AMANDA LEIGH EVANS & ANASTASIA GREER
On view July 28—August 28, 2016
Opening reception Thursday, July 28 (6—8PM) // Closing reception Sunday, August 28 (3—5PM)
The distinction between craftwork and fine art is commonly plotted along points of function, form, tradition, and, while often left unspoken, gender. However, in Nationale’s two-person exhibition, artists Amanda Leigh Evans and Anastasia Greer playfully dismantle these outdated associations by resituating the feminine voice of pottery and quilting as a vital source of fluidity within sculpture and painting’s traditional rulebook.
Pottery has always been informed by quotidian needs—a mug to hold tea, an urn to carry those we’ve lost. Evans’ terra cotta sculptures, however, feel no obligation to this functional history. Her objects, colored with luminescent underglazes in ruddy pinks, milky whites, and charcoal, only temporarily allude to specific uses. While our eyes seek out the recognizable curves and voids of handles and slots—shapes that beckon to be held or to hold—such literal interpretations do not linger. Conflated and multiplied in Evans’ compositions, these at first familiar forms are revealed to be purely symbolic. They exist instead somewhere between art and life, never confined to one fixed meaning or purpose.
While Evans in this manner teases our desire for functionality, Greer playfully flirts with the boundaries between artistic mediums. Atop delicate backgrounds of dyed raw silk, her compositions of pale, watery squares and sensual, bright blobs exude a whimsical, decidedly feminine softness. Greer mimics in these opposing patterns and colors both the measured designs and madcap collage of fabrics favored by quilt makers. Quilting’s geometric emphasis is likewise melded with the balanced grid foundation of painterly compositions. However, instead of stabilizing an internal chaos, Greer’s grids highlight the futility of such a fixed logic. Atop these rigid markings, swollen squiggles of paint squeezed directly from the tube disregard any call for two-dimensionality. Patterns trickle over the canvases’ edges, oblivious to the sanctity of the individual object. The final work, in this way, remains open with possibility—a weaving of infinite variations and associations.
Amanda Leigh Evans is an artist and educator trained in ceramics, social practice, and community development. She has worked on collaborative, interdisciplinary projects with groups including: neighborhood musicians, LA river community organizers, immigrant chefs, radio hosts with developmental differences, long-haul truck drivers, upper-middle class college art students, evangelical conservatives, senior adult amateur photographers, and elementary student art curators. Amanda was a contributor to the Los Angeles Urban Rangers and Play the LA River, and is a member of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective. She has presented projects and publications at MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Portland Art Museum, and the Long Beach Museum of Art, and is the recipient of the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Art Prize, the Precipice Fund, and the Artplace Creative Placemaking Grant. She is a 2016 graduate of MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University and has a Post-Bac in Ceramics from Cal State Long Beach. She lives and works in Portland, OR, and Los Angeles, CA.
Anastasia Greer is an interdisciplinary artist working in Portland, OR. Greer received her BFA with a concentration in printmaking in 2014 from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. In 2016 she received her Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. Greer has shown work at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, MI and the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, OR, among others. She has participated in residencies at Caldera Arts, Leland Ironworks, and PNCA’s Global Studios in Oaxaca, Mexico.