My written statement for Chromatose at Gamut Gallery in Evansville, IN (August 31- Oct 5, 2018)
“Gamut Gallery is pleased to present Chromatose.
All students at IU, the artists in this show are also linked by a use of color that challenges the naturalistic (perceptual?) training associated with the program.
Some, like Dorothy Portin, use colors coming from mass-produced objects that refer back to childhood and adolescence. The aggressive forms of
her sculptural work invite and repel touch; appearing soft, one soon discovers the fabric is stiff and hard. The result is sickly, strange, and comical. In
Annabelle Schafer’s work, artificial light sources create hallucinatory spaces that are nevertheless grounded in contemporary life. The work is both
personal, highly specific, and rigorously formal. The graphic flatness in Jessica Westhafer’s work both refers to the language of cartoons and recalls
the work of Alex Katz. Yet while Katz was known for his restrained images of WASP life, Westhafer deals with ugly realities of the imperfect body,
often with a punchline. Menika Lue’s paintings pivot from a naturalistic and observational understanding of color to a more conscious interrogation
of it, introducing a personal relationship with race and the decorative in her recent work. Lastly, Catherine Mulligan’s photographic paintings draw
influence from both Op Art illusions and cheap Photoshop filters. In her work, the conflation of high and low means of image production creates a
uniquely nightmarish space. This work can be seen as a dumping ground of art historical and pop cultural references, with multiple visual codes
turned on their head. "