EmergeCT 2012: Painting Recalculated

September 10, 2012 – October 13, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: EmergeCT 2012: Painting Recalculated

“EmergeCT 2012: Painting Recalculated” is an exciting exhibition of eight recent graduates from Connecticut’s MFA painting programs—UCONN, WCSU, and Yale. Their work is sure to entertain, delight, and challenge visitors of all ages.

This vibrant work excites the imagination and stirs the heart, which is good news at a time when Conceptual Art seems to dominate major galleries and museums.

Works by Kyle Coniglio investigate myths of masculinity and male autonomy–always enlivened by a sense of common humanity and sly humor. Alyssa Matthews‘ large painting dives into myths about feminine excess with enthusiastic humor and extraordinary brushwork. Megan Marden depicts children’s toys that thrill, even as they terrify. Her paintings playfully evoke the fear and rage we tried to suppress as children—and as adults.

Tiffany Johnson and Yelizaveta Masalimova have created memorable presences in their portraiture. Johnson’s self-portraits in closely calibrated colors and Masalimova’s startlingly lifelike sculpture of a woman in a babushka, both convey a strong sense of presence. These works are reminders of art’s potential transformative power. Gazing at these works brings to mind stories and emotions that remind us of actual events we may have stored in deep memory.

Works by Amy Almeda, Joyce Kalema, and Sae A Lee alternatively affirm and expand painting traditions. Almeda’s depictions of a few everyday objects and Lee’s geometrical shapes offer the painted surface as a field of meditative silence. Kalema subverts the simple structure of two parallel lines by substituting coconuts husks for paint and the wall in place of canvas. The effect is an uncanny presence of aggregated skins extending into the architecture of the gallery.

Collectively, these artists offer the public fresh evidence that painting persists as a resilient tradition—one that can be fun and interesting for both the timid and the adventurous.

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