MAKE/SHIFT: Rachel Meginnes + Thomas Schmidt
21 September – 30 November, 2018
While Rachel Meginnes collaborates with found material, making her mark through a series of reactions to the underlying object, Thomas Schmidt communicates through the manipulation of material by technology, shifting the idea of the object itself. Meginnes creates mixed media paintings from found and forgotten textiles. By shifting the material’s narrative, Meginnes’ paintings reference their humble beginnings and breathe new life into post-functional heirlooms. From digitally modeled vases to crumpled porcelain tile, Schmidt draws upon the tension between digital fabrication and the hand, through mold making, casting, and photography. Schmidt’s sculptures, cleverly engineered simulacra, interrupt the conversation between referent and replica.
KATIE WALKER: aerial view
3 August – 14 September, 2018
KATIE WALKER: aerial view presents a selection of recent paintings and works on paper by the Greenville, South Carolina based artist. Walker’s work, as she coins “expressionistic map-making”, employs plotted points in her memories of particular places and colorful people she’s encountered. She paints on the floor, able to walk around the raw canvas and survey its landscape. In what may seem a chaotic maze of paint, brushes, collaged elements, and canvases, is a series of the artist’s calculated moves until she feels the opposing forces in an image are complete. An unexpected mix of abstract expression, geometry, and calligraphic line form a topography of both seemingly natural and (wo)manmade elements, ready for the viewer to navigate.
AT PLAY: Ellie Richards + David Halliday
4 May – 27 July, 2018
AT PLAY pairs New York-based photographer, David Halliday, with Penland-based sculptor, Ellie Richards. Ellie and David reorganize and repurpose the ordinary in ways that are more satirical than serious. Their work appears both familiar and foreign through manipulation of the everyday object and the traditional notion of built environments. Both artists construct sites where play is as much a place as work is a state of mind. In Ellie’s words, they “want to help people arrive at a playful space in their lives.”
KEVIN KENNEDY: Experience + Education
2 February – 27 April, 2018
KEVIN KENNEDY: Experience + Education is a solo exhibition of recent work by Kevin Kennedy, based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kevin’s sculptures mirror his own history. His works often employ utilitarian forms and appear as if they once served some purpose, thus blurring the distinction between functional form and fine art object. Using everyday materials, such as wood, paper, and linen string, he treats the sculpture’s surface to create pieces that seem like relics from the past. Kevin narrates his story through three-dimensional dialogue that is personal and universal.
SILHOUETTE: Lynn Saville + Ahmad Sabha
3 November, 2017 – 26 January, 2018
SILHOUETTE pairs Manhattan-based photographer Lynn Saville’s series, Dark City: Urban America at Night, with new sculptures by Charlotte-based artist Ahmad Sabha. This exhibition discloses aspects of the city that usually go unnoticed, because we are routinely absent at certain hours or because our routine presence takes them for granted. Both inspired initially by New York City, Saville and Sabha offer two takes on oftentimes out-of-sight sites and structures found in every major metropolitan. Through diverse mediums, their work discusses the city as subject in a way that is both reverent and revealing.
KIT REUTHER: casual geometry
7 September – 27 October, 2017
In collaboration with David Lusk Gallery, KIT REUTHER: casual geometry presents recent paintings and sculptures by the Nashville-based and self-taught artist. Reuther’s work has evolved over her career from realism to complete abstractionism. Reuther’s playful take on the confines of geometry stems from her intuition, rather than any particular rubric or subject matter. She contemplates a canvas and shapes a sculpture with meditative restraint. As Reuther states, “I try to avoid making art with an intended outcome or message for the viewer. My only real intention is to make work that pushes and challenges me and feels slightly odd and fresh to my eyes.” Reuther’s casually elegant approach to line, form, and color provides respite from rules and an approachable richness in their subtleties.
ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: I May Not Be A Lion
7 April – 16 June, 2017
Alexander deconstructs and reconstructs appropriated materials to question symbols of femininity, domesticity, and class and confront the American dream. “I may not be a lion” references Queen Elizabeth I’s iconic quote about underestimation: “I may not be a lion, but I am a lion’s cub and I have a lion’s heart.” The exhibition is a survey of works that use removal and rearranging of decorative embellishment through different cutting and assemblage techniques in various forms of sculpture, collage, and photography. Found porcelain, images of porcelain, formal gardens, party dresses, furniture, and antique wallpaper are dissected and reorganized to visualize the cost and absurdity of social climbing through material veils.
cusp: photographs of contemporary girlhood
by Carolyn DeMeritt and Margaret Strickland
Created nearly thirty years apart, Carolyn DeMeritt and Margaret Strickland’s poised portraits of girlhood commingle to create a site of encounter between gender identity, gender performance, and the tensions therein. From her 1986 to 1990 series, “When I Was Little…I Thought I Could Fly,” DeMeritt photographed her close friend’s daughters in backyards of family homes, each year, as they grew from childhood to girlhood. Taken in 2016, Strickland’s portraits documenting her three nieces, two of whom are twins, are set against the background of cicada nights and hot, humid summer days, and seek to understand how girls’ identities are influenced by southern cultural norms, an inherited femininity, and broader gendered expectations. In photographing friends and family, the girls’ statures reflect a realm of comfort and shared female identity in their relationship with the artist, with the camera, and in turn with us, as after-the-fact voyeurs. DeMeritt and Strickland’s girls are on the cusp, between girlhood and womanhood, but also on the cusp of forgetting that place where for a fleeting moment, at least according to the outside world, we were all a work-in-progress.