Julia Kuhl’s watercolor paintings depict familiar kitchen-towel grid patterns, whereas Seattle based Robert Yoder works with actual cotton towels and Hooper Turner uses home decor catalogues as source material for his paintings.
In her 'domestic textiles' series, Julia Kuhl combines commonplace household textile patterns with text. Sometimes banal, sometimes cryptic, the text adds a layer of ambiguity to familiar patterns. In these pieces, meaning is simultaneously illuminated and obscured. The text tends to point the viewer in a direction the image itself would not suggest, creating a titillating dichotomy
Hooper Turner’s paintings reference still lifes in various catalogs and domestic views of commercial objects in artificial spaces. The artist paints through mimesis, framing rather than creating. He prefers what already exists to the invention of new imagery. The work questions the notion of painting as significant of the artist’s “authentic” private vision; instead, it forces the viewer to confront the received desire inherent in commercial pictures and the strange tension between language and images. The paintings borrow the vocabulary of set-up photography and unctuously refer back to their printed source material by incorporating words, image cropping, and paint handling.
Robert Yoder’s recent body of work takes the imagery from past paintings and puts them into multiple possible environments. By monograming cotton towels and hand cloths with invented symbols, he assigns ownership and property. In doing so, the artist creates an identity; an individual and also a group that understands and operates within this environment. These citizens are united, spontaneous and resourceful as they accept the outcast and worn and see a value in history. Along with additional embellishments, these towels are a leftover from a past indicating the individual within the group. They show the wear and the use of their owner. With their shared aesthetics, they show an allegiance to the collective.