FORT WORTH, TX.- Fort Worth Contemporary Arts
presents the 2009 TCU graduating MFA candidates, Shelley Hampe, Candace Hicks, Kai-Yi Hsiung, and Joel Kiser in a group exhibition of work selected from their individual thesis shows. Having worked in close proximity for the last two years, this exhibition is a celebration of that period of intense artistic development and community. While the work of these four individuals is distinct, curator Lana Shafer (MA Art History candidate at TCU) has chosen works that interact dynamically, expressing the shared experience of artistic and intellectual inquiry which the MFA program at TCU fostered.
Shelley Hampes work is characterized by an acute honesty. Her autobiographical inspired installations modify the gallery architecture and permeate a tension between aggression and fragility. The almost ethereal appearance of the work is complicated by material disjunction or the sense of a broken narrative. The obsessive nature of Hampes approach is shared in Candace Hicks book work series Common Threads. The books are a record of coincidences, created in fabric and embroidery, and in which threads literally compose the text and image. The industriousness of making these objects mirrors the compulsion required to keep a comprehensive record of coincidences encountered in her reading and mundane daily experiences. In Kai-Yi Hsiungs paintings there is a convergence of everyday culture and traditional decoration. The work combines elements of Taiwanese ornamentation, with references to American and Japanese popular culture, Hsiungs paintings exist in a space between the abstract and figurative and are disruptive of the hierarchies within cultural distinctions. Joel Kisers autobiographical approach to art is based in his firsthand knowledge of the materials, the men, and experiences that have created the mythology of the oilfield. His sculptures visceral surfaces reference dry, cracked mud and the detritus that litters the ravaged terrain within which the oilman exists.