Contemporary Expression

Life Comes in Layers and Builds With Color
August 11, 2009, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Frist Center, Painting, The Art Files

There is a wonderful show up a The Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Chuck Close Prints Process and Collaboration
June 26–September 13, 2009
I was first introduced to Chuck Close’s work on a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago several years ago. I was amazed at his “fingerprint” paintings. I was thrilled to see that The Frist had brought a collection of his prints for view.
I was thrilled to see that the process was part of the exhibition. As we were reading and learning and viewing I was struck by the profound nature of the layering of life.
Each experience and every encounter brings color and layer to the picture of our life. As we grow and learn and rally life into our world our reality is effected.
What you see at the Frist is profoundly different when you realize that everything Chuck Close painted or carved or printed after 1988 he did after “The Event”.

“The Event”
On December 7, 1988, Close felt a strange pain in his chest. That day he was in New York about to give an art award. He begged to present first, went on stage, quickly read his speech and then ran to the hospital. Within a few hours, Close was paralyzed from the neck down. At first the doctors were confused but eventually they diagnosed a rare spinal artery collapse. Close called that day, “The Event”. For months Close was in rehab strengthening his muscles; he soon had slight movement in his arms and could walk, yet only for a few steps. He has relied on a wheelchair since. However, Close continued to paint on with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant.
Do you have an event in your life that has added the layer of color and texture and movement that has summoned your soul to push forward, to move on, to paint your life and your vision, no matter what?

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The Art Files – Katharina Chapuis
April 15, 2009, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Frist Center, Living An Artful Life, The Art Files
“Luminance” at Nashville’s Gallery One

When I saw Katharina Chapuis’s Untitled #SQ-TU9 a cool breeze came over me and I was all at once relaxed. It has been a long time since a work has completely centered me and I want to share it with you. See it at the opening April 25th 6-8pm.
Katharina Chapuis says she relies on “direct, sensuous perception and intuition” in creating her luminous, color field paintings on canvas.

“I paint to draw out the compelling interplay between matter and spirit,” says the Zurich, Switzerland native who settled in Boston after graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. “I let the painting exist as such, let it have its own inner life, its own pulsation and vibration. In this way, the painting becomes a luminous veil – empty and abundant at the same time.”

In creating her layered, translucent paintings – each an oil on canvas work with gesso-plaster ground – Chapuis says she aims to create “visually fluid fields in which things shift at the beholder’s inner rhythm.”

“Stripped of any kind of pictorial codes,” says Chapuis, “these spaces are left open for viewers to enter at their own pace without a great deal of direction and so to induce an art experience that is contemplative and experiential.”

Chapuis received the Jurors’ Choice award from the Attleboro Arts Museum in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 2006, and her work can be found in collections throughout the U.S. and Switzerland, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago; Straumann USA, Andover, MA; Fidelity Investments, Boston; Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA; and the Phoenix Building in Atlanta, GA, among others.

Gallery One, located at 5133 Harding Pike, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and by appointment. For more information about the exhibition call 615-352-3006 or visit

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Indelible: The Photographs of Lalla Essaydi
December 27, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: artwork, Frist Center, Living An Artful Life, symbols, The Art Files
Lalla Essaydi – Converging Territories #10, 2005
Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 in.
Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts opened in the Gordon Contemporary Artist Project Gallery and exhibition of 17 photographs by Moroccan artist, Lalla Essaydi. The images will be on view through January 29, 2009. The multi-layer complex images are created in what she calls workshops. Essaydi gathers with as many as 20 women and girls in her family’s country home where they sit for lengthy sessions during which the artist covers their skin and often their clothing and the walls around them , with an elegant Arabic calligraphic scripts.
The act of combining the female craft of henna body painting and the traditional male art of Arabic calligraphy is a subversive act. By doing so , she ignores long-standing gender associations of both art forms and the hierarchical distinctions between them. Be sure to pick up a copy of overview of this work by Trinita Kennedy, associate curator during your visit.
January 8, 2009 6 :30pm LECTURE: “Unspoken Words: Contemporary women Artists from the Middle East and North Africa”
FREE in the Frist Auditorium
Dr, Maryam Ekhtiar, senior research associate in the department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore art produced by women from the region with a particular focus on Lalla Essaydi. All the artist use calligraphy as their chief mode of expression as the grapple with issues of gender, socio-political orientation and cultural identity.
Lalla Essaydi – Les Femmes du Maroc #36, 2007
Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 in. Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
As I prepare for what I consider to be a new phase in my own artful life I have been drawn back to Lalla’s photographs now on a third visit to the Gordon Contemporary Gallery at The Frist. The thoughtfulness of her work is intense. 2009 in my studio will brings a new chapter of symbols, history and advocacy. I hope you can find the time to visit this show and find a way to create your own subversive act of hope and art in the new year.

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last day to see aaron douglas
April 13, 2008, 4:20 pm
Filed under: artwork, Frist Center, The Art Files

We are going to the Frist Center this afternoon… nice raining day Sunday -perfect for the art gallery!
Aspiriation 300 – by Aaron Dogals
(provided by The Frist, used by permission)