PROJECT 19:  The Prolonged Gaze
September 1- October 22, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday September 1, 6-9 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday October 19, 2017

­­Zephyr Gallery presents Project 19: The Prolonged Gaze, Tiffany Calvert, Vian Sora, and Nhat Tran

Featuring the works of three extraordinary female painters, Zephyr Gallery presents Project 19: The Prolonged Gaze, Tiffany Calvert, Vian Sora, and Nhat Tran, curated by Miranda Lash, curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum. The Prolonged Gaze will be on view Friday, September 1, 2017 through Sunday, October 22, 2017.

The three artists in this exhibition paint in a manner that bends, challenges, and expands our understanding of painting. Employing a wide range of techniques, their works use vibrant color, rich personal and historical narratives, and at times beauty to create forms that slide between figuration and abstraction. Curator Miranda Lash explains, “Their art is an invitation to explore the formal richness that is possible through painting. Their paintings reward looking longer, and by doing so encourage us to take a more perceptive view towards the rest of the world.”

Vian Sora’s bold paintings are informed by her life. The artist was raised in Baghdad, survived the Iraq War, worked for the Associated Press, and is based in Louisville. Sora’s visions fuse her own experiences with fairytales, Iraqi history, traditional Islamic influences, and painterly abstraction. Though they are largely abstract, Sora’s paintings suggest figures and places, including gardens and warzones, landscapes of lush fertility and terrible decay, and cycles of life and death. These recent works reflect the artist’s latest experiments with abstraction and bright, neon colors.

Tiffany Calvert’s intricate floral paintings recreate Dutch still lifes in a twenty-first century style, which exhibits the influences of Abstract Expressionist painting and recent digital technology. The artist has pioneered a technique of painting on digital prints in such a way that is difficult to tell where the historical reproduction ends and her own painting begins. Her still lifes appear to be “glitched,” like digital images which have been altered or not yet completely loaded. Through her calculated “errors” Calvert (a professor at the University of Louisville) inspires us to question the reliability of images.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and based in Indianapolis, Nhat Tran is an expert in the technique of urushi lacquer, an intensely laborious process. Tran applies many thin layers onto the artwork’s surface and then invests hours upon hours into sanding layers away, trusting her intuition as to where and how the colors will reappear. The results are iridescent sculptures that seem to vibrate with color. Like the fragrance of flowers or a bouquet of wine, her artwork embraces the richness and transience of life.

Zephyr Gallery will host a reception for The Prolonged Gaze on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 6pm and talk with the artists on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6pm.