Elise Ferguson


b. 1964, Richmond, VA; Lives and works in Queens, NY
Elise Ferguson's work is about the flexible nature of perception. Using pattern and color, along with a range of process-driven approaches, the artist creates works based on mathematical puzzles and geometric variation. The artist uses what would typically be described as sculptors' materials: plaster on mdf panels and paper. The plaster is pigmented and troweled on, layer upon layer, to nearly sculptural levels. Inspired by Brutalism’s uncamouflaged use of cement – with seams showing and the irregularities embraced – these works embody their inherent materiality and have a distinct object-like quality.

With this work, Ferguson strives towards something that is cerebral yet physical, one that reflects endless fascination with materials and their physical limits and capabilities. At the same time, she gives equal importance to the pleasures of creating something resolutely optical: concentric circles, radiating grids, and undulating patterns.  Although the artist makes abstract images, things often begin to resemble “something”.  This tendency is reflected in the titles, a means of embracing the associative nature of looking, thinking, and naming.  Ferguson has been an artist-in-residence at the Barton College in Wilson, NY, the University of Nevada, and MacDowell Colony, among others.  In 2014, she was the recipient of the Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO CHICAGO.  The artist has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe.