artists & participants
After Effect is a group exhibition that features work by Dan Colen, Loie Hollowell, and key paintings from Emil Bisttram, Raymond Jonson, Agnes Pelton, Florence Miller Pierce, and Stuart Walker of the Transcendental Painting Group; an animated film by Oskar Fischinger; and an installation by Arturo Bandini. The exhibition collides historical paintings and film from the '30s and '40s with works from contemporary artists that address notions of the sublime, touching on mortality, landscape, the body, and various modes of abstraction.
Dan Colen produces new work for After Effect that continues his exploration of spirituality and mortality with a triptych of large skyscapes based on stills from the 1940 Walt Disney film Fantasia. Achieved through an arduous process of layering paint, both with airbrush and traditional brushwork, these cloud paintings hide nothing of their cartoon origins while at the same time evoking the Romantic sublime. This new triptych appears alongside a sculpture from Colen's recent Canopic series, solid silver casts taken from the negative space formed by roadside guardrails mangled in automobile accidents.
Emerging artist Loie Hollowell's work explores an abstract geography of bodily forms—vaginas, nipples, phalluses, tongues—in vivid oil on linen canvases that radiate with texture and symmetry. The work takes inspiration in part from classical imagery: the artist finds resonance in Catholic iconography as well as European Gothic and Islamic architectural forms, while recent praise in the New York Times places her in a complex lineage with both Georgia O'Keefe and Judy Chicago.
After Effect also features historical works from the Transcendental Painting Group, artists who figure largely in Hollowell and Colen's practices. Founded in New Mexico, the Transcendental Painting Group existed from 1938–1942 and aimed to "defend, validate and promote abstract and non-objective art." Transcendental Painting Group artists represented in After Effect include Emil Bisttram, Raymond Jonson, Agnes Pelton, Florence Miller Pierce, and Stuart Walker. The works were created using methods simultaneously scientific and metaphysical. At times the paintings bring to mind the colors and forms of the New Mexico landscape, and at others seem to exist as untethered visual poetry.
Ballroom Marfa's south gallery features Oskar Fischinger's iconic Radio Dynamics (1942), a silent animated film which ebbs and flows with rhythmically edited abstract forms. This meditative, painterly work is suggestive of Fischinger's overlooked contributions to Fantasia and is just one example of his wildly influential role as the father of the visual music tradition.
In the Ballroom Marfa courtyard, Arturo Bandini hosts two shows-within-the-show, Vapegoat Rising and Dengue Fever, over the run of After Effect. These micro-exhibitions play off of the exhibition's transcendental themes. Arturo Bandini is a collaborative project/gallery by artists Michael Dopp and Isaac Resnikoff. The gallery occupies a small building designed by Joakim Dahlqvist that fluidly transposes interior and exterior space, mirroring Bandini's promiscuous curatorial sensibility. Ballroom Marfa will host an exact copy of the original Bandini building in Los Angeles. Their first installation, Vapegoat Rising is described by the artists as a "percolation of fog and rock" and features work from eight additional artists. Arturo Bandini will revisit the space mid-way through After Effect with a second exhibition, Dengue Fever.
From the cosmic to the corporeal, the works in the exhibition produce a transformative aesthetic effect, a resonance that exists between the viewer's experience and the artist's process. After Effect continues Ballroom Marfa's mission of enabling profound cultural happenings and unexpected connections in the enigmatic and open setting of Far West Texas.
After Effect has been made possible by the generous support of The Brown Foundation, Inc.; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; the Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa members. Additional support of the exhibition has been provided by the Center for Visual Music; Feuer/Mesler, New York; Gagosian Gallery; Massimo De Carlo Gallery; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery; and Venus Over Manhattan.