realm of the unknown
A group exhibition by past and present Form+Content Gallery interns, Realm of the Unknown is an exhibition of work inspired by the less tangible aspects of life, the things we cannot see or hear, such as auras. An aura is an atmosphere that emanates from or surrounds a particular object or being. When working creatively, people’s auras tend to expand and may intercept energies from other origins outside of themselves. In this exhibition, artists Caitlin David, Kathryn Flora, Greta Kotz, and Shannon Smith interpret the intangible through moments of wonder, strangeness, absence, and dealings with the subconscious mind. They examine how ethereal concepts, like that of the aura, can be explored and expressed in the tangible world.
My work communicates the wonder I find in exploration of the organic and biological. I utilize methods of analytical looking and a sense of fascination to incorporate awe into subjects that could be seen as sterile. The term ‘wonder’ encompasses both a curiosity and at least some level of the sublime, something beyond our comprehension but which we seek to understand anyway. Curiosity and a desire to name are integral functions of wonder as I understand it. This includes a sense of frustration with the limitations of knowledge inherent to occupying a physical being.
My work is inspired by Japanese pop art and the American psychedelic aesthetic of the 1960’s-70’s. Working primarily in gouache, my paintings consist of bold forms and flat color, often manifesting into abstract portraiture. My work stems from the images that are created through the subconscious mind. I create compositions organically and let the true subjects come to life on their own. Something new is discovered in each piece that propels future work.
My work for Realm of the Unknown is a set of portraits centered on rhythms beyond the biosphere. These portraits highlight the conscious and subconscious connections the individual has to his or her environment. For people, the psychological and personal connection to the natural world is the wellspring from which we draw love, fear, and spirituality. This relationship is portrayed by blending the representation of individuals with abstract and familiar forms.
Shannon L. Smith
In the work that I will be showing at Realm of the Unknown, I am exploring lost and abandoned photos that have found their way into my hands. I process the existential strangeness of the fact that every one of us is or was once a lover, mother, father, daughter, son, stranger, friend, enemy, and or grand force of nature. Then suddenly, that fierce life is gone. In between the binaries of dead and alive, there’s something else. In these pieces, I meditate on the space between and ruminate on how these once-loved faces came to be lost and forgotten.
Currently a student at Washington University in St. Louis, Caitlin David has just begun assembling her practice as an artist. Her work usually takes the form of paintings, drawings, or prints, although recently she also expanded her repertoire of media to include sculpture. Born in Minnesota in 1994, she began attending Washington University with the intention of studying both art and the biological sciences. The paintings and prints she presented in Find Us Next Year, the school’s spring exhibition for undergraduate juniors studying fine art, showed the influences of her scientific studies. David is considering pursuing a graduate degree in medical illustration.
Kathryn Flora was born and raised in the suburbs of Minnesota. She has been drawing since she was a child. She began pursuing art seriously during high school when she became enamored with the illustration and animation in The Beatles 1969 film, Yellow Submarine. Kathryn went on to earn her B.F.A degree in illustration at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In college, she discovered her love for abstraction, which led her away from illustration and into the fine arts realm. She currently practices art out of her home in South Minneapolis.
Greta Kotz is a multimedia artist from Minneapolis that has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and Hi-Fructose Magazine. Her compositions swirl between abstraction and realistic depictions of the human form and the natural world. They are centered on the subject of each work, as well as the subtle psychology in their gestures and body language. Using traditional and digital media, the work combines human nature, magical realism and contemporary illustration to create a sense of familiarity and wonder in the viewer.
Shannon L. Smith
Shannon L. Smith was born in 1978, on Bayshore, Long Island, New York. She was raised in the wilds and swamps of Fort Myers, Florida. She has lived in Milwaukee, WI, Chattanooga, TN, Bloomington, IN, New Orleans, LA, and currently resides in Minneapolis, MN. She received her BFA at the University of Minnesota. She has shown her work in Sweet Hickory in Bloomington, IN, and at the Hard Times Café, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota, all in Minneapolis, MN.
June 30 – August 06, 2016
Friday, July 08, 2016, 6 –9:00 pm