Through the Art of Painting
September 13 – November 19, 2017
Deanna Evans Projects is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition, Through the Art of Painting, featuring works by Courtney Childress, Leah Dixon, Matthew F. Fisher and Eric Hibit. This group exhibition explores the contemporary definition of a painting.
Robert Rauschenberg, whose works were comprised of many different elements in addition to paint, was widely accepted as a painter throughout the United States. His Combine series dissolved the line between painting and sculpture into a single work of art and began the conversation of what defines contemporary painting.
These four artists have vastly different techniques when it comes to their work but come together to push the boundaries of what is typically characterized as a painting.
Courtney Childress works with personal yet ordinary materials, bringing objects out of the periphery and into focus. Carpet, in particular, carries its own history of use. There’s no denying this past – it is inherently gross and impossible to clean. The work aims to stir up an individual’s memories of making a mess on carpet. Childress relies on the viewer’s ability to read texture and surface with their eyes. Most people can recall the feeling of carpet underfoot; that knowledge and an understanding of the tactility of paint transcend the normal experience of viewing a painting. The result is work that is fun and sometimes dark and messy, but always with a bit of humor.
Leah Dixon’s Lovers in a Dangerous Time-Rocket Rug is a multimedia piece that expands upon a series of yoga mat war rugs that Dixon has been constructing since 2010. They are based on her research of a group of rug weavers from Afghanistan that fled to Kashmir during the Soviet invasion in the late 1970s, who utilized pictographs of war scenes and military technology that they experienced in their homeland into the patterns. Due to the Muslim refugees' displacement in Kashmir, there was a growing influence of the Hindu culture and the practice of an ancient form of yoga, Shaivism. Refugees began using their own war rugs as both prayer rugs and yoga mats. Dixon’s work is a commentary on both the use of yoga as a means of cultural integration for Afghan refugees in Kashmir, and a staple for America's commodified self-care culture. The rug is hung between a functional architecture that consists of two towers – doubling as empty pillars and seating – forcing those seated to face each other.
The shaped canvases of Kenneth Noland were Matthew F. Fisher’s original inspiration for his shaped works. According to theartstory.org, "In these shaped works, the viewer no longer looks ‘into’ the picture; instead, the work of art coexists in the viewer's space as a complete object." Fisher appreciates how the simple shift of the exterior frame can influence the interior composition. Do the waves crash in sync with the edges or are the edges the reason for the crash? The title piece, The Return, hints at the slashing of water within the canvas, like water in a glass cup, moving back and forth as you shake it.
Eric Hibit’s armature paintings stem from his interest in the work of other sculptural painters such as Frank Stella, Elizabeth Murray and Lee Bontecou. His paintings are made by stretching cotton spandex over uncoiled steel wire, an improvisational process yielding unexpected results that he embraces. Hibit applies resin on the underside of the pieces, which makes them rigid and holds their shape. He explores how color has a sculptural effect on the form, accentuating or emphasizing aspects of the form. The overall effect he seeks is color exploding off the wall, and a dynamic expression of form. This exhibition includes works from an ongoing series of all-white works. The colorlessness allows the viewer to perceive the subtle play of shadows and highlights on the form. The element of light, constantly in flux from both artificial and natural light sources within interiors, further activates the forms.
Courtney Childress lives and works in New York, NY. She received her MFA from S.U.N.Y. at Purchase College, Purchase, NY (2012) and her BFA from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Summer Anagram at Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Line Up at Ess Ef Eff, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Colors at Louis B. James Gallery, New York, NY (2015); Mingled Bodies, curated by Jovana Stokic at Vanity Projects, Miami, FL and New York, NY (2015); Art Basel Muwkonago at Bahamas Biennale Gallery, WI (2014) Four Lives, curated by Keri Oldham at Field Projects, NY (2013); Funny at Weeknights, Brooklyn, NY (2013); Eight Degrees at Lu Magnus, New York, NY (2012).
Leah Dixon is an artist working in sculpture, performance, and social architectural interventions. She lives and works in New York City and Berlin. She received her BFA from Ohio State University, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has shown widely nationally and internationally, including recent shows at Ludlow 38 MINI / Goethe Institut in New York, Edel Assanti Gallery in London, SORT Gallery in Vienna, the Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, CA and the Nicaraguan Biennial of Contemporary Art. She is a current nominee for the 2018 United States Artists Fellowship.
Matthew F. Fisher (b. 1976, Boston, MA) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and Brooklyn, NY. He has been the recipient of numerous residencies and awards including the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2016), Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York (2015, 2007) and New York Foundation for the Arts (2010). Recent solo exhibitions include Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, NY (2017), Airlock Gallery, San Marco, CA (2016) and Sardine, Brooklyn, NY (2015). Group shows include The Dot Project, London, UK (2017), Work Release, Norfolk, VA (2017) and Ampersand Gallery, Portland, OR (2017).
Eric Hibit (b. 1976, Rochester, NY) lives and works in New York, NY. He attended the Corcoran College of Art + Design (BFA,1998) and Yale University School of Art (MFA, 2003). In New York, he has exhibited at Max Protetch Gallery, Anna Kustera Gallery, C24 Gallery, Zurcher Studio, Field Projects, TSA Gallery and Ortega y Gasset Projects. He has exhibited nationally at the Curator’s Office in Washington, DC, Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, MA, Cape Cod Museum of Art and University of Vermont and internationally in Giverny and Paris, France. His work has been reviewed in the Village Voice and Washington Post as well as has been featured in the New York Times and New York Post. Hibit has taught studio art at Tyler School of Art, Hunter College, NYU and Cooper Union. In 2014, he joined the artist-run curatorial collective Ortega y Gasset Projects.