THIS SUMMER, ANYA Tish Gallery alights with Strike the Match! — a bold pop-up show of provocative works by four Texas-based female artists whose large-scale paintings have transformed the gallery into a highly charged, sensual environment.
This thoughtfully curated and installed show includes Kristen Brashear, Marcella Colavecchio, Tatiana Escallon, and Heather den Uijl — emerging artists Tish and gallery director Dawn Ohmer have kept an eye on and decided should hang together for the summer, the goal being to expand the viewer’s notion of what a painting can be. Strike the Match! opens June 16 and runs through July 1. So you better hustle, as this is a show you have to see in person.
Colombian-born Escallon’s abstract paintings “La Fiesta (The Feast)” and “Voz de Mujer (Woman’s Voice)” both began as original poems, with no initial visual in mind as to how her words might come to life on a canvas. Fragments of Escallon’s writing (“Words that caress, hands that nourish, joy never leaves me.”) are discernable on top of, but more often beneath, layers of acrylic, oil and mixed-media, like thoughts scrawled in haste lest the feeling behind the poetry is forgotten. The blues in “La Fiesta”saturate Collavecchio’s Strike the Match, where a lit match illuminates the nude figure of a young woman, head held high, as its glow travels from between her breasts to the stretch of her neck. There’s a very intimate, mature exchange happening here, not just between the subject and whoever she is looking at, but between the painting and you the viewer.
Meanwhile, Den Uijl arrives at her mysterious, oil-on-canvas works through a back-and-forth process, beginning with applying paint to canvas, photographing and digitally manipulating the image, then recapturing it with the brush. The resulting shapes and shadows are both strange and beautiful. Somewhere, Dorothy Hood is smiling.
And in Brashear’s multi-layered collage Quilled Garden, flower petals unfold and ripened berries prepare to burst across an unframed, patchwork canvas of paper, burlap, and other textiles, evoking what the artist describes as the “unifying experience of nature and the passage of time.”
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