Pattern System

By
Photography Brian Higbee

Published May 21, 2014

Two years ago, artist Jennifer Guidi took a close look at the back of a Moroccan rug. She fixated on the pale, ragged stitches and began rendering them on canvas, steadily and rhythmically as if sewing a textile herself. But for Guidi, who previously depicted subjects realistically based on photographs, the marks are more than the sum of a carpet. “I see it as abstract painting,” explains the Los Angeles-based artist, whose husband, Mark Grotjahn, also works in abstractions. “Rugs were a way to a new language.” She also pastes sand to some of the large-scale canvases “like a thin veil.” This month, 10 works will debut at New York’s Nathalie Karg gallery, founded in March by Karg, the owner of the design collective Cumulus Studios. Guidi, meanwhile, has a second show opening in L.A. in mid-May at LAXART and plenty of mark-making to keep her busy. “I can zone out for long periods of time,” she says of her patterns. “For me, it is freeing to not be looking at something while I’m making it. Just my hand going along.”