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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

Temporary adddress:
2101 Maywill St., Richmond, VA 23230
Currently open by appointment only
artspaceorg@gmail.com | (804) 232-6464

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July 28 - August 20, 2017

Amy Smith – "Embrace"

Watercolor Paintings
smallspace Gallery

Opening Reception for the Artists
Friday, July 28, 2017
7:00-10:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Closing Artist Talk
Sunday, August 20, 2017
2:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Amy Smith - Artist Statement

My work speaks about bodies interacting. I paint about different types of touch—violent, tender, abusive, and loving. My interest lies in the moments of touch that exist between the two extremes of violence and love, and the moments of touch when it may be difficult to discern the difference.

Painting and printmaking themselves already speak in many ways about touch, through facture, surface, and pressure. In printmaking, the delicacy and surprising strength of the paper (much like a body) matched with the violence of the press relates to the tension I am describing in my work. When I paint, I try to relate my body to the press, and act upon the painting in this way. I feel that the evidence of my touch on the painting is paramount in my work. Because of this I am very interested in the indexical mark. The touch of the artist left on the surface—the accidental evidence of the making of an object—is a very special part of making that allows viewers to feel connected to the actions of touch involved in creating.

The content informing my works stems from personal experience surrounding touch and abuse. I include obscured narrative elements, the structure of which mirror the vague and cyclical nature of abuse. I believe that explicit narration would limit my work, as my focus is on the feelings surrounding the narrative and not on the retelling of a story. I strive to keep narrative elements in my work open ended.

The study of psychology and body politics also inform my work. I am very interested in the way dissociative states affect the body. This is something I explore through my work with paper cut outs. By cutting up and re-constructing bodies it is my goal to communicate that sense of foreignness one feels in one's own body during dissociative and dysmorphic states.

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Page Updated June 18, 2017