More stories

  • in

    Hidden Mother: Swaths of Fabric Disguise Figures in Mixed-Media Portraits by Artist Sarah Detweiler

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #embroidery
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    April 28, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “The Nightowl” (2021), oil, embroidery thread, and yarn on canvas in a wood frame, 28 x 22 inches. All images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery, shared with permission
    The lengthy exposure times required by 19th Century photography were not conducive to newborns and fidgety toddlers, a problem many mothers tried to remedy by cloaking themselves in fabric and hiding behind furniture. As a result, those Victorian-era portraits, while capturing an endearing stage of life, are often spectral and slightly unnerving, shadowed by phantom limbs and textile silhouettes that closely resemble an inanimate backdrop despite their lively features.
    This desire for disguise informs the multi-media works of Philadelphia-area artist Sarah Detweiler, whose ongoing series Hidden Mother is on view at Paradigm Gallery through May 22. Depicted without children, Detweiler’s portraits subvert the original photographs to instead draw attention to the figures otherwise purposely relegated to the background. Fabrics rendered with a combination of oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, and embroidered elements further confront traditional notions of femininity and motherhood by literally cloaking the women in materials long associated with domesticity.
    Because the artist has a personal relationship with each subject, the textiles, motifs, and colors all evoke specific aspects of their personalities and distinct experiences, resulting in idiosyncratic portraits tethered only by their shared identity. “In maintaining the anonymity,” a statement about the series says, Detweiler “preserves a universal relatability—the woman under the shroud could be you, your mother, your friend.”
    If you’re not in Philadelphia, you can take a virtual tour of the sold-out exhibition, and watch this Q&A with Detweiler for a deeper dive into the series, which is available as a limited-edition print set on Paradigm’s site. Head to Instagram to see more of the artist’s process, including some of the original photographs that informed the portraits shown here.

    “Hide and Seek” (2021), acrylic and embroidery thread on canvas with a wood frame, 20 x 16 inches
    Detail of “The Nightowl” (2021), oil, embroidery thread, and yarn on canvas in a wood frame, 28 x 22 inches
    Left: “The Hidden (Creative Rainbow) Mother” (2020), oil and embroidery thread on canvas, 18 x 24 inches: Right: “Tutus and Kitties and Pink, Oh My!” (2021), oil, acrylic, and embroidery thread on canvas in a wood frame, 24 x 18 inches
    “Ghosts of Mothers Past” (2021), oil, acrylic, embroidery thread on beveled edge canvas, 20 inches in diameter
    “If You Love Something, Set It Free” (2021), oil, embroidery thread on canvas in a wood frame, 12 x 12 inches
    “She’s in There Somewhere” (2021), oil and embroidery thread on canvas, 12 inches in diameter
    “Life of the Party,” oil on oval canvas with a beveled edge, 16 x 20 inches

    #acrylic
    #embroidery
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Flowers Mutate into Peculiar Blossoms in 18th-Century-Style Paintings by Laurent Grasso

    
    Art

    #bronze
    #flowers
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #sculptures

    April 13, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Future Herbarium,” distemper on wood, 33.5 x 24 x 4.2 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Perrotin. All images © Laurent Grasso, shared with permission
    In Laurent Grasso’s Future Herbarium, small bunches of flowers evolve into bizarre forms with doubled pistils and petals sprouting in thick layers and tufts. Painted in distemper or oil, the transformed blooms are depicted as typical studies of specimens common in the 18th century. The mutations bring together historical aesthetics and transformations from an imagined future, provoking “an impression of strangeness where beauty and anxiety are mixed,” the Paris-based artist says.
    Grasso works in multiple mediums, from painting to sculpture to film, and the themes of time and transformation permeate many of his projects. Future Herbarium stems from “ARTIFICIALIS,” a film slated for screening at the Musée d’Orsay, that considers the liminal spaces between nature and culture in relation to images. In its presentation at Hong Kong’s Perrotin (which is up through April 24) and the Jeonnam Museum of Art in Gwangyang (which is on view virtually and in-person through June 30), the series is paired with another project dealing with the impacts of solar wind on the earth. “The Future Herbarium’s flowers are thus subjected to an imaginary catastrophe, which would have produced mutations but also to these solar winds,” the artist says.
    In addition to the two exhibitions in Hong Kong and Gwangyang, Grasso’s work will be on view at Aranya Art Center in Qinhuangdao, China, through May 16, at Artspace in Sydney from April 28 to July 11, and at Musée de l’Armée in Paris from May 7, 2021, to January 30, 2022. Explore more of his multi-disciplinary practice on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

    “Future Herbarium,” distemper on wood, 34 x 24 x 4.5 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Perrotin
    “Future Herbarium,” oil on wood, 33.6 x 24 x 4.8 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Perrotin
    “Future Herbarium,” distemper on wood, 34 x 24 x 4.5 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Perrotin
    “Future Herbarium,” distemper on wood, 34 x 24 x 4.5 centimeters. Courtesy of Perrotin
    “Future Herbarium” (2020), white bronze, 135 x 20 x 20 centimeters. Photo by Ringo Cheung, courtesy of Perrotin
    “Future Herbarium” (2020), white bronze, 135 x 20 x 20 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Courtesy Perrotin

    #bronze
    #flowers
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #sculptures

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Ironic Compositions Juxtapose Outlandish Scenarios in Paco Pomet’s New Paintings

    
    Art

    #humor
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #satire
    #social commentary
    #surreal

    April 8, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “The Lesson” (2020), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 centimeters. All images © Paco Pomet, shared with permission
    In Beginnings, Spanish artist Paco Pomet (previously) visualizes a series of jarring and absurd scenarios born out of an equally concerning event. He juxtaposes disparate elements—a mushroom cloud erupting in a classroom, women cavalierly poking at a tabletop sunrise, a mountain range lying on an operating table—in a series of satirical commentaries infused with pop culture references and nods to art history.
    Generally contrasting a black-and-white scene with a recurring, full-color sunrise or sunset, Pomet’s compositions merge time periods and situations to mark the start of a new reality, a broad theme tied to the current moment. “Romanticism with a twist of irony is a very powerful visual engine,” he says about the series.
    If you’re in Santa Monica, Beginnings is on view through May 8 at Richard Heller Gallery. Otherwise, find more of Pomet’s humorous and bizarre compositions on Artsy and Instagram.

    “Little Big Grief” (2020), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 66 9/10 inches
    “Hesperides” (2020), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 66 9/10 inches
    “Melancholy School” (2020), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 59 1/10 inches
    “The Art of Scaling” (2020), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 59 1/10 inches
    “Headstrong” (2020), oil on canvas, 23 3/5 × 28 7/10 inches
    “Classicism” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 × 73 inches
    “Das Erhabene Büro (diptych)” (2020), oil on canvas, 59 1/10 × 102 2/5 inches

    #humor
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #satire
    #social commentary
    #surreal

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Light Casts a Magical Glow on the Residential Hills of Los Angeles in Paintings by Seth Armstrong

    
    Art

    #landscapes
    #Los Angeles
    #oil painting
    #painting

    April 6, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Purple Mountain” (2020), oil on wood panel, 48 x 36 inches. All images © Seth Armstrong, shared with permission
    “Color and light are basically all I think about when I’m painting,” says Seth Armstrong. Working with oil paints on wood, the Los Angeles-based artist renders the sloping hills of his native California county in bold, saturated tones. Depicting the staggered houses and vegetation in the glow of golden hour or just after sunrise, Armstrong balances both hyperrealism and more sweeping, gestural strokes. He includes the occasional candy-colored hue to veil the densely populated landscape—the artist notes that small details can be difficult to perceive when not viewing the works in person—with a layer of magic. “The paintings do become, for me, more than a depiction of light and color,” he writes. “But that’s a personal relationship we have.”
    A limited-edition print of “Purple Mountain” releases on April 12 through Unit Drops, and Armstrong will have a solo show at Unit London this fall. Check out his Instagram for a larger collection of his paintings and glimpses into his home studio, where he works alongside ceramicist Madeleine Pellegren. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

    “5:30,” oil on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches
    “Green House” (2020), oil on wood panel, 14.5 x 14.5 inches
    “Pink Moment” (2020), oil on wood panel, 12 x 12 inches
    “November” (2020), oil on wood panel, 19.75 x 27.5 inches
    “September” (2020), oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 inches
    “March” (2020), oil on wood panel, 36 x 36 inches

    #landscapes
    #Los Angeles
    #oil painting
    #painting

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Sublime Renderings of Women and Girls Explore Notions of Beauty in Portraits by Rosso Emerald Crimson

    
    Art

    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    March 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “You Better Be Good” (2021), oil on panel, 36 x 36 centimeters. All images © Rosso Emerald Crimson, shared with permission
    In her exquisite portraiture, London-based artist Rosso Emerald Crimson renders female subjects who emerge through a haze of pastels and muted tones. She infuses the dreamy oil paintings with responses to current affairs and questions about the future, which often serve as a catalyst for her projects. “I don’t ‘think’ specifically about political or ethical issues when I paint although my creative flow is undoubtedly fuelled by the impressions and emotions many global events leave subconsciously,” she tells Colossal. Issues of racial justice and the unrealistic portrayal of beauty have both played a role in her recent works, including the compelling portrait of a young Black girl titled “What Are We Waiting For.”
    Generally, the subjects are people Rosso has a relationship with or someone who’s caught her eye, although she’s expanded her purview to models she’s never met as a way to adapt to pandemic restrictions. The artist often depicts the women and girls staring forward with unsmiling expressions. “I am enchanted by the diversity of human beings which is what truly makes us beautiful,” she says.
    If you’re in London, you can see Rosso’s paintings that are part of an exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month at Zebra One Gallery until March 31. She’ll also have pieces on view at Southbank Centre this summer and a solo show at Chrom Art Gallery in November. Prints and originals are available in her shop, and you can see works-in-progress on Instagram.

    “Enchantress” (2020), oil on canvas, 25 x 18 centimeters
    “Oyin” (2020), oil on aluminum, 24 x 18 centimeters
    “Tenderly Layla” (2020), oil on aluminum, 20 x 15 centimeters
    Left: “Flora” (2020), oil on aluminum, 65 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Girl with ginger hair” (2021), oil on canvas panel, 26 x 20 centimeters
    “What Are We Waiting For” (2020), oil on panel, 30 x 27 centimeters
    “Girl in polka dress” (2020), oil and silver leaf on panel, 122 x 85 centimeters

    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Dozens of Mushroom Characters Populate a Family Tree in Whimsically Painted Photographs by Jana Paleckova

    
    Art
    Photography

    #found photographs
    #mushrooms
    #oil painting
    #painting

    March 3, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Jana Paleckova, shared with permission
    An affinity for fleshy spores runs in the long line of ancestors laid out in a family tree by Jana Paleckova. The Prague-based artist layers antique photographs with playful oil paintings of spindly enoki or ribbed chanterelle, creating hybrid characters brimming with fungi-fueled personalities. “There are many types of mushrooms, all of which have different characteristics. Just like people,” she says.
    In a note to Colossal, Paleckova says she was prompted to start the whimsical project when she was flipping through her family’s atlas of fungi. “Czech people are known mushroom hunters. It’s quite common for families to go out looking for mushrooms together,” she says. This atlas later served as a reference point for the 90 small portraits, which consist of the dozens of vintage photographs that the artist sourced from flea markets, that comprise the sprouted kin.
    Paleckova’s body of work features a variety of surreal combinations, like eggheads, human-spider hybrids, and balloons shaped like children, all of which you can find on her site and Instagram.

    #found photographs
    #mushrooms
    #oil painting
    #painting

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Gleaming Water Drops Bead on the Canvas in Kim Tschang-Yeul’s Hyperrealistic Paintings

    
    Art

    #hyperrealism
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #water

    February 23, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    (1986), oil on canvas, 63 1/2 x 51 3/8 inches. Image via Christie’s
    Swollen, glistening, and saturated with illusion, the ubiquitous water drop absorbed Kim Tschang-Yeul throughout his career. The Korean artist, who died earlier this year, was faithful to the seemingly mundane subject matter, choosing to depict the dewy orbs repeatedly after an initial painting in 1972 following his relocation to France. Inspired originally by a water-soaked canvas in his studio, Kim nurtured the viscous element in his hyperrealistic paintings created across nearly five decades. In an essay about the artist’s unending commitment, Dr. Cleo Roberts writes:
    It is a tendency that seems to unite many of Korea’s avant-garde who took from Art Informel in the early ‘60s, including Ha Chong-Hyun and Park Seo-Bo. In this generation of artists, there is a ritualistic devotion to a chosen form, process, and, at times, colour. One could venture that, in the context of living in a volatile country ravaged by war, the security of immersion in a singular mode was an empowering choice, and may have been a necessary psychological counterpoint.
    Whether depicting a singular pendant-shaped drop or canvas strewn with perfectly round bulbs, each of the oil-based works exhibits a deft approach to shadow and texture. The bloated forms appear to bead on the surface and are imbued with a sense of impermanence: if disturbed by even a small movement, they look as if they could burst or run down the surface.

    “Waterdrops” (1979), oil on canvas, 102 x 76 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele
    Gleaming with occasional patches of gold and white, the transparent renderings foster a deeper connection to Taoist principles, in addition to questioning the tension between nature and contemporary life. “The act of painting water drops is to dissolve all things within [these], to return to a transparent state of ‘nothingness,’” Kim said in a statement, noting that his desire was to dissolve the ego. “By returning anger, anxiety, fear, and everything else to ‘emptiness,’ we experience peace and contentment.”
    If you’re in London, you can see the first posthumous show Water Drops, which covers Kim’s entire career and features many of the works shown here, at Almine Rech from March 4 to April 10, 2021. Otherwise, head to Artsy to see a larger collection of the artist’s paintings.

    “Waterdrop” (1974), oil on canvas, 17 3/4 x 16 1/8 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele
    “Waterdrops” (1986), India Ink and oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele
    Left: “Waterdrop” (2017), oil on canvas, 46 1/8 x 19 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele. Right: “Waterdrops” (1996), oil and acrylic on canvas, 21 5/8 x 18 1/8 x 3/4 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Rebecca Fanuele
    Detail of “Waterdrops” (1985), oil and Indian ink on canvas, 76 3/4 x 63 3/4 inches. Image via Almine Rech
    (2011), oil on canvas, 15 by 17 3/4 inches. Image via Sotheby’s
    “Recurrence” (1994-2017), oil and Indian ink on canvas, 35 x 57 1/8 x 7/8 inches. Image © The Estate of Kim Tschang-Yeul, courtesy of the estate and Almine Rech, photo by Matt Kroening 

    #hyperrealism
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #water

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Elegantly Subversive Paintings Position Somber Women in the Throes of Domestic Struggle

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #oil painting
    #painting

    February 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “None of These Clocks Work (I)” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 40 inches. All images © Chidinma Nnoli, courtesy of Rele Gallery, shared with permission
    In her poetic body of work, Chidinma Nnoli draws on her experiences growing up in a patriarchal, Catholic home. It “felt very stifling, and I existed in an environment of anxiety and fear where it felt uneasy to relax,” says the 22-year-old Nigerian artist. She channels these memories into her acrylic- and oil-based artworks that are simultaneously ethereal and subversive, distinctly centering on somber, unsmiling women and their hazy environments rendered in pastels.
    Subtle comments on a variety of cultural issues pervade Nnoli’s paintings, including the trappings of diet culture, impossible beauty standards, and how many widespread societal beliefs impact mental health. In some pieces, these themes are apparent in the women’s facial expressions, gestures, and vintage clothing. High necklines or collars, lace details, and puffy sleeves cloak their bodies in a manner that evokes traditional values like innocence and modesty in works like “A Poetry of Discarded Feelings/Things (III).” Other paintings, like “None of These Clocks Work (I),” center on a subject wearing a corset, which contorts womens’ bodies into the idealized hourglass.

    “If Grey Walls Could Talk (III)” (2020), 54 x 48 inches
    Whether alone or in a pair, the figures are demure, solemn, and depicted at home amongst impasto backgrounds. The quiet, humble scenes are filled with indistinguishable artworks, bouquets of flowers or plants, and sofas, customary domestic elements that allow Nnoli to tease out an implied tension. The women, she says, exist in “spaces that are supposed to be safe yet it’s toxic and they somehow can’t get out… I try to create a safe environment using flowers, a space that is almost dreamlike, a utopia where they can heal, even if it’s only happening in their heads (until) they find their own safe space.”
    Nnoli currently is living in Lagos and has work on view at Rele Gallery in Los Angeles. Follow her elegant, thought-provoking work on Instagram and Artsy.

    “Nkem” (2020), 36 x 40
    “If Grey Walls Could Talk” (2020), oil on Canvas, 48 x 40 inches
    “Daughter (Nwa Nwanyi)” (2020), 24 x 30 inches from the Saint Series (Onye Di Aso)
    “A Poetry of Discarded Feelings/Things (III)” (2020), acrylic and oil on canvas, 42 x 50 inches

    #acrylic
    #oil painting
    #painting

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More