Envelope No .25, No. 26, and No. 27, 2004 Graphite on handmade paper
Envelopes dovetail between the fantastic and organic, suggesting landscape in some otherworldly location - yet clearly occupying abstraction. Broken and fractured surfaces coincide with mottled, subtlety-dusted passages as each piece evolved during its making. “To embrace, to engulf, to envelop – the words became important concepts for what these works contain, and led me to the title ‘Envelope’.” Upon looking at these works, certain masterpieces by the renowned Chinese ink painter Gao Xingjian come to mind. The two artists’ works possess both abstract and representational visual elements that comprise compositions created from contemplation and inner emotions rather than observations of the external world. Yet Hardinger’s use of graphite and hand-made paper makes the uncanny visual resemblance all the more intriguing as the shapes of the graphite areas continue to evolve on paper after the making, the process of which adds to both the physical and emotional depth of the work.