BARRY WHISTLER PRESENTS:
On Screen / Off Screen: Contemporary Painting and Technology
K AT E P E T L E Y
L O R R A I N E TA DY
Installation in Progress - Liz Trosper at Barry Whistler Gallery 2021
Barry Whistler Gallery is pleased to present On Screen / Off Screen: Contemporary Painting and Technology, an exhibition in abstraction by artists Kate Petley (CO), Lorraine Tady (TX), and Liz Trosper (TX). Each of the artists’ process-oriented practices integrate digital means to explore ways of thinking about, seeing, and occupying space. The resulting work is imaginative, challenging, and, perhaps counterintuitively, organic. Petley’s works collapse barriers between sculpture, painting, and photography while Tady’s canvasses obfuscate what is done physically by hand and what is done digitally on the computer. Trosper combines assemblage, sculpture, photography, and painting, presenting works referencing our prolific, luminous, back-lit screens.
As who we are in physical space increasingly becomes (or perhaps already is) who we are in digital realms, how we make and/or look at art exists in both places, too. Petley, Tady, and Trosper, synthesize the binary condition of digital versus real-world space. They play with it, flatten it, and deepen it through intuitive use of traditional, tactile materials and digital tools, suggesting the interconnectedness of these worlds and the expansiveness of possibility between the two. The digital becomes a place to inquire within, push on, play with, and think about. Just as the digital is a prosthetic of our real selves, impacting our real-world life, it is sometimes impossible to tell what’s what—digital or material—in their work. These works challenge perception and boundaries in an era increasingly influenced by narrow, black-and-white thinking.
BarryWhistlerGallery.com written by Liz Blood curated by Katie Orth
K AT E P E T L E Y Kate Petley is a multimedia artist working at the intersection of photography, painting, and sculpture. Common everyday materials like cardboard and tape are used in a transformative process with references that include portraiture, still life, and the history of the luminous surface. Petley begins her transformative process with temporary sculptures she constructs using castaway materials. The forms are placed within intensely lit arrangements and photographed. Based on her reactions to the image, Petley selects an original photograph, which is not manipulated digitally, and prints it onto a canvas where she then adds paint. “It is conceptually important that the images are created in-camera, not in the computer,” Petley says. “This is a hands-on photograph. Of course, without the digital interfaces I wouldn’t be able to do this, and that makes it more urgent for me to insert my hand.”
Looking at the works, it is difficult to tell where the painting begins and the sculpture or photography ends. The boundaries between each artistic genre collapse in each piece. Viewers can’t quite be sure what it is they’re seeing. This quality of not-knowing is important to Petley, who welcomes the questions that arise as the image is deciphered. “Knowing what you’re seeing can become a little too static … not knowing compels you to ask more questions,” she says.
Petley’s canvases inspire a myriad of reactions as the viewer’s perception drives the experience. And because they resist narrative, her canvases are sites of intangible experience. Her work encourages a response that is physically or emotionally grounded: a response to a saturated color, to the sculpture’s dramatic presence, and to the conditions within which the viewer is currently standing.
Petley had solo exhibitions in 2020 at VonLintel Gallery in Los Angeles and Robischon Gallery in Denver. In Fall 2021, she will present a solo exhibition at the University of Colorado Art Museum (CUAM). Staring Into the Fire includes canvases, photographs, and large-scale Work on Paper. Additionally, Petley is the Guest Curator for a keynote exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, offering a diverse group of nine international artists. The Stubborn Influence of Painting occupies the entire museum and opens June 2021. Selected solo and group exhibitions include the MCA Denver, Museum of South Texas, Nicolaysen Museum, Fotofest Houston, Martin Museum Baylor University, Museum of the Southwest, and the Arlington Museum of Art. Petley participated in PhotoIreland 2017 and is a Ucross Foundation Fellowship recipient. She was awarded an NEA Rockefeller Foundation Grant for a photographic installation that was exhibited at Diverseworks Houston. Petley has presented over thirty solo exhibitions. Kate lives and works near Boulder, Colorado.
After All Archival Print and Acrylic on Canvas 48” x 52” 2018
Division of Interest Archival Print and Acrylic on Canvas 22” x 28” 2020
Thrown Open Archival Print and Acrylic on Canvas 72” x 76” 2019
Inseparable Archival Print and Acrylic on Canvas 48” x 52” 2019
L O R R A I N E TA DY Lorraine Tady’s works are collages of her personal investigative process, wherein she responds to the marks she makes as she makes them. Drawing, digital manipulation, printmaking, and painting all appear in her analytical, line-based canvases. Sometimes Tady borrows from sources like architectural plans, radar images, or the yellow line on the tarmac. But just as often as she borrows, she transmutes those images or sites, intuitively drawing as an extension of her thought, continually asking the question, “What if?” Though her process is decidedly nonlinear, her work is extremely so—she takes the line and wanders with it, frees it from material or digital constraints, but retains the line anyway.
As she creates marks via drawing or etching, Tady then retranslates her own visual vocabulary by expanding or changing the marks digitally, adding color, sometimes repeating them in different works. Viewing the digital as one of the tools in her belt, Tady often begins with a drawing or drypoint monoprint, which is then scanned or photographed and added to digitally. That iteration is then printed and traditionally painted on. Often, she views a blown-up, highly pixelated line and tries to recreate its effect in traditional paint. The work is possibly scanned or photographed again, digitally worked, and so on until the final work is printed onto canvas. “
They look fast but they’re slow,” Tady says. “I can’t do these without making real, hand-made drawings, prints, and paintings because they feed back and forth off of each other.”
Groups of Tady’s work also have a lineage—the same lines of a drypoint appear larger and in another color in a different piece. Pointing at a painting in her studio, and then to a print, she says, “There also here is the expanded, exploded box.” All of Tady’s works have a “there also here” quality, where it is unclear what was created in the physical realm, and what came into existence digitally. Ultimately, they exist side by side in the here and now.
Lorraine Tady is an artist living and working in Dallas, TX. Since 1994, she has been represented by Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas with seven solo shows of her paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture. The Dallas Museum of Art granted her the Kimbrough Award in 1993 and the Dozier Travel Grant in 2015 (for travel to the Westfjords region and exhibition at Islensk Grafik, Reykjavik, Iceland). The 2010 Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant assisted her solo exhibition at The Painting Center Project Room, New York, NY. Her work was recently included in The Adjacent Possible, Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA; Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art, San Antonio Museum of Art, TX (catalog); Plugged-in Paintings, Site 131, Dallas, TX; and, scheduled for October 2020, MULTILAYER – Vision 2020, Stiftung Konzeptuelle Kunst, Soest, Germany. One of 33 artists included in the publication “Texas Abstract: Modern + Contemporary” (Fresco Books, 2015), she was also selected for the New American Paintings juried exhibitions-in-print 2017 and 2003. Her work resides in private and public collections including American Airlines, JP Morgan Chase, Toyota, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue Lorraine lives and works in Dallas, Texas
Dragon Fly Field Stellation (OVS) UV ink on canvas 72” x 63” 2020
Electromagnetic Field 2 UV ink on canvas 60” x 72” 2020
From Overlook Mountain (OVS) UV ink on canvas 40” x 35” 2020
Inward Blue Meditation archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 gsm 22” x 18” (with 1” white border, overall print size is 24” x 20”) 2020 Edition of 3
Red-Purple Meditation archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 gsm 22” x 18”; (with 1” white border, overall print size is 24” x 20”) Edition of 3
Refraction Frequencies UV ink on canvas 72”x 60” 2021
LIZ TROSPER As seen here in her digital paintings on crepe de chine, Liz Trosper’s work investigates the contemporary tension between image versus material reality. These pieces evoke the glow of the screen without employing one, situating Trosper somewhat in the role of playful trickster. Beginning with skeins of brightly-painted, air-dried clay and a miniature studio, such as one would use in product photography, Trosper creates with the clay a connected or networked space that she then photographs and translates into a digital painting. By working with a tactile material and then dematerializing it on the computer, viewers are left with a sense of touch and space, though those things are missing from the real-time experience as Trosper collapses the work into 2-D. “I think of it like in cooking—making a reduction,” Trosper says.
Trosper is taking the time to talk back to modern technology—typically a fast system—which then encourages the viewer to linger. Her organic, gestural analog techniques blur with the inorganic of digital, resulting in work that is as fun as it is bewildering, as playful as it is engaged with serious thought. Of her series, “Play,” from which these works come, Trosper writes: “Why is playing so taboo? Why do the distinctions between art and craft enforce hegemony? Is it possible to break this narrative or is it a master of morphing to maintain itself?”
Trosper’s use of highly saturated, bursting color engenders that sense of play while challenging machismo apocalypse or doom. Trosper, playfully disobedient, confronts those ideas head on, challenging us to look for different possibilities in our world.
Liz Trosper is an artist based in Dallas, Texas. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction, School of ATEC, at UT Dallas. Trosper has an MFA from UT Dallas and was a grad-resident at CentralTrak: The UT Dallas Artist’s Residency from 2013-2015. Trosper’s artwork is represented by Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, and her work is part of DANAE HI, a digital art network based in Paris. Her work was included in a survey of abstraction at The San Antonio Museum of Art, a solo exhibition at The Wilcox Space, an initiative of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, Bernice Coulter Templeton Gallery at Texas Wesleyan University, Lawndale Art Center, Academic Gallery in New York and many other galleries and exhibition spaces. Liz lives and works in Dallas, TX.
Certain Spring Woods Pools Hills UV Ink on Canvas 74” x 102” 2021
Crawfish Trout and Eels UV Ink on Canvas 74” x 102” 2021
The Noisy Merriment of the Tavern UV Ink on Canvas 74” x 102” 2021
The Healing Brush UV Ink on Canvas 40” x 55” 2021
Liz Trosper, New works on Paper -installation in progress 2021
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