In Not The Sum Of Its Parts, Just The Parts, artists Jesse Draxler and Chad Wys rip apart and question the use of traditional arts materials, rediscovering and reevaluating the limits of the surface. The title of the show is a reactionary statement against the Aristotelian philosophy that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Rather, the title attempts to highlight, in a multilayered approach, that each part is essential, individual, unique, and nottobe overlooked in its contribution to the “whole”. Both artists utilize this principle in their practice. Draxler’s heavily layered mixed media works utilize numerous independent elements. By examining each of these individual elements during his process to admire as simple and elegant each on their own, Draxler’s compositions ultimately serve as a practice in balance and spacial harmony. The artist aims to lend a voice to every echo and impression, akin to a "ghost" image left behind from an object or a person traversing a multidimensional landscape both physical and virtual. All while questioning the conventions of what is positive space and what is negative space through the lens of the yin and yang.
Wys is interested in manipulating found objects – the more in a state of depreciation, the better – he adds new life, meaning and function to existing materials and products, adding to the object’s history and its journey. Throughout his work he has maintained a longstanding fascination with the ideals of conceptualism. Informed by Dadaism and minimalism as well as postmodernist philosophy, Wys’ work examines visuality, from images and objects to decorations and art, and how the reproduction of these materials influence our visual experience.
Draxler’s mixed media pieces underscore the value of each component and the positive and negative spaces reliant on one another for their existence, neither more valuable than the other. While Wys adds new life, meaning and function to existing materials and products. The parts themselves are essential to conclusion.