Hurt at work in her studio.
I first became aware of Rhia Hurt through her figurative paintings and in her capacity as the Director of Brooklyn Art Space in Gowanus.
Presented here are examples of Hurt's collage paintings, a growing segment of her work since 2012. These recent acrylic, paper, and archival digital photographs depict the artist's natural environments and are an exciting departure as well as an intuitive extension of her earlier figurative work.
Studio view with work in progress.
These collages are comprised of acrylic paint on paper and archival digital photographs that depict the natural environment of the remote northern coast of California where I grew up, as well as industrial cities where I’ve lived, Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY. I make painted surfaces using brushes, my fingers, and by pouring and shifting acrylic medium. The momentum evident within the marks– whether chaotic, kinetic energy or calm, subtle gradations, relates to thoughts and feelings of these places. By cutting, ripping, and recombining imagery I reorder incongruent visual ideas, arranging disparate colors, shapes, and textures until I find “rightness” in the composition. This process allows me to tap into unknown and unexpected visual and psychological territories.
The resulting collages reference natural, industrial, and imagined space. In the process of culling specific imagery, I want to understand how it is possible to be in many places at once (psychically) and how distinct experiences in distant places and time can overlap and be confined to one space inside of me and within one composition. My work is to manifest a visual representation of the complexities of attachment to place– to what is gone and what is still present in the form of memory.
For more on Rhia Hurt and her work visit her news page.
Hurt was recently featured as a Short List Curator on BRIC's blog.
*All images courtesy of the artist.