Thierry-Goldberg Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a three-person exhibition with new paintings by MIRA DANCY, SUMMER WHEAT, and JESSICA WILLIAMS.
With a focus on the figure, SUMMER WHEAT’s work depicts forms that emerge from a gleeful chaos of color and texture. While inspired by Bruegel’s depictions of daily routine, as well as William Hogarth’s and James Gillray’s cartoons and caricatures, Wheat’s pieces nevertheless suggest themselves as void of a clear, detectable narrative arc. As monstrosity and beauty, and “high” and “low” culture become interwoven and inseparable on the canvases, the identities of those depicted contest with, or ar e awash in, the roiling story of the very act of painting. Certainly, Wheat’s subjects often appear to be in tension with their own materiality: that is, the paint, at times, if it has not already reached a point of fragile equilibrium, seems to be wrestling the subject from itself. Whatever kind of character is called forth on Wheat’s canvases becomes equalized on the plane of the painted surface – all are subject to the same laws of interminable and profane play – examples of jouissance come to fruition.
The nature of play is also examined in the paintings of JESSICA WILLIAMS, whose new work includes expressively rendered still-lives and landscapes evoking expansive spaces and a sense of the deep engagement between place and memory. Toying with spatial dimensions, a kind of disorientation ensues, where the subject matter is flattened or set afloat on the canvas, so to speak, freed from the constraints of gravity and perspective. In an effort to “tease out an instability within the familiar,” as Williams describes, the elements of the image suggest a state of “simultaneous rupture and renewal.” Drawing not only from influences like some of the early female expressionists and the Nabis, Williams also takes from design suburban catalogues and personal family photos, all in an attempt to explore the ways in which privacy of place and personal imagining informs our attachments and inflects our perceptions. Williams’ oeuvres exploit the unfinished, rapidly wrought qualities of the sketch, so that her paintings function as snapshots of the seen, highlighting the process itself. Indeed, while each painting exists as a singular work, the fact that each has been made in “sets” of two, makes it so that, as Williams states, “painting itself operates as memory does, thriving in the midst of the picture taking shape.” Thus, Williams’ productions themselves become procedures of continuous re-imagining and re-creation.
In a series of figures that, while echoing classical poses, melt and dissolve in and out of themselves, MIRA DANCY’s work embodies and disembodies her subject to contextualize the nude outside of conventional modern tropes. Her figures are not drawn from the model: rather, they are fashioned from the artist’s corporeal experience of painting, or, as Dancy explains, from a “feeling of what (the) body” is “from behind the eyes.” The nudes are inextricable from the spills of pigment, the blots of ink, or the sheen of silvers that emanate from and reflect off the surface of her canvases. In this fever-state of formlessness, the nude is poised between a dream of totally letting go and a desire to be entirely seen. Dancy's m arks are nimbly unflinching and yet always inquiring, where exchanges between extreme abbreviation and coy directness allow for a perpetual doing and undoing of the figure as it is simultaneously created and destroyed. Here, what comes into focus in paint is as much an act of unbecoming as it is a becoming.
Mira Dancy (b. UK, 1979) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2009, and a BA from Bard College in 2001. Dancy has had solo exhibitions at Night Gallery, Los Angels, and Monya Rowe Gallery, New York. Previous group exhibitions include Exit Art, Smack Mellon, Bull & Ram, SouthFirst, Max Protetch Gallery, and Flux Factory, all in New York.
Jessica Williams (b. Los Angeles, 1983) Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2008, and a BFA from RISD in 2005. Williams’ previous solo exhibitions include Young Art, Los Angeles, CA, and Heist Gallery, New York, NY. Past group shows include Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York NY; Beacon Arts Building, Inglewood, CA; Gallery KM, Santa Monica, CA; and The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR.
Summer Wheat, (b. Oklahoma City, 1977) currently lives in and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA. Previous solo exhibitions include The Cress Gallery of Art, TN; Samsøn, Boston, MA; and Orleans Hall, Savannah, GA. Past group shows include deCordova Sculpture Park and museum, Lincoln, MA; The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; New Art Center, Newton, MA; Gallery Valentine, Ridgewood, NY; Starr Space, Brooklyn, NY; and Dodge gallery, New York, NY.