New paintings by Kathleen Hope and Leigh Anne Chambers
Kathleen Hope’s mixed and multi-media paintings assert themselves with a commanding physical presence. Her mostly non-objective pieces have a confident physicality to them that is a result of Hope’s expertise with color, and her muscular blend of cement, plaster, pigment, collage and encaustic, in varying combinations.
Her mark making, done with various paint and drawing tools, is unselfconscious in an automatic writing kind of way. The combination of these strengths makes for a very handsome and unusual body of work, which is uncommon, and so is the ground she works on.
In Congregating Birds, Hope’s random and energetic lines reference nature, grasses maybe, and wind. Then they organize themselves into sets of birds on a wire, which is one of the rare instances of pictorial imagery in her work.
“I paint best when I push my medium to the limit, make good design decisions and maintain a playful spontaneity,” she says. Congregating Birds is a good example of Hope painting at her best. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has a background in Color Psychology and Interior Design, in addition to developing her unique painting style over many years. She lives and works in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
“Uncommon Ground” also describes the work of Virginia painter Leigh Anne Chambers. In addition to a strikingly original body of work, Chambers’ ground is uncommon in a very literal sense: she paints on linoleum, the kind that was made to walk on.
She explains “I choose domestic materials for both practical and formal purposes and alter them in the attempt to derive meaning. I make works to consider taste and time.” Her paint vocabulary includes pours, splatters and drips, that coalesce into surprisingly cohesive compositions that are both surprising and familiar.
Chambers further describes her process ( both for art making, and perhaps life in general) by adding “in these new pieces, I have added some drawing elements, reminiscent of coloring book pages, as maybe a nod to having a plan, but not really. I continue to search for ways to escape and exist without a clear narrative present, as this seems to be the only sane way for me to operate.”
Chambers holds a BFA from East Carolina University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art. She is the recipient of a 2016 Fellowship Award from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
View this dynamic exhibition from June 24 through July 15, 2016.