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IndezManifold-RobertWedemeyer.jpg
Channing Hansen, "Index-Manifold," 2017
Bluefaced Leicester, California Variegated Mutant (Hattie), California Variegated Mutant (Maggie), California Variegated Mutant (Millie), California Variegated Mutant (Petra), California Variegated Mutant (Pierson), California Variegated Mutant (Pine), Exmoor Blueface, Romedale (January), Romedale (Pallas), Romedale (Patty), Romney (Martin), Romney (McKenna), Romney (Noble), Romney (O'Connor), Romney (Oyster), and Wensleydale fibers; casein, silk noils, and Tussah silk fibers; gold, holographic polymers, pearl dust, and photoluminescent recycled polyester fibers; banana cellulose, bamboo, bamboo carbon fiber, rose cellulose, SeaCell, legume cellulose, and Sequoioideae Redwood (50 x 78 inches)
Image courtesy of the Artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Channing Hansen has gained quite a reputation for his paintings, which he knits. They are deceptively straightforward. The most recent paintings looked at times like flowing waves of lichen green, amethyst, tangerine, searing orange, midnight blue. They are not the ravings of a hobbyist. There is intellectual force behind Fluid Dynamics, Hansen's show at the Marc Selwyn Gallery. It may sound like a poetic title for a show but it actually refers to the complex math that generated his art.

This second solo show at the gallery expands the artist's reliance on algorithms. These pieces are modeled after complex mathematical formulas.

6Manifold-RobertWedemeyer.jpg
Channing Hansen, "6-Manifold," 2017
Alpaca, Bluefaced Leicester, California Variegated Mutant (Hattie), California Variegated Mutant (Maggie), California Variegated Mutant (Pierson), Churro, Falkland, Lionhead (Beatrix & Derek), Romedale (January), Romney (McKenna), Romney (Noble), Romney (Oyster), Romney (Princess), Shetland (Freya), and Shetland (Shaun) fibers; Bombyx silk, silk noils, and Tussah silk; gold, holographic polymers, pearl dust, and photoluminescent recycled polyester fibers; banana cellulose, bamboo, bamboo carbon fiber, legume cellulose, rose cellulose, SeaCell, and Sequoioideae Redwood (33 x 54 inches)
Image courtesy of the Artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

Traditional ideas about personal choice and compositional training have been put aside. Channing is a math wonk. A follower of the improvisationally-oriented ‘60s Fluxus movement, which advocated the element of chance and change in the making of art or music, Hansen uses predetermined parameters to design the directions of his knitted shapes, even the different colors and yarns.

In the past, Hansen's methods resulted in an open mesh of yarn revealing the stretcher bars that supported it. Strands of yarn might hang down in pendulous, sexual shapes.

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Channing Hansen, "7-Manifold," 2017
Alpaca, Bluefaced Leicester, California Variegated Mutant (Millie), California Variegated Mutant (Petra), California Variegated Mutant (Pine), cashmere, Churro, Exmoor Blueface, Lincoln, Lionhead (Beatrix & Derek), Romedale (January), Romedale (Pallas), Romney (O'Connor), Romney (Osiris), Romney (Martin), Romney (McKenna), Romney (Noble), Romney (Oyster), Shetland (Shaun), and Wensleydale fibers; casein, Bombyx silk, silk noils, and Tussah silk; gold, holographic polymers, pearl dust, and photoluminescent recycled polyester fibers; banana cellulose, bamboo, bamboo carbon fiber, legume cellulose, rose cellulose, SeaCell, and Sequoioideae Redwood (32 x 48 inches)
Image courtesy of the Artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

The newest pieces appear more contained and solid, more like actual paintings. Hansen intervenes in the process by stitching together irregular knitted passages. Coils of wrapped yarn protrude from the surfaces. Hansen cites the influence of Italian arte povera artist Alberto Burri, who stitched and pasted together common fabrics after the experience of working as a medic during World War II.

There is a single piece that combines elements from all of the show's paintings, an index, a grouping of triangular panels of knitted yarn. It stands as a sort of triumphant summary of his interwoven ideas.

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Channing Hansen, "8-Manifold," 2017
Alpaca, Bluefaced Leicester, California Variegated Mutant (Hattie), California Variegated Mutant (Pierson), California Variegated Mutant (Pine), Romedale (January), Romedale (Nisan), Romney (McKenna), Romney (Noble), Romney (Oyster), and Shetland (Shaun) fibers; Bombyx silk, silk noils, and Tussah silk; gold, holographic polymers, pearl dust, and photoluminescent recycled polyester fibers; banana cellulose, bamboo, bamboo carbon fiber, legume cellulose, rose cellulose, SeaCell, and Sequoioideae Redwood (33 x 53 inches)
Image courtesy of the Artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

Hansen references all the different types of wool and other fibers used for his yarn and personally works with various breeders and farmers to source some of his materials. These "fractal collages," as he calls them, bridge the artisanal and mathematical realms bringing together two aspects of thinking instead of viewing them in opposition.

The show continues through January 6, 2018.

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