JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present, The Back Room: Winter Solstice, a group exhibition that celebrates the seduction and drama of entering a gallery’s private, back room. An exploration into past and upcoming shows, the works in The Back Room celebrates the art world’s unique ritual of inviting preferred patrons to view the gallery’s exclusive inventory. Including works by America Martin, Brooke Shaden, Carla Talopp, Jada + Jon, Jenna Krypell, and Swan Scalabre, all artists hold distinctive sensibilities in subject matter and concept, yet are linked through an expressive formal approach.
Colombian-American artist America Martin continues her examination of humanist themes through figurative abstraction and powerful, raw elements of color and line. Scenes of everyday life that link the body to the continuity of nature permeate her work, captured through her depictions of the human form, animals, and florals. Martin continually redefines her oeuvre through new material considerations, continuing the ubiquitous theme of human nature and our relationships with the physical world. Featuring her I See Heroes Everywhere series, ink line drawings are paired with a quote as Martin adheres to the most fundamental aspect of drawing – the line – to tell the stories of these heroes.
Channeling the light and darkness inherent in humanity through her self-portraits, fine art photographer Brooke Shaden blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Finding inspiration in the dualities of human nature, an inclusive, humanist approach is a central tenet in Shaden’s work as she explores the unsettling corners of the mind with images that are emotionally intelligent, chillingly direct, and visually mesmerizing. Communicating vulnerability and strength, Shaden’s portraits are unusual and emotional, exposing the fundamental truths and contradictions of humanity to establish a real connection with her viewers.
Carla Talopp’s work is a celebration of the power and beauty of life. Through drawing, painting, and ceramics, she explores environmental concerns and a rapidly changing world while echoing her personal history. Working in large formats, she measures herself against the vastness of her canvases, leading to the liberation of the painted forms and to bright, exacerbated colors that appear luxuriant and surreal.
Exploring American heritage and identity, Jada and Jon’s process of reworking and chain stitching old vintage pieces combines American craft with art history. Delving into concepts of utility, community, individuality, and symbolism—their unique aesthetic invites a deeper understanding of folk art and its role in people’s lives. Embellishing, painting, and embroidering their discoveries, Jada and Jon’s upcycled vintage reflect cultural ideas, prevailing trends, and the elevation of mundane objects into works of art.
Poetic and nostalgic, Swan Scalabre communicates a constant desire to escape reality and temporality, while illustrating the common plights of women from classic movies, fairytales, and their iconographies. Painting with oil on wood, her small-scale works invite the viewer to get close in order to properly view the intricate details and surface textures. Intimate in subject matter and size, Scalabre’s paintings are placed in wooden shadowbox frames that she affectionately calls “secret boxes.” Exuding femininity, memory, and at times pain, with each new composition Scalabre reveals another glimpse into her fantastical world that begs to be visited.
Jenna Krypell imposes clear restrictions on herself in the preliminary stages of production, with precise line work and edges characterizing her wall sculptures. Interpreting and reducing people’s everyday movements to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms, Krypell’s works are derived from the notion of displacement. Featuring materials such as MDF and hand-dyed resins and paint, her designs are composed with the distinct reconstruction and repetition of elements, pushing each surface’s boundaries to their limit. In constructing these abstract forms, she evaluates life’s challenges and restrictions, exploring the balance between choice and limitations while representing change; nothing is stagnant.