Exhibitions: Current | Upcoming | Past
Deborah Baldizar | Pamela Hoss | Judy Volkmann | V.F. Wolf
March 9 – April 7, 2017
Throughout time, depictions of the human body reflect a multitude of complex cultural and societal constructs. The body has been idealized as an image of our aspirations of perfection, as in the depiction of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. It has been fetishized in ancient stone sculptures as images of fertility or idolized in iconic and symbolic depictions of religious devotion. It is used to convey descriptions and distinctions between power and submission.
One of the enduring tenets for artists has been that the depiction or rendering of the body is the most direct, and familiar, way to reveal and talk about the human condition. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be self-aware? How do we know ourselves? How do we present ourselves to the world? Does our perception of who we are change over time?
Deborah Baldizar uses the figure as a way to talk about internal vs external states of being. She has written about the depiction of the figure in her ceramic works as something that, "grows out of a desire to visually translate the psychological concept of the shadow, or, parts of one's identity concealed from others, either consciously or unconsciously."
Pamela Hoss uses herself as subject while incorporating images from family photographs. Her works look at autobiography and self, aging and remembrance. She states, "The creative process has helped me express the past and present through a collage of memories and dreams, with a conscious awareness of age, gender and loss."
Judy Volkmann, while evoking similar themes of private vs public notions of identity and self, is more celebratory in her approach to the figure. She writes, "The figures and portraits represented are often in states of being reflective, engaged, celebratory, or confrontational."
V.F. Wolf makes work that is, "repulsive and attractive. I paint ugly and disturbing mask-like figures. They are a metaphor to analyze the shadow that lies in every society's sub-conscious, that part of the psyche that craves violence and destruction." He confronts the dark side, brutality, violence and destruction as part of the continuum of the human condition.
The artists navigate beyond the veneer of representations of our outward facing selves and inward to confront the deeper, perhaps more vexing aspects of ourselves often hidden from view — our thoughts and desires, fears and anxieties, and memory. The figure provides, at times, a provocative and yet reaffirming point of reference. Through it we search for connections, we seek the archetype, look for the bonds that both unite and divide us, and confront the darker aspects of our condition.
"Everyone carries a shadow." –Carl Jung
My ceramic figures grow out of a desire to visually translate the psychological concept of the shadow, or, parts of one's identity concealed from others, either consciously or unconsciously. I am interested in the effects of human attempts to suppress, deny or neglect the true self. Images such as abandoned houses covered in ivy and overgrown gardens choked by vines, serve as inspiration. In addition, my work explores the idea of camouflage, tactics that serve to cover up certain attributes. Interior spaces with decorative elements; wallpaper, china patterns and ornate textiles are informative and metaphorical. The sculptures simultaneously embrace and emerge from, all that envelops them.
The figure has been my main studio focus for the past forty-five years. Through the use of mirrors, I have often used myself as a vehicle for expression. The physical participation of posing, sometimes accompanied by music, costumes and props, has been a way of getting my mind into action until ideas begin to flow and take their own direction.
After experiencing the loss of parents and homestead, I found myself recalling visual and emotional impressions of the life I once had. Inheriting photographs of myself I had not seen in years, I began photo-copying and collaging them into my art as evidence of a forgotten past. I have been observing and comparing the mature woman I am now with myself as a young girl, trying to understand the ephemeral nature of youthful beauty. Creative play in childhood was spent dressing up in Mother's skirts and dancing with the newel post in the hall. While attending Saturday classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Degas' statue of the fourteen-year-old dancer, as well as his drawings, made a lasting impression on me. Black and white television was new to our home in the 50s and introduced me to performers like Judy Garland who expressed herself through song as well as gestural body movements. Also, Dick Clark's American Bandstand influenced my love of dance, showing couples moving their bodies expressively to rock and roll music. Recently I have been recording my body movements with shadows and projecting these images onto paper. Although these figures are of myself, they feel more universal and timeless than the self-portraits.
The creative process has helped me express the past and present through a collage of memories and dreams, with a conscious awareness of age, gender and loss.
My artwork depicts humanity, and how physical, emotional, and societal influences shape us into who we are. The figures and portraits represented are often in states of being reflective, engaged, celebratory, or confrontational. In my process of painting the figures, my aim is to capture movement and the physical characteristics and psychological aspects of being human. A sense of place and time are purposely void; creating an atmosphere expressive of the internal and external world of being. I want the spirit and energy of life in the work to impact the viewer toward an experience, and raise awareness to a condition or moment.
I create semi-abstract figure paintings which are composed of almost recognizable faces/bodies that resemble tragic, grotesque harlequins. The way in which I combine and arrange the figures, creates a mysterious adventure and quiet world inviting the onlooker to use their imaginations to fill in the missing pieces or narrative. My paintings are created through the process of actively manipulating the oil paint over a textured surface made up of found objects. Layers are built up by overlapping and using violent strokes which creates various densities and textures. The palette is mostly garish/acidic colors and colors of discord. Occasionally, a bright color pops out of muddy ground. One can witness traces of color buried beneath suggesting the time invested in making the pieces. Like memories, paint layers are built one on top of the other. I have one color in mind and before I know it another color will be on top of that one and then another; until the right combination is reached in my mind.
MFA, Sculpture, UMass Dartmouth
BS, Business, University of New Hampshire
2014 Yamawaki Arts Center, Lasell College, Newton, MA
2013 Raw Potential, Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO
2013 The Nines Festival, VIP tent, Devens, MA
2006-Present Instructor, Lasell College
MFA, Painting, School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston, MA
BFA, Painting, Southeastern Massachusetts University, North Dartmouth, MA
2014 Works on Paper National Juried Exhibition, South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, MA
2014 Hatch Street Studios Group Show, Crowell's Fine Art, New Bedford, MA
2014 New Bedford Art Museum Juried Member's Show: Igniting the Passion, UMass Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA
1989-Present UMass Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA
AA, Fine Art, Bristol Community College
BFA, Painting, UMass Dartmouth
BFA, Art Education, UMass Dartmouth
2016 Face-Off, ArtProv Gallery, Providence, RI
2016 Emotional Reflections, BankRI Turks Head Gallery, Providence, RI
2016 Recent Works by Volkmann and Andreozzi, Pop-Up Gallery, Seekonk, MA
Ellen Batell Stoeckel Fellowship to study at Yale Summer School of Music and Art
BA, Art History, Rhode Island College
BFA, Painting, Rhode Island College
MFA, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2016 Face-Off, ArtProv Gallery, Providence, RI
2016 Remember When, Warwick Museum of Art, Group Show, Warwick, RI
2016 Opposites, Art League of R.I. Show, Vets Gallery, Group Show, Providence, RI
Army Reserve 2000-2007
Night Watchman, Rhode Island School of Design Museum