NEVER ODD OR EVEN is an exhibition of artwork created by five graduating artists for their final MFA Thesis. The artists include Andrew Chapman, Yvette Deas, Rhonda Holberton, Adam Katseff, and Yulia Pinkusevich.
As curator Enrique Chagoya states, “the imagery and abstraction in some of the artwork in this exhibition may suggest connections that do not exist and others that are actually there, but at the end we may realize that this is more about the NEVE RO DDO REVEN effect: the effect of going endlessly back and forth between art and reality.”
Andrew Chapman’s work is site-specific. Rather than being immobile as the term implies, the piece functions as a kind of Rubik’s cube gone awry. The parts consist of two-dimensional painted elements that address a three-dimensional sculptural space and are made of materials that are paused mid-motion, otherwise shifting, stacking, animated, and folding. This piece, which takes on the roll of a virtualized traveling show, plays with abstraction as Chapman looks into notions of authenticity, duplicity, and visual signification within his practice in an omnipresent digital era.
In Dissection Series, Yvette Deas moves from the representational in her earlier work into the less representational in her paintings of cadavers. Considered as an examination of portraiture, the subject is centralized and decentralized alternating between absorption of the flesh and the vestiges left behind. Body parts become traces of a life, even as the surgeon’s hands become the artist’s hands and the viewer’s eyes. The strange disjunction between a conscious understanding of the body as impersonal, vacated body parts and the understanding of the body as a specific person is where these paintings are sited, either within a single painting, or in juxtaposition.
Rhonda Holberton’s interdisciplinary practice documents her attempts to navigate complex phenomenological systems. Her work reveals a magic and symbolic reading of empirical canons of belief through a hybrid of scientific and metaphysical practices. In the Holes series, photographs document her actions in the vastness of the desert landscape. The video work, All Tomorrows, abstracts apocalyptic imaginings through a series of analog compressions. These works place the human body in an ambiguous relationship to scale, drawing attention to the complexities of human engagement in natural systems and point toward a reality that is immaterial and unpredictable in nature.
Adam Katseff uses photography to capture the feeling behind a landscape, rather than simply what it “looks like.” His current series juxtaposes darkness and light, using a stripped down sense of place to transmute our everyday experience of interior and exterior spaces into one centered around spirituality and the personal imagination. By way of nearly black landscapes full of minute detail, and blindingly white vacant interiors, his recent works communicate with the viewer in a manner both meditative and physical.
Influenced by her personal history of being uprooted from the former Soviet Union at an early age and observations from many of her international and domestic travels, Yulia Pinkusevich’s work explores fragmented vision of architectural layering and perceptions of the built environment. Formally, the work is engaged with the direct experience of the viewer through perspectival illusion and spatial perception that play with the subconscious and cognitive understanding of space. By breaking logical perspectives she create illusions of impossible spaces, non-places or Utopias that shift the viewpoint to the panoptic.
Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM–5 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 PM. Admission is free. The Gallery is located in the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at 419 Lasuen Mall. Parking is free after 4 PM and all day on weekends. Information: (650) 723-2842, http://art.stanford.edu.
Root Division is open Wednesday through Saturday, 2-6 PM, and is located at 3175 17th Street, San Francisco. Information: (415) 863-7668, www.rootdivision.org.
Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin
Photo credit: Scala / Art Resources, NY
Acrylic on Shaped Canvas