“Fun Baggage” is a two-person exhibition of paintings by FSU Art MFA ’16 Elise Thompson and Brittany Ham.
The opening reception is January 18th, from 6-9pm at Mantle Art Space located at 714 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78201.
Both artists consider color and form as a reference to their interest in nostalgia, which can be both positive and painful. They investigate internal, abstract ideas concerning emotional connections to memory, which is often a mixed bag. Through their practices, they seek to make unseen notions viewable as external interpretations, which run the gambit of blip-like representational narratives to abstract, roving textures exposed and hidden through gesture. The formation of physical objects born out of a cerebral place situates the viewer in a voyeuristic position. This relationship provides them a window to nonlinear fragments of intimate, private moments and musings.
Elise Thompson’s translucent surfaces call on the problems of transparency; both physical and figurative. The painting frame is shown in varying degrees of obscured visibility through clear vinyl employing synthetic dessert-like acrylic mediums that blur, gloop, and cover. The frame and wall–where exposed–become part of the image while also disrupting it. The viewer’s inclination to explore what is above, in between, and below either unveils details or can continue to confuse. Through gestures of concealing/revealing, and the suggestion of the familiar, these works allude to vulnerability, desire, and the competing inclination to either remain private, or explicitly share.
Brittany Ham’s practice is centered around the construction of narrative as a vehicle for the presentation of formative personal experience. The narratives she works with are based in the confrontation of humor and trauma and engage with conversations of art historical practice, feminine experience, and the anxiety of human embodiment. She explores painting as both a mode of construction and deconstruction in these narratives; the abstracted and simplified quality of her paint application hides the event from the viewer as much as it presents the content for viewing.