Expressionist figurative works by Theresa Pfarr, mixed media on paper by Fay Ku and large-scale photographs of the Mississippi Delta by Kathleen Robbins go on exhibit today in the Baum Gallery of the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. There will be a reception at 4 p.m. today with music by Fayetteville band High Lonesome.
Pfarr lives and works in New Jersey and was a Pollock-Krasner grant recipient in 2012-2013. Her statement about “By Proxy”:
My work has evolved through studying and researching images of women used in advertising, particularly those in the fashion industry. I discover and draw from the meanderings of these images, and the incongruous and residual anxiety they leave behind. As images stuff my mailbox, invade and clutter my space, I answer their aggression through painting. I interpret their narratives, then break or extend those narratives through a collage and paint process. Identity loss and re-development is explored through the manipulation of surface texture and paint handling. In the effort to convey the psychological struggle in dealing with self-evaluation and mass appeal, my work is both social exposition and autobiographical. Through standing-in for the commercial character my identity is distanced but also clearer, by proxy.
My works on paper are psychological, narrative and figurative. Figures appear isolated against the white of the paper, drawn with delicacy. My characters explore the fluidity of identity — sexual, cultural, personal and political— and the ambiguity in relationships with one another.
Paper suits my temperament. I work quickly, allowing a flow of ideas to move through me. My inspirations come from travel, observation, the radio, films and books—in short, everything. Motifs reoccur in my work, but each time with different associations and references. And, within a single work, the concepts are often layered to yield multiple readings rather than one narrative. I am in interested in the nuances of meaning.
The photographs in these series were made during regular trips home to visit family over a period of several years. I chose to leave the Delta for many of the same reasons anyone ever chooses to leave a rural area. This is land that my family has inhabited for generations, and I am pulled to this place in a way that I am not able to fully articulate.
The exhibits run through Oct. 24.