THE FOCUS

“Sequestration Still-Lifes and Other Scenes from the Plaza consists of a body of metaphorical paintings that tackle the still life as a subject. The paintings, done under quarantine, cover the ideas of domestic claustrophobia, vice, and the political and medical misgivings of our country from the months of February to August 2020. These paintings draw from a span of historical influences, which include Dutch memento mori, synthetic cubism, and pop art.” Jason Stout, Peach Heart Window and the Wizard of Oz, 2020, 30" x 30...

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"I’m currently preparing for a solo exhibit titled “Rocks Cry Out” at Southern Adventist University. It was originally scheduled for October, but has now been postponed to January. The extra time has been a gift, allowing me to move more slowly and deeply into research and painting. The ground at our feet has been a witness to the land and its people since the very beginning. My goal is to listen to its stories and learn from those who teach...

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"I explore the concept of landscape as medium, rather than subject. Depicting strange, desolate environments and sublime forces, my work references the abstracted, altered land of our world while shifting outwards towards a science fictional realm. Sculptural landscapes composed of industrial references, geological formations, and mutable material accumulate into form, while emanating an energy of transformation and process. Elemental models, miniatures, and depictions of alternative ground are found in the balance of presence and absence, creation and destruction, artificial and...

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"For the past ten years I have been playing with how the eye filters what the mind perceives as spacial depth. I use slight temperature/tonal shifts, varying mark-making gestures, and different paint finishes that demonstrate Gestaltism in my practice. Gestaltism is a psychological theory postulating that the mind uses negative space, shape association, and tonal cues to dictate depth and meaning through vision. My goal with this present body of work is to experiment with what is necessary for...

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The work of Juan Rojo has always been rooted in tradition, from Spanish Baroque painters to more contemporary masters like Lucien Freud or Frank Auerbach. While the paintings still contain allusions to those works, they exist as points of reference instead of the kind of derivative mimicry of his early paintings. In his new body of work, decoration plays a primary role as an element that intrudes and at times even obscures the faces of the subjects and disguises their...

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David Underwood is a Professor of Art and the Director of Exhibitions at Carson-Newman University, in Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he has been teaching since 1990. As a former Chairperson of the university’s Art Department, he led his academic department through two successful reaccreditations with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Underwood is pictured here (below) in one of the campus galleries that he manages, with his 2019 mixed-media piece, “Finding a New Honesty.” David Underwood, Virtual Studio Visit,...

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"I’m interested in the apophenia one curates to make sense of the world around them. I tend to explore themes of safety, control and power and how these are implemented visually. I want the works made to perform a woven narration, constantly looping back informing and reimagining themselves to reference a larger, futile attempt at solving a mutating puzzle of our fictionalized ideal of America." Jesse Butcher, Virtual Studio Visit, June 2020 Jesse Butcher, Virtual Studio Visit, June 2020 Jesse Butcher, Vi...

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Notes by Jana Harper on This Holding: Traces of Contact "I began working on This Holding several years ago with a simple question: 'What are the burdens we carry? And what might they look like?' In the process of researching, I talked to hundreds of people in dozens of community workshops: doctors, dancers, middle-school kids, college students, retirees, folks from many different countries, and from all walks of life. I always start by asking them to name the burdens...

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