Out of LineCurated by Christina Massey of WoArtBlog
March 5th – March 27th 2022
Jade Chan, Alicia Piller, Judi Tavill, Joanne Ungar, Holly Wong
Court Tree Collective proudly presents Out of Line a group exhibition curated by Christina Massey of WoArtBlog. Christina is an artist and curator, and the founder of the WoArtBlog, a platform for supporting and promoting the work of contemporary female identifying artists. Massey's curatorial exhibitions have shown at such locations as the Hunterdon Museum, BioBAT Artspace, Pelham Art Center, ISE Foundation and Cluster Gallery. Several publications have featured projects created by WoArtBlog including Art Spiel, All SHE Makes, I Like Your Work, Visionary Projects, ArtNet and ABC News.
To be “out of line” insinuates some sort of wrongdoing, social unacceptable behavior that can or should be corrected. The five women artists in this exhibition explore the often gendered application of this idiom. Through a diverse range of media including painting, mixed media, collage and ceramics the artists examine various aspects of living under the unwritten “rules” they feel in regards to socially appropriate behavior or interaction. Each artist explores a unique narrative, challenging notions of acceptability through personal, social and environmental concepts.
Jade Chan, Secrets, 2019, oil on canvas, 22x16”
Artist Jade Chan works primarily in oil paint, creating colorful abstractions that combine loose gestural paint application techniques with more structured geometric lines and shapes. Her work responds to emotions of the past in relation to the present. Drawing on her experience growing up in the Netherlands in what she describes as a “tumultuous, traditional strict Chinese household” and the cultural differences she felt caught in the middle of. Her abstractions become visual representations of this internal creative balance.
Joanne Ungar, Botox #1862, 2018, wax and pigment print on wood, 37x54”
Within the colorful encaustic paintings of Joanne Ungar, the use of unfolded and painted Botox boxes beneath the surfaces creates luscious and soft edged geometric abstractions. Ungar’s work examines the consumer’s responsibility on the social acceptance of unattainable beauty standards. Here a product meant to reduce the appearance of lines, in effect creates new ones within the surface of the paintings themselves. In creating the work, Ungar has established her own set of rules that act as guides in the artistic process, and in doing so, in essence re-establishes and rebels, drawing up her own standards of acceptability.
Holly Wong, Keeper of the Secrets 2, 2022, painted collage mounted on wood panel, 30x30”
Holly Wong’s mixed-media works are created from collaging together paintings and drawings in oil, gouache, graphite, ink and colored pencil. Abstract landscapes are developed with dark mysterious fluid areas surrounding and holding within them a variety of quilt-like patterns and biomorphic shapes that float around and lead us to castle-like structures. Wong is interested in the heroine’s journey and examines the hidden, forgotten and internal unexpressed trauma’s. In her work we can reflect on the morals portrayed in myths and folklore, particularly examining the unsaid and secret.
Judi Tavill, EMERGE, 2021, fired clay, paint, graphite, graphite and mica powder, acrylic medium, wire, epoxy, varnish, 25.5x20x20"
Covered in small gestural lines that have been drawn and painted onto the surface, Judi Tavill’s ceramic sculptures “break the rules” of the traditional medium by adding material and marks after the firing process. Her works are organic and intricate, observations from Nature that can’t quite be identified. The forms shapes can appear to both cradle and defend, acting protective and possessive, questioning where that line is drawn, particularly from the viewpoint as a woman and mother. Her works abstract from the light and shadow sides of human experience, addressing acceptance and self-reflection of where the boundaries and lines of behavior are drawn.
Alicia Piller envisions historical traumas, both political and environmental, through the lens of a microscope. Her sculptures conceive of past atrocities, suffering, and accomplishments as biological forms–broken down to a cellular level. A variety of materials including vinyl, latex balloons, and photographs, are employed to examine the energy around wounds societies have inflicted upon themselves and others, but in Piller’s work we also observe optimistic glimpses of a possible future with bright colors that show signs of life and proliferating forms that show signs of growth.
Together these works create an environment that invites inner and outer exploration. Artworks invite the viewer to investigate the external through the labors of their process and choice of material, enjoying the aesthetics of the literal lines observed, but in their stories, also encourage inner exploration and contemplation of our own acceptance and judgment of what is “appropriate.”