Drawing on the histories and methods of psychoanalysis, art therapy, and expressionistic painting, Vancouver-based artist Rebecca Brewer’s work straddles the boundary between abstraction and representation to evoke fragmented memories and flowing organic forms. Natural Horror, her first solo museum presentation, features recent felted wool “scrims” as well as embossed enamel monoprints in cast resin frames—two bodies of work that operate in the idiom of painting but employ materials and techniques associated with non-canonical craft practices. The exhibition title—a reference to a subgenre of horror films in which a natural force or creature poses a threat to humans—alludes to both the artist’s interest in the relationship between aesthetics and psychological affects, and to the disintegrated botanical and bodily forms that appear within her works.
With meandering lines and acidic pops of color, Brewer’s large textile scrims are made using a labor-intensive wet-felting method in which masses of wool fibers are embedded in the gridded threads of silk gauze. Brewer develops their compositions through an intuitive process that is—by necessity of her felting method—slower and less immediate than painting, the medium in which she was trained. This approach dovetails with the artist’s exploration into the possibilities of “direct” expressionistic visualization of inner states, including research into synesthesia, psychedelic experience, and tropes of therapeutic art-making.
- Sat, Jan 25, 2020 All Day