Artists included in BY HAND are Chelsea Culprit, Howard Fonda, Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Denise Kupferschmidt, Ann Toebbe and Alice Tippit.
The premise of BY HAND extends directly from Carrie Secrist Gallery’s foundational commitment to presenting artwork where the artist’s skilled hand is prevalent. This particular group of artists assembles, crafts, paints and draws in ways which emphasize that this part of the creative process is imperative to the execution of their work. In some cases this intent may be very evident, and in others less so.
BY HAND also explores the relationship between two traditional art concepts: figurative and representational. By definition, figurative refers to art that has a direct reference to the real world and most commonly, though not always, the human figure. Representational art refers to images that are perceived for what they purport to be and in essence contain an element of reality. The elasticity that exists between these two definitions stretches around what they are not, namely abstract (non-representational) or non-objective art. Images that are commonly recognizable and derived from actual objects or reality (the human face, a feather, a living room) must still rely on the viewer to interpret them in a manner that best relates to his or her own experience. Ultimately, it is the concept of clarity seen through the lens of perception that defines the artwork included in BY HAND.
Chelsea Culprit creates contemporary feminist paintings and sculpture that examine mythologies associated with the role of women through suggesting, implying and inserting contexts that implicate the viewer regardless of their gender. These are artworks that are deliberate in their execution while articulating an expressive sensuousness.
Howard Fonda’s paintings play with the constructs of autobiography within the realm of de-constructed realities while underscoring an inherent honesty or truth. Using an alla prima technique, where paintings are started and finished in one sitting, these artworks highlight the hand and lay bare the formal decisions made.
Diana Guerrero-Maciá uses fabric and collage-based techniques that evolve from the intersection of painting, textile and design. Highlighting the iconography of language through an investigation of semiotics, the symbols, figures and ideas that populate these hand-made works shift in meaning while being co-dependent on their surroundings.
Denise Kupferschmidt extends and expands the formal implications of figure drawing into the realm of today while deferring to the technique’s important art historical precedence. Reductive yet complete, these figurative works, from smaller works on paper to a wall-sized mural, become symbolic within their own complexities.
Ann Toebbe’s drawings of flattened domestic interiors are diagrammatic renderings of both the physical and mental spaces that exist for all us. Void of characters but filled with the aesthetic and utilitarian objects of daily life, what is left is memory-as-protagonist which reveals the complex nature of nostalgia.
Alice Tippit’s intimate paintings reveal surreal complexities of both the figure and the object, melding them into a narrative that expands the role of each. The resultant dialogue is accentuated by the graphic sensibility of the composition and the subtle rendering of the paint, creating a confounding experience that completes itself.