Gallery Openings and Events

The Alley Cat Studio Presents The Sublime/Subliminal

LA Memory 1 (David Hockney), painting by Mariah Anne Johnson. Photo courtesy of Kathryn McDonnell.

LA Memory 1 (David Hockney), painting by Mariah Anne Johnson. Photo courtesy of Kathryn McDonnell.

 
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Opening Reception: Saturday April 20, 3pm to 6pm

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On view through May 19.

The Sublime/Subliminal, an exhibition of current work, features four artists associated with the Washington DC area as follows:

  • Mariah Anne Johnson
  • Michael Matason
  • Kendall Nordin
  • Peter Gordon

The exhibition will be an exploration of the common tension in today’s culture between the sublime and the subliminal. The sublime referring to the concept “threshold” is often used in art to evoke an idea that is not always understood or easy to get, but nevertheless a work of art embodies its meaning. A work that is lofty or transcendent is often considered sublime usually steeped in profound feeling. The word sublime has roots in the Latin word for lintel. The structure marks a portal, gate or doorway. The subliminal points to undercurrent messages prevalent in society, which directly or indirectly influence the timbre and quality of daily living. To what degree are the subliminal undercurrents lying in wait just under the threshold of perception? The dance between two perceptions creates a sort of tension.

Mariah Anne Johnson explores the role of narrative, memory, and the effect of place on our perception of these topics.  Current work on display includes a site-specific installation using the fabric of bed sheets and pillowcases, and a surprising assemblage of paintings and other common objects.

Peter Gordon’s intimate drawings are made up of thousands of marks and appear to reach the point just before absolute dissolution. Their spatial relationships and bursting energy are visual metaphors for the unpredictable way that we exist between changing geographies, careers, people, and ideas. Part of a larger series titled, “Wolf Biter,” Michael Matason is working with microscopic images of fresh skin crudely, though intentionally removed from around his fingernails. The photographs are mysterious in their depiction of the human body and question the appeal for the destruction and breakdown of the artist’s own body.

Kendall Nordin’s videos call attention to and play with the role of perception and its contribution to meaning. Nordin, drawing on other disciplines’ research and theories of the phenomena of human life-quantum physics, philosophy, biology, and linguistics, demonstrates that our ability to explain does not actually create or solidify meaning.

Works are on view by appointment only, Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 5pm.

The Alley Cat Studio is a working artist space converted to a temporary gallery for the duration to the exhibit. The studios house a small group of Washington artists. This inaugural exhibition marks the public opening of the shared group studio space at 29 Kings Court SE.

The Alley Cat Studio is located at 29 Kings Court #6 SE. For more information please contact Kathryn McDonnell (202) 365-0219, or at [email protected]

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