I recently completed a commissioned wall piece in the home of Craig Troyer here in Denver. The piece is located on a vertical panel located on an exposed concrete wall in the loft. The imagery is derived from the Platte River, which runs by the building and can be seen from the large windows behind the piece. This piece incorporated a wash on the wall for the first time, lending a soft ground and a connection to the works on paper. On the left is a photograph of the work, and on the right, a sense of its scale and placement in the space.
I have a few Images of my work, Mirage, from the exhibition, PHOS: Light Today at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in March. The piece was executed in reflective paint, so it shimmered and changed depending on the weather, lighting conditions and viewpoint in the gallery. Here is my statement from the exhibition:
For Mirage, I began with images of light catching on the surface of water, and imagined how that light would project on the gallery walls, like the ephemeral patterns that play on the interior walls of my house. The paint is iridescent, and so gives the piece a different value structure at various angles of view, lighting conditions, and times of day. In this way, it activates the space in a natural way, reflecting its surrounding conditions in the same way that the original subject might. However, Mirage is fictional, and while the piece describes light and how it might interact with the architecture of the gallery, it is essentially artificial, and through shape and material, draws attention to its own artifice.
Above is an installation image of the piece, about 20 ft. by 20 ft. Below, two detail images.
I am currently preparing a new installation for the exhibition PHOS: light today at the Colorado Photographic Art Center, in conjunction with the Month of Photography, a city-wide celebration of photography with exhibitions in multiple venues throughout Denver. The exhibition is curated by Conor King, also a local photographer, and brings together artists working in a variety of media whose work uses or describes light. From the exhibition statement:
With this exhibition we see contemporary artists continuing to experiment with the ways in which light can be seen and understood using new technologies, harnessing it in installations, and exploring it as material and subject matter. Phōs: light today aims to connect the works of artists engaged in experimentation with light and challenges viewers to participate in this continuing multi-medium exploration.
For the exhibition, I am planning a new wall installation in the space, based on imagery of light on the surface of water. I will be experimenting with some new approaches, and will post photos of the installation process as it comes nearer.
I am going to be included in a summer group exhibition at Rule Gallery in Denver titled H₂O, curated around the image and concept of water. The exhibition will open July 20 from 6-9 pm, and will continue through August 25. The exhibition will also feature artists Margaret Neumann, Christine Buchsbaum, Diane Christiansen, Joseph Coniff, and Richard Tuttle, and according to the gallery statement, “intends to depict the reality perceived by each artist, not only through physical forms but also by our own relationships and associations.”
My work Spill, 2009, (above) will be included, a cut felt piece that I have not yet shown in Denver. This piece was part of a larger group of works that I completed during a residency at Anderson Ranch in the fall of 2009, all of which utilized video imagery that I collected from the nearby Roaring Fork River. I hope that you will be able to make it out to see its Denver debut.
Also, I have recently updated my portfolios on the White Columns and Drawing Center registries, please feel free to check them out.
My current exhibition, The geography of looking, opened March 9, 2012 at Rule Gallery in Denver to a great crowd. The show will continue through April 21, and this Thursday, April 5, I will be giving an artist talk in the space at 6pm. The installation shot above shows the new wall painting for the exhibition, titled Precipice. Below is an image of the north wall, including works on paper from 2011 and 2012.
The exhibition recently had a very positive review in the Denver Post, “Artist Mindy Bray’s Wide View of the New West”, written by Ray Mark Rinaldi. From the article:
In a way, Bray has unsettled the landscape, turned back the clock. Her paintings are not prehistoric, but they appear pre-logging, pre-highway, pre-subdivision. That allows her to explore them in a fresh and uncomplicated way.
With the exhibit at Rule, Bray takes her world to an even richer dimension. In addition to the works hanging on the wall, she has linked a large-scale, site-specific painting created directly on the wall. It is a giant mess of a map that begs to be reconstructed by the viewer, then identified and located among the lands we Westerners love to drive, hike and raft through. But it’s impossible really; there aren’t enough landmarks to place it.
It’s in the fun of trying, and the frustration of failing, that Bray’s point of view becomes clear. Everything we see can’t be ordered, conquered. Sometimes we must be content just seeing it. These works sacrifice the beauty that is often contained in landscape paintings and photographs and in exchange give us a lesson in looking.
You can view the entire article online here.
This is a sketch in Illustrator of the new site-specific painting I have planned for my upcoming solo exhibition at Rule Gallery, The Geography of Looking. The painting will be 24 feet long, and include a transparent wash, a new element for the installations.
The exhibition will open March 9 from 6-9, and will run through April 21. Here is my statement for the show, hope to see you all there.
“The geography of looking” consists of a group of paintings on paper and a site-specific painting on the gallery wall that present a systematic description of the experience of landscape, both physical and psychological. Images of mountain environments are reduced to fragmented fields that require both a slowed reading and an expansive awareness. Each of the paintings is a frame within a larger narrative; the site-specific painting provides the key, the overall map and context for these individual moments. All of the paintings are an investigation into how the mind reflects our surrounding environment, filtered through our biology, personal experience, and cultural knowledge.
Geography is a method for understanding and navigating our environment; these paintings present the process of systemizing visual experience in order to navigate a complicated natural world. Drawn from photographs of Western landscapes in Colorado and Utah, the paintings address the complex arena of visual beauty, psychological states, and the history and culture of the land that are all a part of the experience of nature. Through color and materials, the paintings evoke romantic notions of the West, including beauty, freedom and spirituality, and then, through careful dissection, they are pulled apart to reveal their inner concrete workings.
The Winter 2012 issue of Modern in Denver magazine features a profile of my work. If you are in the Denver area, you can pick up a copy at Tattered Cover, Barnes and Noble, or Whole Foods. Six pages with several large full-color photos, it is an excellent piece. You can download a pdf of the full article here. MB_Modern in Denver
Here is an excerpt:
Many of Mindy’s subjects are found in nature and, even when reduced to the point that the original subject is no longer immediately apparent, possess a clear organic quality. Be it a muddled mound of trash or an autumn forest floor, the original subject retains significance even after being reduced to solid shapes.
“The subject of the photograph adds a layer of meaning to the paintings, as well as a particular shape quality,” Mindy explains, “When there is a sense of recognition in the images, it adds the deja’ vu feeling I am interested in – something familiar presented in an unfamiliar way. It is like an epiphany”