Nationale: Amanda Leigh Evans and Anastasia Greer

On view July 28—August 28, 2016
Opening reception Thursday, July 28 (6—8PM) // Closing reception Sunday, August 28 (3—5PM)

The distinction between craftwork and fine art is commonly plotted along points of function, form, tradition, and, while often left unspoken, gender. However, in Nationale’s two-person exhibition, artists Amanda Leigh Evans and Anastasia Greer playfully dismantle these outdated associations by resituating the feminine voice of pottery and quilting as a vital source of fluidity within sculpture and painting’s traditional rulebook.

Pottery has always been informed by quotidian needs—a mug to hold tea, an urn to carry those we’ve lost. Evans’ terra cotta sculptures, however, feel no obligation to this functional history. Her objects, colored with luminescent underglazes in ruddy pinks, milky whites, and charcoal, only temporarily allude to specific uses. While our eyes seek out the recognizable curves and voids of handles and slots—shapes that beckon to be held or to hold—such literal interpretations do not linger. Conflated and multiplied in Evans’ compositions, these at first familiar forms are revealed to be purely symbolic. They exist instead somewhere between art and life, never confined to one fixed meaning or purpose.

While Evans in this manner teases our desire for functionality, Greer playfully flirts with the boundaries between artistic mediums. Atop delicate backgrounds of dyed raw silk, her compositions of pale, watery squares and sensual, bright blobs exude a whimsical, decidedly feminine softness. Greer mimics in these opposing patterns and colors both the measured designs and madcap collage of fabrics favored by quilt makers. Quilting’s geometric emphasis is likewise melded with the balanced grid foundation of painterly compositions. However, instead of stabilizing an internal chaos, Greer’s grids highlight the futility of such a fixed logic. Atop these rigid markings, swollen squiggles of paint squeezed directly from the tube disregard any call for two-dimensionality. Patterns trickle over the canvases’ edges, oblivious to the sanctity of the individual object. The final work, in this way, remains open with possibility—a weaving of infinite variations and associations.

 


 

PNCA MFA in Visual Studies 2016 Thesis Exhibition