Kristi Hargrove's Drawings Featured in 'Metamorphoses' at Frist
Exhibition Illustrates Themes of Mystery and Transformation, Opens June 8
Watkins Fine art department chair Kristi Hargrove is one of four Nashville-area artists whose work will be on view in Metamorphoses, opening June 8 at in the Frist Center’s Conte Community Arts Gallery and running through October 28. The exhibition features 41 drawings by Erin Anfinson, Mark Hosford, Chris Scarborough and Hargrove, all of which reveal scrupulously rendered forms, the origin of which are often unclear, conveying a sense of mystery and transformation.
Each of the artists featured in Metamorphoses approaches drawing differently, reminding us that of all the arts, drawing has historically been considered to be among the most personal, revealing something of the artist as well as the subject. “This is an exhibition to which we can all relate. Nearly everyone has made some sort of drawing, whether it is free-form doodle or a finished work of art,” says Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala. “In the case of Metamorphoses, we see artists combining unfettered invention of doodling with virtuosic manipulation to create forms that seem to be both real and dreamlike.”
The title of the exhibition, Metamorphoses, derives from Ovid’s descriptions of bodily transformation in Greek myth, while simultaneously reflecting the Surrealist philosophy of breaking down boundaries between the inner and outer worlds. “It is the idea of dissolution—of beliefs, information, the body—and subsequent transformation that is the true subject of these artists’ drawings,” notes Scala. “Although their style and imagery may differ, each grapples with notions of readaptation and imagination.”
For example, in his Rorschach Series, Hosford appropriates templates of the famous inkblot test, which was designed to reveal the viewer’s hidden psychological tendencies. He transforms these symmetrical organic forms by inlaying his own eccentric imagery, composed of monstrous creatures and hybrid beings reminiscent of the dark animation of the Brothers Quay and Tim Burton. The works hilariously reverse the instrument of psychology by showing us right up front what horrors lie within the mind; interpretation is no longer needed in these wild and playful imaginings.
Conversely, Scarborough re-envisions everyday subjects, skillfully merging depictions of people and animals with fragmenting or even exploding forms, as if all that seems certain is actually tenuous. Titles like “The Economist” and “The Modernist” provide a clue to the underlying imagery that is often obscured by random explosive inventions, encouraging viewers to come to their own conclusions about the strange metamorphosis taking place.
In intimate drawings that float between abstraction and recognition, Hargrove pushes the boundaries of pencil, pen, and paper. She explores the psychology of perception, in some instances creating realistic illusions, and in others employing collage or the physical properties of paper to create actual space and depth. The artist’s playfulness and curiosity does not mask the works’ invitation to voyeurism, with their tantalizing, often subtly erotic, glimpses into a very private world.
Anfinson also participates in a type of voyeurism by depicting an imagined bodily interior in excruciating close-up. In her series The Migration of the Disruptors, inspired by the artist’s concern with the adverse affects of certain chemicals and pharmaceuticals on the endocrine system, twisting colonic shapes slowly dissolve into pictorial chemical bonds, provoking a strange transformation of the human interior into a universe of degradation and self-renewal.
By playing on the vulnerability of our minds and bodies, each of these artists encourages a heightened consciousness within the viewer. They draw attention to the incessant flux of our internal and external perceptions, the constant metamorphosis of our physical, mental and ideological selves.
About the Artists
Hosford specializes in printmaking, drawing and animation, using narrative imagery to explore social curiosities and personal obsessions. Born in Kansas City, Mo., Hosford received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas. In 1998, he moved to Knoxville, Tenn. to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Tennessee. Hosford has a regional, national and international exhibition record, including shows in Poland, Germany, South Korea, China, New York, Boston and California. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University.
Hargrove’s studio practice is primarily drawing, but includes investigations into other mediums such as photography, sculpture, and installation. Having received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Art, Hargrove’s work has been shown in numerous juried shows and invitational exhibitions across the country. She is a member of the Nashville artist collective, Coop, a curatorial group committed to expanding the city’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging, new or under-represented artists and artworks in the community. Hargrove also serves as Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.
“Peep Hole II” (at top) and “A Moth’s Choice (at right)
Originally from the Midwest, Anfinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa. She went on to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut before relocating to Tennessee. Anfinson’s work has been featured insolo and group exhibitions at a variety of national venues, including the Wiregrass Museum in Dothan, Ala., the Charleston Heights Art Center in Las Vegas, Western Kentucky University and at the Tennessee Arts Commission. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University.
“Migration of the Disrupters”
A Nashville native, Scarborough received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. After graduating in 2000, he returned to the Nashville area to continue his work. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, and Curator’s Office in Washington D.C. He has also participated in group exhibitions and art fairs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, London and Tokyo. Scarborough’s work is part of numerous private and public collections, including the Tennessee State Museum. Scarborough recently relocated to Boston, Mass.
“The Modernist” (at right)
Artist’s Forum featuring Erin Anfinson, Mark Hosford and Kristi Hargrove
Thursday, July 12, 6:30 p.m., Rechter Room
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting www.fristcenter.org.