Spirit of the Dead Watching
08.30 — 10.17.15

Spirit of the Dead Watching
Annie Hémond Hotte
Austin Eddy
Bradley Biancardi
Shara Hughes
Tracy Thomason

August 30 – October 17, 2015
Opening Reception: Sunday, August 30, 2015

The reconsideration and filtration of Modernism has been an inevitability in contemporary art. The question is therefore, how do these reverences for the past contribute to a relevant conversation within a contemporary art practice? Are they contradictory or speak with one another? Are there similarities to our present human experience that also existed during the advent of modernism, and are now influencing artistic decision-making in the same way?

In Spirit of the Dead Watching, five artists attempt to have a conversation with these questions serving as a catalyst. Annie Hémond Hotte, Austin Eddy, Bradley Biancardi, Shara Hughes and Tracy Thomason are all builders; organizing shape and material where characters, people, and humanness emerge. Each artist works within an invented symbology, and uses it to imply a sensation, illustrate an event, and/or create a world.

Within their work exists discussions of ephemerality, timing, humor, figural interaction, story telling, things that fit and don’t fit, spirituality, awkwardness, character building, and ultimately illustrating the mind as a structure and a system affected by ones surroundings.

Annie Hémond Hotte’s
work focuses on painting, but also involves sculpture and video as elements of installations. She constructs loose space-characters,or comic assemblage-people made out of gestures, shapes and reorganized objects. Annie has exhibited her work in several projects in Canada, the US, Germany and around London, UK. She also took part in the group exhibitions Creative London in Gwacheon, Seoul, and Gwangju (Korea) 2012, I’m a Painting at the Kumu Art Museum of Estonia (Tallinn) 2014, and Prototypes at the CAC-Contemporary Art Center of Vilnius (Lithuania) 2014. Last year, she was selected by artist Dana Schutz for a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida). She received an MFA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University of London, and a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University Montreal.

Bradley Biancardi’s
paintings and drawings employ explicit narrative and awkward figuration that is at once weirdly refreshing, and visibly informed by art historical painting. His images balance between painterly expressiveness, and carefully crafted, formal illustration. In 2010, Biancardi was part of a group exhibition in the Religare Art Gallery in New Delhi, The Transforming State. In 2012, he exhibited in Chicago at Roots & Culture in the two-person show Dear Resonance and the Memory Hole. In 2014, he received a DCASE grant from the city of Chicago, and a Joan Mitchell Fellowship to participate in an artist residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where he worked closely with artist Dana Schutz. He received a BFA from Indiana University and an MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Shara Hughes’ new paintings present layers of abstracted, actual and pictorial space, all in search of simplicity. These clouded windows of ambiguous form, pattern, and texture are like vibrated, vibrant drawings, plied with multiple mediums. The direct intention instilled in each mark empowers these paintings with a sense of focused purpose, directness, yet they depict suggestions of open space, floating moons, flowing rivers, melting snow. The indirect and the slow burning. Hughes explores these ideas as she quickly grasps new ways of applying paint. Idea becomes form, form becomes an idea, image becomes both. The result is a mix of peace and purpose; material and place; raw canvas and painted surface. Transparency and brick wall. In these works past and future disappear. There is only the present. Invention, intention, playfulness and trust. All happen then/now. Stop to go.

Shara Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Previous solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia, Atlanta, GA; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; American Contemporary, New York, NY; P­r­i­m­e­t­i­m­e, Brooklyn, NY; Metroquadro, Turin, IT; Galerie Mikael Anderson, Copenhagen, DE; and Rivington Arms, New York, NY. Hughes was the recipient of the MoCA GA Working Artist Project Grant for 2012/2013. She studied at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME.

For the most part Austin Eddy focuses on painting and sculpture. Currently working in collage and with found objects, he constructs loosely autobiographical and even narrative works revolving around the figure and the abstraction of those figurative forms. Austin Eddy received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has shown internationally; most recently in solo shows in New York, and Puerto Rico in 2015.

Tracy Thomason’s practice is an investigation in the cosmology of the female body through abstraction and material investigation. Her current exploration is within paintings embedded with textural surfaces applied with a density of pigment, marble dust, and activated charcoal. Through her process she transcribes images that are fragments — imagined, idealized, observed, intuited, echoed, and distorted. They begin to carve out and stand up on a painted space to form a body and become the architecture through futuristic and ancient forms. Recent exhibitions include the NEWD Art Show with gallery 106 Green and the Greenpoint Terminal Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Additional group exhibitions have been with James Fuentes LLC and Jeff Bailey Gallery, NY, NY. In 2014 Thomason was an Associate Artist in visual arts at The Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency. In 2008 Tracy Thomason received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006. Tracy lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is a third generation female artist.

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