McDaniel College's Department of Art and Art History presents “Pressure/Heat/Time: Paintings by Evan Boggess,” August 27 through September 20 in The Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. The opening reception will be held Thursday, August 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with an artist talk beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Evan Boggess is a painter working primarily in mixed media and is a 2011 MFA graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art. “I grew up in the weirdness of the West Virginia mountains,” Boggess says. “The strange, yet stoic people living in the harsh, yet beautiful landscape provided a rich pool of subject matter to draw from as a young artist. I have always painted, and the figure has been my most prevalent focus. Over the years, though, I have diverted from traditional representations of figures in favor of more fractured, abstracted treatments. Most recently, the figure has been evoked through the viewers themselves. I try to accomplish this by making paintings that behave like sculpture and require the audience to physically move through the work.”
“Pressure, heat, and time are the conditions that shape earth’s metamorphic minerals. They are also the conditions under which I have structured the paintings in this exhibition,” explains Boggess. “I excavate pressure, heat, and time out of the context of mineralogy and translate them into the language of painting. Pressure now refers to the lateral compaction in a pictorial void. Heat is now a function of color. Time now measures the slow accumulation of paint on a surface. For each painting, the variations of the three conditions are based on the characteristics of an actual mineral deposit. They provide a conceptual framework for my research and guide my formal process to a degree. However, the pictorial needs of each individual painting eventually reach a breaking point and the predetermined conditions are rendered obsolete. It is at this stage that the image begins to detach from its subject mineral and becomes singular.”
Boggess feels that without base materials to act upon, “pressure, heat, and time would leave no records of their occurrences. Each painting in this exhibition begins as a representational study of a directly observed raw mineral. This practice provides me with an immense volume of potentially abstract forms. Using a subtractive method, these selected passages are extracted from the painted rubble, allowing the redefined conditions of pressure, heat, and time to direct the excavation. Inevitably, this leaves the surface somewhat barren with many small glimpses of formal provocations. I allow these queues to develop and expand in the pictorial space until the painting has reached a new point of resolution.”
Many of the minerals Boggess used for subject matter in this exhibition also appear in the list of ingredients on tubes of paint. “I use paint to explore mineralogy because I appreciate their intrinsic connection. Moreover, the distortive qualities of crystalline minerals translate effortlessly into the medium of paint, with its own powers of spatial deception.”
The Rice Gallery is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For more information about the artist, please visit http://evanboggessart.com/home.html. For information and to confirm gallery hours, please call 410-857-2595.
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