Between Intuition and Precision

A dive deeper inside Tinney Contemporary’s Women of Abstraction by Keisha Lambert

Left to Right: ‘Aftermath,’ Phouthavong, ‘Untitled’ and ‘ Suspirations of Order,’ Jarrett

Left to Right: ‘Aftermath,’ Phouthavong, ‘Untitled’ and ‘ Suspirations of Order,’ Jarrett

Tinney Contemporary broadens the conversation surrounding Abstract Expressionism with its current show entitled, “Women in Abstraction.” Abstract Expressionism is the first quintessential American Art movement that historically references and begins to catalogue women in the arts. Therefore it seems befitting to experience solely Abstract female artists in solidarity. Featuring abstracted works by Jeanie Gooden, Carol Mode, Sisavanh Phouthavong, Mildred Jarrett, Mary Long and Martica Griffin, Tinney Contemporary showcases the broad range within Abstract painting today. Together these women of abstraction, propel the conversation forward through modern works on paper, a mix of nontraditional framing, and intuitive exploration of the brush stroke. Each of these artists’ work exhibit precise, direct strokes along with more expressive intuitive mark-making. They are collectively standing on the line of what is quantifiable and what is only apparent through paint.

‘The Path Will Rise to Your Feet,’ Jeanie Gooden

Jeanie Gooden creates her body of work between the disparate cultures of Central Mexico and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Drawing from her myriad of personal experiences, Gooden takes a layering approach to creating her latest work ‘The Path Will Rise to Your Feet.’ She heeds the voice of her canvas and allows for the process to drive her body of work. Gooden allows space for the viewer to contemplate and derive their own meaning through reflection by range of materials in such immersive scale. The manipulation of nails, thread, and expressive mark making evokes a message that holds the ability to resonate on a more universal scale.

‘Outer Rims,’ Carol Mode

Carol Mode is a process-based abstract painter. She uses a systematic approach to problem-solving and allows space for alternate solutions as problems present themselves. Mode reaches for transcendence through emotive color and hand-drawn geometry in her work ‘Outer Rims.’

Mode has a visual optical language of her own, only distinguishable upon viewing her latest piece in person. She exhibits delicate shifts of color and mark-making within ‘Outer Rims’ that evokes a feeling of intimacy. 

Sisavanh Phouthavong’s ‘Aftermath’ opens the conversation, not only by use of non-traditional framing, but through the lens of an immigrant experiencing social injustice in their place of origin. Phouthavong artfully champions her voice of Political protest for the Legacies of War mission through her piece ‘Aftermath.’ She evokes this by her use of substantial scale, interrupted spaces-in-between, and bright impactful color. It is the perfect balance of rhythmic fragmentation of memory through realism and interrupting notes of vivid color juxtaposed against decay and destruction.  

‘Untitled’, 2019, Mildred Jarrett

Mildred Jarrett creates visceral work steered by long-nurtured intuition. In her latest abstract works, ‘Untitled’ and ‘Suspirations of Order’, Jarrett displays elegant movement of paint and composition. There is a intricate balance reached between soft emotive brushstrokes and harsh sgraffito scratching away of the paint. This combination attests to the energy Jarrett projects into each work. Jarrett’s works are a host of vibrancy and ferocity, but still leave space for the subdued moments of melancholia in between.

‘Bug Bam’, Mary Long

 Mary Long’s encaustic series on paper draws the viewer in. Long uses an archaic form of painting with beeswax yet brings it to a modern scape. The forms, laboriously applied through heat application of layers, appear to reference an abstracted view of a city scape. Layers of found materials and writings come in and out of the space. Some of the writing references American Law and Systems that Long has archived through wax. This half-hazard yet intentional archiving and crossing out delivers more intrigue as to the meaning behind Long’s work.

In a panoramic room at Tinney Contemporary, viewers can be enveloped by local artist, Martica Griffin’s work. The musical quality of Griffin’s work seems to parallel the times and culture surrounding her. The continuity of twisting bold lines paired with the lively choice of color suggests a graffiti influence in Griffin’s ‘Goddess’. The growth of Nashville influences Griffin’s work as it transitions from small-city to bustling urban environment. Griffin's bold use of color and vying layers of intentional and unintentional mark-making is reminiscent of Basquiat whose work was also born in a city influx with creative spirit.

‘Goddess’, Martica Griffin

The broad range of expression showcased in ‘‘Women of Abstraction’’ is a testament to female artists who paved the way for the current generation of artists to have the ability to share their voice. Come experience the prolific work of these Artists in person until September 28, 2019, and join the conversations surrounding that spans generations.

For more information regarding Sisavanh Phouthavong’s advocacy visit: