Painting Around the Capital
Featuring five painters from Sacramento: Ross Bowns, Andy Cunningham, Mark Emerson, Joan Moment, and Faith Sponsler
July 14—August 12, 2016
Reception Thursday, July 14 at 5:30 pm, artist talk at 6:00 pm
Reception is free and open to the public
I am inspired by the vagueness and deficiencies found in our interpretations of our own experiences. My work explores the fragmented nature of perception in which there is an inherent incompleteness and I am interested in capturing that interplay between our internal conditions and the nature of perception that shapes the events that we encounter.
There is a reciprocal conversation between event, perception, and condition; a circular dialog in which new information is constantly changing our condition which, in turn, shapes our perception. If we could listen in we would hear a conversation that, at times, may appear fluid and coherent, yet is full of vague references and half formed expressions. Instead of being complete, the communication between the experience and our condition is fragmented or disjointed. I focus on that disconnection and I look for the ways that perception obscures, distorts, excludes, and manufactures the details of our experiences.
Currently, I focus on the human form as the subject to explore this aspect of perception. I also use this subject to examine how the body acts as a medium that feeds back into the loop of perceived experience.
"Those who refuse to reexamine the rules of art pursue successful careers in mass conformism by communicating, by means of the 'correct rules,' the endemic desire for reality with objects and situations capable of gratifying it." Jean-François Lyotard
My work is about painting. My work is about color. My work is about space, the grid, line, mass, and shape. My work is also about speed in working or the residue of the act of working in a speedy fashion. My work is about composition. My work is about these things as content in the context of making art.
Andy Cunningham was born in New York and lives, and teaches drawing in Sacramento, California. He is a graduate of Hunter College, NYC where he received an MFA in combined media. He secretly wishes he were a better fly fisherman.
The Constellation Series, which includes Mapping the Stars and Nightwaves contains multiple associations—planets, cells, comets, atoms, stars and earth and ocean surfaces. I think of these paintings as a kind of navigational mapping. They are as much about the ocean as they are about outer space.
The clustering of circles implies cosmic phenomena: space in a constant state of flux, assuming multiple dimensions of time. Mapping the Stars and other paintings contain visual metaphors for immateriality referencing the temporal nature of everything, including our own corporeal existence.
Metaphysics and discoveries in astrophysics remain an ongoing inspiration. The link between science and the natural world are not as disconnected as we once believed. In fact they are closely connected as Alexander Von Humboldt once discovered in the early 18th century.
I have clear memories of my mother pulling handfuls of leaves and rocks out of my pockets after coming home. This compulsion to gather has yet to leave me. Being raised in a small town surrounded by vast wilderness, the environment and community instilled in me a feeling of “otherness” present within the natural world. My relationship with nature and strong feelings of connection and disconnection are permanent facets of my identity.
My process involves finding and producing materials from found, organic sources, then painting with them, and making monotypes of these paintings. Mistletoe, oak galls, lichens, berries, and tree bark are some examples of the materials I have gathered. In creating my own media from these materials, my intention is not to just use the colors of my local, natural environment, but to take advantage of their unrefined and inconsistent properties. As a result, the work utilizes the reflection of each sourced material to bring forth chance imagery that integrates both the physically sensed natural realm and the mental interpretation of it. In search of these ideas within my work, I both recognize and utilize the unknown as my most useful tool. With each piece, I seek to learn the cause of every unexplained effect, then set up more complexities within the process, forcing myself deeper still into unfamiliar territory.