Silent Gestures

New Work by Hyunmee Lee
November 17- January 12, 2013

Closing Reception: January 5th, 6-9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Silent Gestures, a new exhibition of works by Korean-born artist, Hyunmee Lee.  Known for her signature style of gestural abstraction, Lee's most recent body of work reflects the diversity of her background and artistic influences in a way that is spectacularly simple, yet decidedly bold.  This striking duality is a theme that persists throughout Silent Gestures, with the title itself suggesting an inherent paradox-an action that is simultaneously careful and unrestrained, quiet and confident. 

Her large, abstract canvases delight in the union of opposites, where vast fields of carefully delineated color and expanses of blacks and whites intermix with expressive lines and painterly brushstrokes. The resulting works are beautifully balanced as a result of Lee's skillful use of color, composition, and design and are reflective of her extensive artistic training in Western Modern art with experience in Eastern painting and calligraphy.  Lee's art and life have been heavily influenced by the ideas of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.  Accordingly, in these recent Silent Gesture paintings Lee seeks to combine opposing forces to reflect her own life, which conveys both East and West.  In her vibrant black and yellow canvases, nonrepresentational and representational forms inspired by her roots are brought out slowly through silent gestures.

Hyunmee Lee was born in 1961 in Seoul Korea.  Her art practice crosses three continents over two decades.  Lee's works have been featured in museums and galleries in South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the United States, and are in numerous collections worldwide.  She recently retired from teaching to focus on her art full time.  

In the rear gallery: 

Refueling, Sisavanh Phouthavong

In her new body of work, Refueling, Sisavanh Phouthavong explores the commonality of hummingbirds to human behaviors.  Both exhibit agility, efficiency, and versatility in a time of crisis, and while beautiful in all shades of color, are practical, extremely territorial, and resilient.  Through vibrant and aptly titled paintings such as "Cacophony," "The Tempest" and "Discombobulated," Phouthavong takes the image of a hummingbird-a heuristic for spring's whimsicality-and crafts it into a writhing cyclone of hummingbirds.  Her systematic compositions and use of monochromatic, intense colors reflect current environmental as well as personal events. Yet the openness and clarity of the design does not detract from the works' underlying meaning, which playfully seems to tell the viewer to just embrace the madness. 

Sisavanh Phouthavong-Houghton is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro where she teaches advanced level painting courses.  She was born in Vientiane Laos in 1976. At the age of four, her family emigrated from Thailand to Winfield, Kansas. She attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting in 1999. Sisavanh continued her education at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale where 2003 she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting and Drawing. She has exhibited her work in solo, juried, and invitational exhibitions throughout United States, Canada, and New Zealand.  Sisavanh resides in Woodbury, TN with her sculptor husband Jarrod Houghton, their two daughters Zoe and Ava, and two cats Mr. Peacock and Gwen.

The Essence of Our Ticking

Jack Hastings & Arlyn Ende
October 6 - November 10, 2012

Opening Reception: October 6th, 6-9 pm

Conversation with the artists: October 5th, 6 pm

The Essence of Our Ticking, a joint exhibition of the works of Jack Hastings and Arlyn Ende, captures and crystallizes the range, depth, and diversity of two artists whose creative partnership spans five decades.  The title, from one of Jack's poems, alludes to the nature and heart of their journey.

Jack: "I began my career prepared to paint frescoes, with training in Mexico where I was privileged to observe Diego Rivera at work. The influences of that ancient culture impressed me with the relationship between art and architecture, which became the aesthetic that remained the basis and focus of my life's work as a sculptor. My materials range from clay to stone to metal, and I invent the tools and methods to shape and bring them to life." 

Arlyn: "I spent a dreamy Southern childhood as an incessant scribbler and stitcher whose imagination matured under the influence of Matisse, Klee, and contemporary Scandinavian designers. I build my two-dimensional designs from myriad individual pieces of colored materials, fitting them together as a slowly revealed puzzle. My abstract imagery arcs toward metaphor, and is often inspired by Jack's writings."

In travel and sojourns in Europe and cities across the U.S., they left their sculptures and textiles permanently installed in schools, parks, hospitals, office buildings, houses of worship, banks, and private residences. Awards in design competitions, and shows in galleries and museums provided additional creative latitude and economic foundation for developing new ideas.

As Hastings and Ende see it, the meaning of art- even if the artist doesn't think about it - stems from the artist's way of life. Someone once asked "Does one live for the sake of art? No, the reverse is true. Art is for the sake of life." Together or separately, they have lived on dredge boats, tow boats, in converted warehouses, in an old pottery factory, on Manhattan's Bleeker Street and Upper East Side, on an island, in a handmade Arizona adobe, and on a hillside farm. Deepwoods Studios are now their home and workplace, situated on a wooded hill overlooking a lake in Sewanee. Inside this serene ecosystem these "elders of the tribe" continue to experience life and create their artworks with the daily reminders that beauty and possibility are found in every place and in every phase of being. 


Cyanotypes by Susan Weil & José Betancourt
August 25 - September 29, 2012

Opening Reception: September 1st, 6-9 pm

For the past twelve years, José Betancourt and Susan Weil have worked closely together to develop ways of printing and presenting a body of artwork using the Cyanotype, also known as the photographic “Blueprint.” Although the Cyanotype is their primary technique, Betancourt and Weil have worked with other experimental techniques such as photograms and Van Dyke Brown prints. Their collaborative works range from personal and autobiographical to formal compositions and constructions. Their love of the history of photography and their use of historical photographic techniques, such as the cyanotype, has produced an original and contemporary body of work.

Susan Weil is an internationally renowned artist living in New York City. Her first Cyanotypes can be dated back to the early 1950s. Weil has influenced many in the Abstract Expressionist movement- especially her ex-husband, Robert Rauschenberg, with whom she collaborated on many projects, most notably the Blueprint paintings of 1950.  Her work is in many major museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. 
José Betancourt is a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. José has been working with alternative photographic processes for 20 years and has given workshops on his techniques. 

The New Real

Curated by Sarah Wilson
July 7 - August 18, 2012

Closing Reception: August 4th, 6-9 pm

Collectors Art Night: August 3rd, 5:30 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present The New Real-a contemporary realism exhibition curated by Tinney Contemporary gallery director, Sarah Wilson. Featuring works by six nationally recognized artists from across the country, The New Real seeks to demonstrate the continued relevance of realism in a contemporary art culture that defines itself by rebelling against traditional art genres.  By utilizing inventive techniques and captivating subject matter, artists Eric Zener, Ali Cavanaugh, Danny Heller, Kay Ruane, Brian Tull, and Ron Porter nod to the age-old genre of realism, while reinventing our perception of it.  

Though each artist defies the modern art world's notion of realism in his or her own way, collectively, they represent a new class of artists who are putting realism back on the map after fifty years on the periphery.  Using a carefully constructed visual language of symbols and personal iconography, these artists breathe life into the realism genre with art that is accessible, yet still challenging.  Whether struck by the psychological aspect of Zener's underwater paintings, the irony of Porter's landscapes, or the quiet intimacy of Cavanaugh's portraits, viewers will be drawn in by the artists' conceived "realities." 

Wilson's hope is that the exhibition showcases realism in a way that is fresh and exciting with artists whose works exemplify the new generation of realism-The New Real.

Eric Zener was born in Astoria, Oregon in 1966, but grew up in Encinitas, a small beach town just north of San Diego.  A self-taught artist, Zener is best known for his photorealistic figure paintings of lone subjects, often in or around water.  He began his first water paintings in 2003 while living in the Costa Brava region of Spain. Zener became interested in watching bathers, and began a series of paintings of water, and of people interacting with water. Many paintings from this series depict women swimming underwater amidst air bubbles, or diving into the water, and have been described as reminiscent of Hudson River School and Barbizon School painters.  Zener describes his "super-realist" style of painting as "Contemporary Renaissance."

Zener's work has been exhibited internationally in Australia, Japan and Spain and is included in numerous corporate, private, and museum collections. His work has been featured in the Robb ReportJuxtapozArt & AntiquesTravel & LeisureNew American PaintingsNew York MagazineThe San Francisco Chronicle and ArtNews Magazine, among others.   

Ali Cavanaugh was born in St. Louis in 1973 and has worked as a professional artist for 15 years. Her compositions are strong and intuitive, thanks not only to being a wife and mother but also to the variations in her experience-such as hearing loss-that made her adapt to and recreate the world around her. Cavanaugh developed a process best described as neo fresco secco, where she applies watercolor to plaster panels; her figures often are accentuated by stark white negative spaces. Fascinated by the dichotomy of the seen and unseen in the human condition...body and soul...Cavanaugh's art brings to light the complexity within contemplation. Her signature poetic titles are part of this engaging discourse. 

She has had 40+ solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the U.S.  Perhaps because of her work's infectious energy combined with deep reflection, her collectors are particularly devoted. Her work has received extensive recognition and is featured in more than 400 private and corporate collections throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore, and Australia. She now lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and three children. 

Danny Heller was born in Northridge, CA in 1982. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, the artist was able to carefully study the golden landscape of Los Angeles, which would shape his later body of work.  For formal art instruction, Danny left the Valley for the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  While studying under landscape painter Hank Pitcher, Danny earned a B.A. in art with an emphasis in painting.  After formative years spent capturing Santa Barbara's surf landscapes, Danny's attention turned toward retro iconography characteristic of mid-century Los Angeles.  Having set up his studio in Silver Lake, the artist now concentrates on chronicling Modern American imagery, specifically focusing on the architecture, design, and car culture found in Southern California. 

Danny Heller's paintings have been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the world, from Miami to Los Angeles, and most recently in Paris, France. The variety of collectors who have sought out his work are a testament to the artist's success. Some have purchased work featuring familiar locations, while others collect purely for the artwork's inherent formal qualities. 

Kay Ruane was born in Chicago, IL in 1956.  As a visual artist, she uses her distinctive and highly crafted technique to create tiny graphite worlds.  Each piece presents a dream-like vision of a figure inhabiting a richly detailed interior, along with a landscape, seen through a window.  The view outside the window is often in dramatic conflict with the interior, creating tension with a suggestion of unease or impending disaster.  A running theme in the works is cultural disconnect, combined with a longing to be a part of a culture, or physical reality different from one's own. This longing is juxtaposed with a fear of actually experiencing the culture, or other world, represented "outside the window."

Ruane has been featured in exhibitions throughout the United States and her work is held by museums and corporate collections nationwide.  Ruane's formal education includes a BFA from the University of Illinois and studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, though her informal arts education started far earlier, when her mother would give her old greeting cards to entertain her while she was in her crib. Ruane spent hours examining them, eventually copying their motifs. She also developed an early fascination with anatomy and the figure while pouring over her father's medical texts.  Kay currently lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, Doug, and their two cats, Yuki and Noodles.

Brian Tull was born in Jackson, TN in 1975.  A self-taught artist and lover of all things nostalgic, his paintings in acrylic and oil capture ordinary moments and reflections from the 1930s through 1960s.  Tull's interest in design from this era ranges from simple appliances such as kitchen juicers and toasters to mid-century modern housing and automobiles. His paintings often feature the female figure as protagonist -- ranging from graphic-oriented works suggestive of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, with images rich with unmixed color and bound by hard edges, to true photorealism.

Tull's work has been exhibited throughout the Southeast and is included in many private, corporate, and institutional collections.  Tull currently lives and works outside of Nashville, TN.

Ron Porter lives and works in Nashville where he maintains a painting studio.  His works present settings that are psychologically open-ended, where irony often prevails, and ideas present clarity and ambiguity as one. He has recently retired from teaching drawing and painting at Vanderbilt University. He graduated Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University and Summa Cum Laude from Ohio University. He grew up in East Tennessee. He is represented in numerous collections in the United States, as well as Europe.  He is represented by Cumberland Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee.

Anodyne Frontiers

New Work by John Folsom
May 26 - June 30, 2012

Opening Reception: June 2nd, 6-9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Anodyne Frontiers, a new body of work by John Folsom. Comprised of mixed media painted photography presented on wood panels, Anodyne Frontiersfeatures landscape images taken mostly at Shaker Village near Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.  Also included in this exhibition are several, smaller pieces of Longleaf pine taken from the ongoing reforestation effort at Longleaf Plantation in Georgia.

Folsom's first encounter with Shaker Village was at a family reunion back in October 2011. Immediately struck by the severe symmetry of the dwellings, Folsom found that the austere nature of the architecture seemed to reflect back onto the landscape, which itself possessed a formalism usually reserved for manicured estates.  In thinking about the direction for this work, Folsom also discovered the word "Anodyne" and its relationship to the pharmacopeia of antiquated medicine. Though the word itself relates more specifically to any kind of analgesic that will numb pain, these days it is used more acutely to describe anything unlikely to cause offense or debate. 

Folsom became increasingly interested in that idea, relating it visually to the way images rendered in a more liminal palette can inhabit interior spaces almost imperceptibly.  Using large swaths of cool color that upon closer inspection reveal a frontier land slowly coming into focus, Folsom presents the structures and landscape of Shaker Village as a living museum, hovering on the edge of perception. Through the use of color and mixed media, Folsom's Anodyne Frontiers, exemplifies this fascinating "in-between" quality.

John Folsom (b. 1967) is a mixed media artist who was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University.  Upon completing his degree, Folsom spent 10 years living and working in the city of Nashville. Folsom's photographic paintings have been widely exhibited over the past decade and can be found in many collections worldwide.  The artist currently lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

In the rear gallery:

New Works by Nicole Pietrantoni

To learn more, click here.

The Architect Within

New Work by Peri Schwartz
February 4 - March 24, 2012

Closing Reception: March 3rd, 6-9 pm

For the last decade, Peri Schwartz's primary subject has been the interior of her own studio.  One might expect this narrow subject matter to be limiting.  On the contrary, the exercise has allowed Schwartz to uncover a seemingly boundless reserve of compositions, colors, and surfaces. The history of each image is often visible in the traces of grid lines or the ghosts of objects she has decided to reposition.  Invited to observe the painting's progression in this way, the viewer has a sense of working through the compositional puzzle along with the artist.  Process is paramount, and her paintings are more investigations or studies of an object than polished final products, giving the impression that the artist could pick up her brushes again at any time to adjust one.  In turning her attention to her immediate surroundings, she employs the patient discipline of intensive visual study.  Her introspective vignettes demonstrate the simple elegance of jars and painting tools arranged on a table, well-used art books stacked on an industrial stool, or of sunlight reflecting on glass.

Peri Schwartz grew up in Far Rockaway, NY. She studied at Boston University's School of Fine Arts and received an MFA at Queens College. She lives and works in New Rochelle, NY.  Her work is in museum collections in the US and Europe.