In the broadest sense, “Burial Party” is a deluge of ideas woven onto canvases and sculpture that address mortal concerns of existence and the experiences forged while contemplating the rites of passage.
Ms. Turner’s work is an intersection where color theory, abstraction, assemblage and feminism meet head on. The artist’s innate color sensibilities and energy pay homage to the New York School of Abstract Expressionist and Action painters like Joan Mitchell and Willem De Kooning, by employing broad strokes of color. Through Ms. Turner’s exquisite and unique use of materials such as ribbon, clothing, antique quilts, lace and yarn, the artist continues to explore and exploit traditional “feminine” materials and creates a contemporary dialogue as found in the works of artists such as Petah Coyne and Shinique Smith.
Turner states, “During the creation of my marital Dowry and Reception (Permanent Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art), I became interested in the aesthetic bridges between diverse rites of passage. Elaborate ceremonies honor, idealize and purify the subject as they transition from one life chapter to the next. The subject simultaneously embodies a climax and demise. A new identity is conceived. An old identity dies. In this body of work, elements of ceremonial adornment are partnered with various processes of decay. Satin ribbons and flowers are fixed in a stilled state of destruction and removal inspired by fire or mold. Through consumption and repurposing, each process re-imagines the beauty and energy of change and loss.”
Turner’s latest installation creates a delicate balance between sustainable and ephemeral, addressing elements like fire, mold and other forms of decay by combining elements from a proven path and a path less traveled. Together with the known and unknown, Vadis Turner crafts a visual kaleidoscope that draws the viewer into an otherworldly realm of aesthetics and beauty.
Vadis Turner earned her MFA and BFA from Boston University. Her work was recently included in New Acquisitions, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY and Common Jive, Elizabeth Foundation For the Arts, New York, NY. Her work is in numerous public and private collections. Vadis Turner lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and has been represented by Lyons Wier Gallery since 2008.