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The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art opens three new exhibitions
Sofie Ramos, Space to Breathe (Installation view), 2018. Mixed media installation (acrylic paint, paper, fabric, wood, packing peanuts, Astroturf, found objects) Image: Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco. Courtesy of the Artist.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art opened three new exhibitions that showcase the work of Bay Area artists at different points in their artistic careers: a site specific exhibition by emerging artist Sofie Ramos, a mid-career survey of work by Stephanie Metz, and a large retrospective of work by world-renowned artist Alan Rath. Alan Rath: Virtual Unreality presents kinetic sculptures by Rath from the 1980s to to 2018. Stephanie Metz: Figurative Fiber includes abstract wool and felt pieces by Metz that span the entirety of her career. Sandbox Project 7, Sofie Ramos: STUFF(ed) is an immersive site-specific installation of color and shape.

Alan Rath: Virtual Unreality Main Gallery and Focus Gallery February 16 – June 9, 2019
Alan Rath: Virtual Unreality marks the first large-scale retrospective survey of this internationally recognized Bay Area artist since his 1998 survey show at Site Santa Fe.
Alan Rath is known internationally as a pioneer in electronic, kinetic, and robotic sculpture. Since the early 1980s, he has produced an ever-evolving body of work that ranges from elaborately designed electronic marvels to fluid, kinetic mobiles. All of his sculptures utilize custom electronics designed and fabricated by the artist. Many of his works modify their behavior in unexpected ways over long spans of time, some taking years or even decades to display surprising new imagery.

Alan Rath: Virtual Unreality includes over 35 artworks made between 1986 and 2018, and spans Rath’s prolific career from his early sculptures that incorporated cathode ray tubes and found objects to his most recent digital and electronic robotics. This exhibition traces the major themes and motifs in Rath’s work, including his frequent use of imagery like eyes, mouths and hands that are indicative of human expression and perception, and other motifs like soundless speakers, the running man that changes daily, and feathers that animate robotic machines. Though often viewed solely through the lens of “digital art” or “new media,” Rath’s work is first and foremost sculpture, constructed with a deeply refined sense of formal elegance and a broad understanding of historical context. The formal sophistication extends into the smallest of details, with a remarkable attention to functionality.

An accompanying catalogue with a digital component will be published and available in June 2019.

Rath received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1982. His contributions to the field of contemporary sculpture and new media have received significant acknowledgement worldwide. His work is in such major collections as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the San Jose Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Orange County Museum of Art (CA), Berkeley Art Museum (CA), and the Hara Museum (Tokyo). Rath maintains a studio in Oakland, CA and is represented by Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco.

Stephanie Metz: Figurative Fiber Off-Center Gallery February 23 – June 9, 2019
Stephanie Metz creates biomorphic abstract sculptures that explore the tension created when opposing qualities coexist. She works primarily in wool and industrial felt to create detailed, complex, and mysterious forms that defy their humble origins. This exhibition presents works from throughout Metz’s career, showing the many ways in which she works with wool and felt.

Metz has been featured in publications including San Jose’s Content Magazine, Adobe Inspire Magazine, American Craft, and 500 Felt Objects. Her work has been included in the Rijswijk Textile Biennial in the Netherlands as well as Sculptural Felt International and Black Sheep, touring exhibitions in Europe and Australia. Her numerous group exhibitions include FiberArt International at both the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, Formex Stockholm 2008 in Sweden, and Transmission: Experience at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore. In 2015, Silicon Valley Creates honored Metz as an Artist Laureate and she is the recipient of a Belle Foundation for Cultural Development grant and two Center for Cultural Innovation grants. She has taught at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee.

Sofie Ramos: STUFF(ed) Cardinale Project Room February 23 – June 9, 2019
Sofie Ramos’s immersive installations allow the viewer to walk into a living painting. Shapes, surfaces and objects respond and adapt to, fuse with, and adulterate their surroundings. There are no boundaries or edges; the paint moves from the wall to the floor to objects. Ramos’s installations incorporate everyday household objects, re-appropriated to give them alternate existences beyond their intended uses. Her use of bold color and patterns create an eye-popping environment and each installation is unique to the space in which it exists.

Ramos received her BA in Visual Art from Brown University and her MFA in Art Practice from University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions in the Bay Area and across the country and has been reviewed by Juxtapoz Magazine and by KQED Arts. She was an artist in residence at the Growlery (San Francisco, CA) and at Facebook HQ (Menlo Park, CA). Ramos is currently based in San Francisco.

Sofie Ramos: STUFF(ed) is part of the ongoing series of ICA Sandbox Projects. The distinctive Sandbox Projects support artists to experiment, take risks, and create immersive, site-specific installations that would not otherwise be realized.

Sofie Ramos: STUFF(ed) is ICA Sandbox Project 7.

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