Strange Relations | Spectral Impressions
May 3rd – 26th,
Opening Reception Friday May 3rd, 7 – 10 pm
Artists: Thomas Burke, Jon Elliott, Greg Hopkins
Curated by Amelia Biewald
Dr. Nigel Spivey (Cambridge, England) suggests that the ancient peoples who inhabited caves marked walls to illustrate hallucinations due to sensory deprivation – the point where the dark meets artistic imagination. Extreme darkness can provoke our minds to generate light, colors, and patterns that can be the impetus for artistic mark making and images. It has also been written that these ancient images correspond to stars and constellations. This is a primitive art that represents the known and unknown in collision in our imagination.
The paintings here are built as much as they are painted. There is a dialogue between the observed world and the world we know through technology, and through this framework, how we see and accept images in this digital age. Patterns are built into our nervous system — geometrical, often symmetrical — how do these inherent forms make their way into art made in the last millennia?
Before verbal language, humans used a language of marks and forms, our first documents of dreams, ideas, and would-be actions. The mind somehow creates recognizable forms and patterns out of the sea of subconscious.
We grew up looking at technology-assisted images unknown to us as humans only a short time ago, like imagery from telescopes or microscopes. These artists reference technology to create a reflection of, and conversation with that dark history.
With cues from Abstract Expressionism, Op Art, and Color Field painting, these artists take an existing image, alter it, then layer, twist and replicate…perhaps questioning what we know about this genre of painting. They extend a knowing wink to the macho history of abstract art, while contorting and censoring some of its formal language.
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