Emily Hartley-Skudder and Chris Willcox are two emerging artists from separate hemispheres of the globe with utterly distinct painting practices; the former’s is small, representational, and modeled, the latter’s large, abstract, and gestural. Nevertheless, the color, light, and mood of their work bear uncannily similarities. Both exploit vivid and synthetic color, the interplay between opaque and transparent forms, and the disjunction between handmade and manufactured materials to create a mood that is simultaneously seductive and dangerous, immediate and mysterious. Guilty Pleasures is an artist-curated exhibit and a graphic investigation across two bodies of work into a shared space that is neither exclusively conceptual nor formal. By pairing and contrasting intimate oil paintings and photographs by Hartley-Skudder with large oil paintings and lithographs by Willcox, we see into a world where the pleasurable allure of color and material is amplified to a menacing extreme.
Presented by No Home Gallery in a private loft in NoHo, NYC, the limited-engagement exhibit will take place over the weekend of Saturday November 22 - Sunday November 23. That Sunday, the artists will present an artist talk and salon discussion, moderated by No Home Gallery founders Victoria Manganiello and Anastasia Voron, about their work, the exhibit, and what's at stake in contemporary painting.
About the artist
Chris Willcox creates artworks that juxtapose planned and improvisational strategies in painting, employing both traditional and novel materials like oil paint, urethane, and mirrored Plexiglas. While rooted in the tradition of painting, Willcox also works with performance and printmaking. His work is collected and exhibited around the world at venues such as the Smithsonian Institution, England’s Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and Spain’s Gabarron Foundation. Raised in and around Washington DC, Willcox attended Washington University in St. Louis and the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, where he studied philosophy and fine art. Prior to his artistic career, Chris worked for three years in the laboratory of Nobel laureate and renowned neuroscientist Eric Kandel.
Emily Hartley-Skudder’s practice involves the collection of found objects – mostly miniatures, ornaments and toys. These are then assembled and photographed before being translated into intricate oil paintings. Through this process the artist explores visual perceptions of the ‘real’ and draws attention to our ongoing preoccupation with representing aspects of the everyday. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Hartley-Skudder graduated with a BFA (Hons) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand, with works held in multiple public and private collections. Hartley-Skudder has also participated in shows in Sendai, Japan and at Mandurah Performing Art Centre, Australia. As of recently, the artist now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.