Studio Art MFAs Current Thesis Exhibition “SURFACE TENSION”

Graduating artists from the American University Studio Art MFA Software will open their thesis exhibition Surface Tension | The Visible and The Concealed at the AU Museum on April 6. The artists vary in their use of media and design and style but are related by their shared experiences in the program. The artworks in the exhibition provide forth loaded autobiographical info that informs every single of the artist’s practices and journeys.  

The exhibition will be on view as a result of May 19, and an opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Understand extra and program your take a look at.

Photo by Elena Zimmerman

I use walls as palimpsests to embody allegories of the self. I grew up in the north of France, surrounded by my family’s century-outdated companies of building, carpentry, and historical renovation. In this surroundings, I came to discover that partitions are non-sentient architectural features, and still, they are containers of our lives. Connected with each other, they variety our personal, social, and psychological environments, and they impact us as people. 

In my mixed media is effective and installations, I assume of walls as multipurpose constructions that mimic our human contradictions. They are obstacles or protections, mirrors or veils, passive witnesses or loud declarations. I am also interested in how they join to a more substantial cultural and historical point of view, contemplating about how civilizations applied walls to narrate and recall, or erase. Walls to me convey area, wrestle, lifestyle, beliefs, socio-economic history, style, and aspiration. I construct, excavate, and revise to convey forth an altered reality of the memories of spaces and objects. How do time, weather, and trends affect the aesthetics of people partitions?

Neal Gwaltney mixing paintPhoto by Ethan Kauffman

Not too long ago I have been obscuring and excavating illustrations or photos in my paintings. And these thoughts preserve coming to head: How a great deal representation ought to be current for a portray to consist of a narrative? Can a painting function as a map for a memory? And, like recollections, can imagery be made that seems to change around time? 

Starting off with drawn imagery based mostly on childhood recollections, my paintings then develop their personal trajectory as the drawings are protected by many levels of printed oil paint. The proof of the drawing varies. In some, there are only traces, and in other paintings, plainly seen charcoal can be viewed. Then, extra paint is applied, moved around, or washed off, furnishing only segments of representational info. 

I’m making an arena for the viewer to come upon their very own visualizations intertwined with hints of illustration. Ultimately, I’m fascinated in the ability of ambiguity to simultaneously improve and diffuse that means.

Charles Jean-Pierre
Instagram: @cjpgallery

Charles Jean-Pierre in front of multimedia collage on wallPicture by Ethan Kauffman

This entire body of do the job is a self-referential, multidisciplinary meditation on the expansive definition of Blackness by means of the conference of the entendre. Artifacts from my neighborhood and worldwide explorations have been collected, shifted, and transformed to develop the visual language of the metaphorical Black (w)Hole. The operates represent a historic dislocation of people and objects. The recontextualization of identified objects via distilling, clarifying, and covering emphasizes the worth and kind and forces the viewer to confront the symbol. The opaque black and rusted brown performs are fragments of my sculptural principles that have been consciously made to specific the wholeness of my apply. 

The repurposed works from the charred rocking chair to the charcoal market cart are evidence of motion and time passed. They are evidence of a slowing down or easing of sorts. The Blackwashed performs are intended to replicate an interior animation of psychological connections and disconnections.

Lindsay Mueller seated in front of painted foliageImage by Elena Zimmerman

As a landscape painter residing in an urban environment, substantially of the nature I face exists as thin slices positioned concerning city infrastructure, where by subtle signals of human existence influence my perspective. I am interested in how we intersect with these spaces, and by our conversation, what endears us to them. Working with mark making, I accentuate these moments of connection and rupture in the paintings. Colour contributes to this exploration as perfectly, as I use fluorescent and metallic paints to make vivid dissonance, creating a visceral immediacy in opposition to deeply chromatic, layered passages.
In a lot of current is effective, I have made use of plaster to generate dimensional texture beneath the paint, embedding shadow styles and other ephemeral data from the landscape. As my brush responds to both the landscape impression and the floor topography, the perform accumulates a mix of locale-primarily based information and facts and personal self-creation. By this process, my get the job done results in tactile remnants of my ordeals with an underlying unsureness of stability inspite of the bodyweight. How true is this place? Created up more than time, these landscape fragments evoke ethereal connection and clunkiness, resonating metaphorically to a shifting still weighted existence of staying.

Taylor Sizemore
Instagram: @taysize

Taylor Sizemore in studioPicture by Ethan Kauffman

My follow is a up to date twist on the still life style. Using my electronic archive and basis in images, I translate personalized experiences and concepts encompassing the body–through oil paint on canvas. In the paintings I mix room and time, pulling objects, styles, and recollections from diverse many years to create imagery and connections that lead to the existing moment. Regions of passivity, diluted or deeply ingrained memories, potent, visceral thoughts, and slippery sensuality are explained as a result of paint and surface area to inform objects and context, connecting to the views of audience and performer–success and uncomfortability. I’m fascinated in the oddity and demand of combining moments in the exact same composition.

I like doing work with various levels of slim washes of oil paint competing versus very recognized spots, making use of distinct portray apps in rhythm and opacity to describe sections of the canvas with peculiarity. I use a get in touch with and response with the substance, conflicting consideration. All of the objects, styles, and spaces explained have deep personalized which means for me, and are specific to my experience.

Genie Ghim
Instagram: @genieghim

Shapes of Passage I & II, paintings by Genie GhimGenie Ghim, Shapes of Passage I & II, 2023. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 x 1.5 in. Courtesy of the artist.

At the coronary heart of my operate lies a fascination with the principle of synthesis. With an eclectic history, I get the job done to illuminate the intersections of cross-cultural interactions, social dynamics, and the complexities of the human problem.  

My current studio exercise will involve explorations of various mediums, together with modern day display screen prints, paintings, sculptures and laser-slice acrylic. These performs narrate surreal themes, notions of co-existence, things of pop culture and witty textual content with contextual participate in in my Phrasing sequence.  

As an expatriate from Washington, DC (b. Seoul) owning lived in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, transnational encounters inform and enrich my inventive exercise. My perform is deeply influenced by the impressions received from my immersive research in regional artwork histories. These insights are represented in tricky-edged abstraction and bold shades that challenge the viewer to dilemma subconscious preconceptions and perceptions. Distinct lines and unique types define the ambiguity of cultural synthesis, and the coexistence of custom and innovation.