The Post-Summer Show
Fine Art Complex 1101
Opening Reception: Saturday Oct, 12, 2019.
Exhibition runs: Oct 12- November 2
Artists in the show: Caroline Estelle, Megan Johnson, Abbey Messmer, Kendra Sollars, and Kenzie Wells.
The Post-Summer show is about the way we perceive bodies, about their relation to the environment, and about the distortion of perception that can happen when body and space merge. If summer is always thought of as a season, then the Post-Summer Show looks at how it also functions as a social actor in the cultural imaginary. If summer is a space when bodies feel set free in open congress, then the Post-Summer Show examines where idealized realities and lived experience coalesce. If summer brings an opportunity for more group functions, then the Post-Summer show is equally invested in exploring the display of social mores and psychological states. If summer is a state that is often forgotten when the school year starts and adulthood supersedes the wild abandon of youth, then the Post-Summer Show takes a sideways view at where memory and nostalgia merge.
Afterall, summer isn’t just the moment when we lose ourselves to journeys in the landscape, but it is also the time when we get more in touch with our surroundings. Here in Arizona, summer marks a period when we feel the heat as a palpable force rather than it just being ‘the weather’; summer marks an increasingly long stretch of time each season when discussing a few more degrees of difference, up or down the thermometer, becomes something of a rhetorical greeting among locals; and summer is that period of time when we lament climate change more intensely than the rest of the year while we breathe a welcome sigh of collective relief at seasons end. When summer comes to Arizona, the rich leave, and when summer passes, the wealthy migrate back as our seasonal ‘snowbirds’. For all of the above reasons, we can say that Summer has socio-economic implications along with environmental, psychological and personal consequences and none of this is lost on the works in The Post-Summer Show.
Summer also effects exhibition practices in the gallery world as “summer shows” tend to happen as year-end round-ups of what’s left lying around in the back room; as the annual group show of who’s represented by the gallery; or as a sample platter of the artists who will be in the line-up come Fall. In this regard, The Post-Summer Show is not your regular art gallery offering but it brings together 5 of the most important artists working in the Valley today who are investigating the themes of summertime as a way to better understanding the world around us. The Post-Summer Show is not just another look at “water themed art” that hopes to draw in the crowds by means of psychological comfort. Rather, The Post-Summer Show takes seriously the proposition of physiological discomfort, dialogic methods of display and the ongoing conversation about what summertime means to us as both a season and sign of the times.
About the Artists in the Show:
Abbey Messmer’s paintings of figures swimming, sinking and subverting gravity in watery environments act as metaphors for the unconscious, where water is often portrayed in rich undulating hues and the subject becomes one with the play of surface reflections. Caroline Estelle’s work examines the rhetorical devices of how the body is pictured for the gaze while subverting the expectations of strict realism by playing with uneasy baroque elongations, high key contrasts, and a compositional sensibility that make the familiar seem uncanny. Megan Johnson provides us with a look into the landscape, where her works evoke states of being as much as a sense of place; where the passages of time is haunted by the suggestion of narrative; and where sweeping painterly affects and a realistic sense of place make painting into a fully immersive experience. Kendra Sollars multi-media work is grounded in examining the interconnected nature of figure and environment, where the synchronic effects of space and the synchronous movement of bodies open onto thinking about time-based concerns in the expanded field. Kenzie Wells work helps us to see how episodic habitation and the transformation of everyday objects can open up new experiences in perception, new relations between the known and the unknown, and counter-intuitive readings of the domestic and the designed.