I could fall into one of Jackie Tileson’s paintings and wander around for hours or days. She creates a deep ethereal space filled with wonderful surprises of different types of imagery: explosions of paint, drips, amorphous shapes, graffiti, circles, loops, and fractal imagery — different vocabularies of expression skillfully combined in one large space.
I just discovered she’d had a show in Dallas this past summer. An 8-hour round-trip and I could have seen her work in person!
Artist Statement (excerpt)
“I am interested in creating paintings that bring together a wide multiplicity of sources into a coherent – and sometimes discordant – whole, an attempt at a “unified field theory” of painting. My paintings feed off of the history of abstraction, physics, traditional eastern imagery, Chinese landscape motifs, digital imaging, and other sources. There is a constant flux between atmospheric and graphic, abstract, and figurative, quiet and chaotic forces. A medley of sources is orchestrated to create or reconstruct a world within the painting in which a new kind of sense is made – one in which the beautiful, absurd, sacred, and mundane can coexist.”
See more of Jackie Tileson’s amazing paintings, and read her full statement and reviews on her website.
I’ve had several opportunities to see Beili Liu’s work up close and personal right here in Austin. She teaches at the University of Texas and shows from time to time at one or another of Austin’s galleries. The last show I attended was “The Mending Project” at Women and Their Work in 2011. A room is filled with a cloud of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, points down, just over your head. The artist sits below those hundreds of sharp points, calmly mending bits of fabric while the threat of danger hovers very close above her. It’s a very powerful piece, at once menacing and visually stunning.
“Lure/Forest” is one of the works that first drew me to Beili Liu’s work. Thousands of disks made of hand-wound coiled red thread are suspended from the ceiling with a single thread that then drapes onto the floor. The sight of all these disks slowly swaying in the space is quite enchanting, like standing at the edge of a forest of red flowers slightly disturbed by breezes wafting through. Like much of Liu’s work, this installation references an ancient Chinese legend. A related installation, “Lure/Wave” won 3rd Place at Artprize.
Liu creates some very compelling installations and 2D work, and her use of a wide variety of materials is always fascinating, thought-provoking and unexpected.
“My work depends on a genuine connection to the material. By playing with the material—testing, manipulating, experimenting, and examining, even leaving it for months—I watch for the moment of surprise, when the material responds to one or a series of actions, and leads to an exciting physical or conceptual outcome. That outcome itself sometimes becomes the lead into a new project.
As one who comes from the East and lives in the West, I have experienced two distinct and often contradictory value systems. These experiences constantly influence each other, at times create conflicts in my life, and other times offer great inspirations for my work.”
See more of Beili Liu’s gorgeous and intriguing work, and find out about her full list of awards, shows, and accomplishments at her website.
I love the richness of Heather’s mixed media paintings, her use of color, and her imagery from life and science. Looking at any of her paintings, I feel as if I could walk into her oddly populated world. She creates a sense of space and a sense of place that stands in contrast to her use of ornamentation, drips, and flat shapes that reference the language of painting. It’s both an illusionistic space and the flat space of the surface of the canvas.
“My work is an intuitive gathering of imagery stemming from the natural world. I recreate geographic patterns and forms and then layer them to make up new systems in the environment. By analyzing the biological and structural phenomena, I find similarities between their elements…I am interested in the imperfections in nature, the complete randomness yet undisturbed instances of subtle perfection.
By layering varied imagery through drawing and painting, a sense of fragmented time emerges, a documentation of events.”
Read Heather’s full statement and see much more of her gorgeous paintings on her website.