Monday, July 11, 2016

Current Exhibition: Suki Kuss, Camey McGilvray, Daggi Wallace

July 12th – August 6th, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 16th, 5-8PM

Artist Panel: Saturday, July 30th, 3pm

Suki Kuss – When Women Were Birds
Suki Kuss, When Women Were Birds III, Mixed media collage, 20 x 20"
In her latest exhibition, When Women Were Birds, Suki Kuss continues her exploration of space and balance. After careful navigation, her artistic pilgrimage has led her to the world of femmage, a conflation of textile art and painting, pioneered by Picasso in 1912. The genre has transformed into an idiom of female empowerment, designed to confront sexist thought while dignifying and empowering women artists.

Using elements of embroidery, vintage laces, sheet music, fabric and dress patterns, Kuss utilizes a grid format to draw focus and allure to her abstracted "quilts". Scholars believe that femmage was first used to advance the origin of collage as women’s work, i.e. "quilting and patching together", however Kuss has developed her own interpretation of the craft.

Implementing traditional feminine pieces and textures throughout her collages and artworks, When Women Were Birds acts as a stark response to the patriarchal history of art. Although Kuss’ subdued palette differs from the bold colors of the original femmage work, there is an added element of contemplative quietude that reflects the delicate touch of a woman’s hand. Symbols of traditional male power are subverted for the feminine and delicate. And yet, Kuss’ work illustrates that the delicate, can be, and is in fact, powerful.

Camey McGilvray – MAD AS HELL
Camey McGilvray, Crows Exchanging Viewpoints, Aluminum, 24 x 33 x 2"
The title of artist Camey McGilvray’s newest exhibition, MAD AS HELL, comes from a legendary call to arms: In the iconic film Network (1976). TV commentator Howard Beale tells his audience, “All I know is first you’ve got to get mad.” He asks the viewer to get up right now, go over to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell, “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

McGilvray senses the palpable anger in America today, much of it directed toward our representatives in Washington. “People from all segments of society and both ends of the political spectrum have reached the anger stage. They are fed up and are demanding change for the better from our elected officials.” In her artwork, McGilvray targets these culprits, whom she sees as over-promising and under-delivering.

The look of the show is bold and striking. All pieces are aluminum and only one other color, black, is used in each of the vividly described scenes. Crows are used to advance the narrative and when they speak, they do so in grawlix. “I love crows.” Says McGilvray. “They are mysterious and magnificent and can portray every emotion.”

McGilvray sees our elected officials in Washington as mostly a bunch of entrenched old crows sitting around talking past one another and that is the way she has depicted them in her artwork. “They care more about power and getting reelected and are more responsive and beholden to lobbyists than they are to their own constituents. They need to know that We the People are MAD AS HELL and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

Daggi Wallace – Wende/Transformation
Daggi Wallace, Schutzengal (Guardian Angel), Pastel, 40 x 60"
Daggi Wallace’s debut exhibition at TAG explores her keen interest in portraying the human condition and our sublime connection to one another, our similarities, and the common struggles and joys we all share. In Wende/Transformation Wallace has created detailed, yet striking imagery that pushes the boundaries of realism while simultaneously peeling back the layers of her own personal journey of self-discovery to draw in the viewer and elicit a strong emotional response.

This past year has incited a grand change in Wallace. Wende/Transformation is the outcome of sharing more of her own personal journey as she utilizes the Berlin Wall as a metaphor for all of the walls, external and internal, in our lives. Born behind a wall in 1962’s West Berlin, in close proximity to the actual wall, Wallace spent her formative years in a culture and a family where emotional walls often stifled fostering relationships.

This series depicts the beginning of Wallace breaking down the internal wall she had built up for herself as a young woman as she left behind the Berlin Wall to move to the physically and spiritually wide-open spaces of the American Southwest. In illustrating this transformation, Wallace  chose to use young models at the age she was at the time of her emigration as stand-ins for herself, a twist on the typical self-portrait.

Wende/Transformation examines the endless contradiction and effects of the walls behind which we often find ourselves. They are real and physical, imagined and psychological. They make visible one’s fears, anxieties and insecurities. They separate and yet offer a common purpose. They divide us yet invite us to scale them and tear them down, to come together again. They offer comfort, though false, yet feed hate and fear. They isolate and protect. Walls keep people out AND in. They shelter us and yet make us want to break free. They repel and tempt. They control and we rebel. They are a prison and a freedom. We can choose to erect them or tear them down.

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