For the February show at Watkins’s Wedgewood-Houston gallery, the college presents new work by alumni Aaron Harper and Nick Stolle. The works both reflect on the possibility of making engaging paintings today. Play, lyricism, the materiality of paint and its multiple processes begin to build distinct, particular objects and records of distinct experiences. Harper and Stolle have created works that “offer a mild resistance to reductionism, grand scale, univocal style, or pop ironies in order to encourage slow deliberate looking and particular intimate reading.”
Stolle, who earned his BFA in 2009 and currently lives and works in Northern Indiana, says he prefers to make small pictures in small spaces that maintain a stubborn confidence in human endeavor. “I sit in a chair and clutch these things to my body. I mark at them, pretty them up, dishevel them, love and hate them. Holler and spit at them, pet and paw at them. Beg them to say something plainly to me, an ever-growing pile of wasted time and wrong turns at my lap and feet, panic setting in. Then calming myself, I remind myself that there’s no sense in arguing the thing out of being what it is. Beatific and at peace for a moment, then inevitably desirous and doubtful. These are human things, human-scaled, and with human concerns.”
Harper earned his BFA in 2016 and focuses on work that depicts events which feature cycles of transformation. “To create these events,” he says, “I have collected elements of the world: bright colors of advertisements, plastic debris blowing into forgotten crevices, underground water pipes and electricity, dancing graffiti on yellowed walls, and a slow, frozen battleground of arm-size vines suffocating aged trees. In the studio, this disjointed information is spliced and synthesized into their essential values as a way to expose an interconnected cosmic web-scape.”
Both artists will be on hand for the February Art Crawl.
Time: Gallery Hours