Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents Abstraction’s Imaginative Fictions, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints by David Anderson, Michael Hampton and Alexine Rioux, at its downtown gallery WAG during the November 2 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl.
Curated by Professor Terry Thacker, Abstraction’s Imaginative Fictions explores current ideas of eccentric abstraction. The show’s title is taken from Bob Nickas’ book Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting (Phaidon Press, 2009).
WAG – an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery – is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.
Anderson, a sophomore from Nashville, will exhibit a series with oil paint, calcium powder, nail scratches, varnish, and ink. Hampton, a senior from Nashville, will present polyester lithography prints on paper, and Rioux, a senior from West Palm Beach, Florida, will show oil paintings, monoprints and watercolor drawings.
David Anderson: I am an artist who is very much fascinated by the tiny existences and instances in life, and the impact that these forces and feelings have on the shaping of society and the environment we live in. I see art-making as a creating of objects or oracles that speak into life or show a nuance of existence that has to have a continuation with history and art history. I seek to use paint, line, color, form, and space as a way to talk about the important energy behind personal expressive images and objective facts and morals. Abstractions manifest themselves for what meaning cannot.
Michael Hampton’s work, which has also been exhibited in Nashville at Ground Floor Gallery, Platetone Print, The Brick Factory, a ZieherSmith Pop Up Gallery, and The Building, tends to focus on the disorientation and re-presentation of narrative through thoughtful humor. Such narratives refer to known behaviors and a common modes of storytelling. A nod to nostalgic imagery coupled with a denial of expectation is also present.For him, often overlooked aspects of the undeniably common, bits and pieces of known narratives, demand a special attention. This demand initiates a relationship of tampering and remaking coupled with an introspective horseplay. Within this play comes the manipulation and transformation of characteristics found in the construction of traditional narratives, both fictional and not. These narratives relay thoughts of memory, identity, and humor. Through the act of remaking, bizarre relations of invented and existing characters and ideas form a new flexible narrative. This allows for a rare look into the overlooked and underrated, forgotten and lost, to be recovered and explored. A strike of humor is attached by necessity to the works. The inherent capacity of the subject matter to be repeatedly transformed and re-contextualized creates a simulated willingness, lending my work to the hands of thoughtful comedy. The accessible and relatable mode of humor allows for the work to be processed on several levels. With each reconstruction comes the thin line, an oddity between the obscure and the known, re-presented through comedic means and made digestible.
Alexine Rioux: The work strives to obtain a visual language derived and mutated from observation, abstraction, and memory. The work reflects on ideas such as residue of time, continuous transformation of language, cultural or individual ideals, and our shared environment. Abstraction pulled from environments and figuration are investigated using multiple material practices, such as painting, drawing, and printmaking. Line, form, and color are employed to form geological spaces of transcendent and material nature.
The Watkins Arcade Gallery – WAG – is a public exhibition space of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film committed to serving the College community and the community at large through exhibitions and programs that enhance curriculum as well as engage a greater audience in the visual arts. WAG is dedicated to supporting the educational and cultural mission of the College by encouraging students to think independently and creatively about their art practice and role as critical thinkers within the cultural landscape. The venue will present shows year-round featuring work by Watkins students, alumni and other professional artists.
WAG joins approximately 20 participating Art Crawl galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and upstairs in the Historic Arcade. Admission is free, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles traveling among the venues. For more information on the First Saturday Art Crawl, visit www.nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl.
WAG is the second Watkins-run gallery space, joining the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery, the primary exhibiting space on the College’s campus in Metro Center. Currey presents a year-round schedule of two- and three-dimensional artwork, as well as multi-media installations including sound, video and performance, by students, faculty and visiting artists. Admission and parking are free.
For inquiries about WAG, contact [email protected]
David Anderson, 2013, oil/canvas, 44” x 38”
Michael Hampton, 2013, mixed media/paper, 15” x 11”
Alexine Rioux, 2013, oil/mylar, 18” x 12”