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Turn the page

Mario Zoots & Amber Cobb

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Typically collaborating as Hardly Soft, Amber Cobb and Mario Zoots are exhibiting for their first time together, individually. The exhibition title Turn the Page is both figurative and literal. Metaphorically, to turn the page invites new opportunities for change and growth, acknowledging the situation one leaves behind them. The exhibition seeks to “turn the page” after a year of incalculable change due to the global pandemic, a shifting political administration and the jarring examination of systemic racism within the social fabric of the United States.

In the literal sense, collage artist Mario Zoots, creates his compositions using vintage magazines LIFE (en Español) and Arizona Highways, turning the pages of the publications to reveal compelling juxtapositions. He examines spirituality and a sense of exploration in his new works, looking to the landscape of the Southwest for inspiration. The work also marks a shift from paper-based collage to Zoots’ recent exploration with silk.

Sculptor Amber Cobb invites a new chapter in her process as she transitions from using materials such as silicone and mattresses to using plaster, epoxy clay and wood. Cobb’s previous work explored themes of sexuality while her recent works consider expressions of the body and recall the awkwardness of adolescence and the trivialities of a changing physicality. The semi-functional sculptures create a language in abstraction with 26 letter forms, similar to the English language. Within this particular exhibition, the sculptures spell out the word: ROLES, questioning our individual responsibilities within a state of sometimes inarticulate change. On their own, the pastel sculptures employ humor and play through physical articulation, with works such as Little Finger and Spurts. While the sculptures stand alone as works of art, they are also functional as furniture, and a call to the body as home.

Turn the Page invites the viewer into the exploration of new expression in a changed world, and an opportunity for both collective and individual change within the landscape we begin to pave as we emerge from a year of turbulent transitions.