Friday, June 3, 2011


Lisa Corinne Davis
Fabricated Phantasm, 2010
oil on wood panel
48 x 45 inches

 Lisa Corinne Davis
Fabricated Phantasm (detail)

Driven to Abstraction

 Featuring work by

Andrea Belag
Lisa Corinne Davis
Amy Ellingson
Catherine Howe
Rebecca Smith
Dannielle Tegeder
Canan Tolon
Carrie Yamaoka

June 9 – July 23, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, June 9, 6 – 8 PM



About fifteen years ago my work began to explore the divisions and relationships between contemporary ethnic groups stemming from my own experience as an African- American woman of mixed heritage.  In questioning whether there was anything inherent or absolute that allows someone to completely claim a heritage, I came to the realization that there was not, and that identity must be about individuality, not similarities.   Labels and fictions create an artificial simplicity, which guards a more complex and meaningful truth.

Today, my work continues the exploration of racial, social, and psychological identity, through the development of my own vocabulary for rendering the world: a lexicon that expresses my personal experience as an African-American woman in the 21st Century, and, by extension, that of an individual in modern society.  The images are oddly familiar but essentially ephemeral, visually resonant but also deliberately enigmatic. They occupy a point somewhere between cartooning and cartography, abstraction and figuration.  While subtly avoiding the clichés of special identity politics—if anything, challenging them—I try to provide the viewer with a visual code for deciphering his own environment.  The resulting pieces are a bit like Rorschach tests: their meaning is in the eye of the beholder.  The spectator completes the loop, projecting his or her subjective reality onto the images.

The paintings are layered with a dynamic swirl of visual information that shifts from suggestions of locations, to decoration, to objects and actions, and more. The movement either starts with or moves to the read of a map.  The map as a metaphor of a fixed location is essential to the concept of these paintings. The viewers’ decisions and understanding of what is seen is dependent on associations they bring to the works, and the connections inferred within them through systems of coordinates and orientations.  The many potential visual connections, drawn from cultural signifiers, causes meaning to shift, bringing into focus the slippery individual subjectivity that we all bring to understanding the various aspects of the world we live in, while pointing out how unreliable our understanding of things can be.


No comments:

Post a Comment