Janice Caswell


Janice Caswell has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo shows at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Schroeder Romero Gallery (Brooklyn and NYC). Her work has been included in group shows in numerous museums and galleries including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Marlborough Gallery (NYC), ArtPace (San Antonio) and the Fleming Museum of Art (Burlington, VT). In 2017 Caswell received an Arts and Letters Award and a Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has been a resident fellow at Yaddo, Maison Dora Maar (Ménerbes, France) and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

about “constructions”

My work begins with observation of curious, quirky structures I come across in the manmade landscape. Whenever I walk through a city or town, my eyes are drawn not to the pristine or the perfect, but to the improvised, the unintentional beauty of the makeshift. I inevitably notice the off-kilter construction-site barrier; the precariously dangling broken shutter; the haphazardly patched roof; the faint outline of a former doorway, long plastered over. My 2D and 3D cardboard constructions are invented architecture: an amalgam of the thousands of such details I have encountered.

In the studio, intuition, chance, and improvisation guide the work. I start with no particular form in mind, combining painted, collaged, and textured cardboard scraps left over from previous works. Each new component interacts with those already in place and suggests possible next steps. I respond to the piece as it develops: a construction intended to be wall-hanging might end up as a stand-alone sculpture; one that begins tall and narrow becomes short and wide; colors shift, works expand or contract. The unpredictability of this way of working echoes the improvisational qualities of the constructions that catch my eye as I walk through the world.

Q&A: painted photographs series Pierogi flat files