Cornucopia at Wally Workman

Cornucopia, my sixth solo show at Wally Workman opens on November 5th. An evolution of the At the Well series, these paintings explore visual metaphor. Replacing different parts of a repeated composition, I am interested in seeing how incremental changes can affect meaning. Often, I have replaced a figure or a vessel with a Klein bottle, which is a topological cousin of the Möbius strip described as a “non-orientable surface with no boundary.” Orientation, surface, and boundary are all features of a painting as well, and I enjoy discovering how each one shifts based on choices between representation and abstraction.

This sparked my interest in other topological forms that have mathematical properties that, when viewed in a new context, take on poetic meaning. In several of these paintings, the girl has been replaced with a vase-like shape that is modeled after iterations from a Julia set beginning and ending as a circle. This abstract model concisely solidifies concepts like order, chaos, and return to order while also resembling a vase when viewed from the side. Painting this form in two dimensions, I am interested in the way that perspective and context can make one thing appear to be another.

As this project has progressed, the paintings have become more stylized and other art historical influences are interweaving. They are representational still life, but there are abstractions that read as objects and figures hidden in unusual places.

In these paintings, I hope that the fine line between the representational and abstract has become a thin enough boundary for viewers to be able to flip back and forth between visual experiences, and in doing so, to experience a visual metaphor and the new connections that metaphor can create.

What: Cornucopia
Where: Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, Texas
When: November 5-27, 2022, Reception: Nov. 5th, 3-6
Ambiance: still life portraits in color, chaos, texture, order

  • Julia Set 3D models by Dr. Benjamin Berger
  • Glass Klein models by ACME Klein Bottle
  • The Broken Pitcher by William Adolphe Bouguereau
  • art historical references: Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Bouguereau, and Jock Sturges