazine, “Elise Wehle” by Bree Delian
2016 | Fresh Paint Magazine, “Elise Wehle” by Jemma Hickman
2015 | Arte Al Limite, “The Art of Constructing New Temporalities” by Daleysi Moya 2014 | The Guardian, “Elise Wehle’s Intricate Paper Art” by Leah Harper
2017 | Novum Magazine, “Filigranes Alhambra: Labor of Love” by Susanne Schaller
2013 | Vhcle Magazine, “Q&A with Elise Wehle” by Cassie Lee

RECENT ART FAIRS

2017 | Scope New York, Aureus Contemporary, New York, New York
2017 | Art Wynwood, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, Florida
2016 | Scope International Art Fair, Aureus Contemporary, Basel, Switzerland
2017 | Art Copenhagen, Aureus Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark
2017 | Art New York, Aureus Contemporary, New York, New York
2017 | Scope International Art Fair, Aureus Contemporary, Miami, Florida
2017 | Scope New York, Aureus Contemporary, New York, New York


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