Talley Dunn Gallery is honored to present an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Francesca Fuchs, Painting and Mugs.
The exhibition will run from Saturday, March 7 – April 18, with an opening reception on March 7 from 6 – 8 pm. Fuchs will give brief remarks at 6:30 pm.
In Painting and Mugs, artist Francesca Fuchs displays paintings in groupings. Thickly oil-painted fired clay sculptures of mugs are paired with paintings of objects and paintings of paintings. Fuchs jostles images of last century stylizations with representations of classical art and the domestically mundane. From a framed image of the Pantheon in her childhood home to the unassuming mugs she uses to drink her daily tea, Fuchs’ subjects are drawn from her immediate surroundings. Pairing and matching her works into thoughtfully curated arrangements, Fuchs creates confluences and dialogues between the past, the personal, and the everyday. In doing so, the artist deflates hierarchies of distinction between high art and other forms of making, asking viewers to carefully consider the nature of art, objects, and painting.
Fuchs encourages playful and, at times, jarring interactions between her paintings and sculptures. In one arrangement she groups a painting of a cast of a classical sculptural fragment with a painting of a print by a regional modern German artist and a sculpture of a vase. With their right hands held aloft, the figures in both paintings share poses that create a serendipitous echo. The accompanying vase is unabashedly turquoise, similar to the hue in the painting of the print. These convergences allow for the re-assessment of age-old cyclical patterns in art history. They invite contemplation of figure and gesture, of how the original German print leans on Picasso, of how Picasso leans on classical art, of the effectiveness and simplicity of color matching in both the home and in art. Fuchs makes the proposition that all forms of making are equal and ultimately collaborative, building on artists and objects that are both known and unknown. Fuchs espouses the personal and intimate experience of made objects, creating collaborations across time and space.
The artist’s treatment of her different media piques additional interest. Originally trained as a sculptor, Fuchs is celebrated for her work as a painter. In Painting and Mugs, the sculptures are thickly painted in oil, possessing a distinctly hand-made quality. She hand builds the mugs in clay, replicating the feeling of holding the original and documenting the chips and irregularities of each one. In contrast, the surfaces of her paintings lie relatively flat. Working in layers of thin gestural brushwork with a restricted palette in a low value range, Fuchs translates these paintings and objects into her own hand. Fuchs insists on the value of small and personal truths with decided subjectivity. All of the objects that are painted and built in the exhibition are a part of her life. She lives with these objects and wants the viewer to as well. Fuchs orchestrates a thoughtful journey through the exhibition that weaves subtle interactions, narratives, and questions into larger conversations. The artist asks that we pay attention to the small and large ways that truth matters through objects, their lives, and our lives with them.
Francesca Fuchs (b. 1965, London) grew up in Münster, Germany. She earned her BFA at the Wimbledon School of Art in London, and later studied under Tony Cragg at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Fuchs lives and works in Houston, Texas, where she is now Head of Painting and Chair of the 2D Department at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Fuchs has exhibited in institutions throughout the United States and in Europe, including the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; Art League Houston; the Galveston Arts Center; and the Fayerweather Gallery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Fuchs’ work is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and numerous private collections. She has received two Artadia Awards, four individual artist grants through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Hunting Art Prize. Fuchs was the 2017 Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and Art League Houston’s 2018 Texas Artist of the Year.
Talley Dunn Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. Painting and Mugs will be on view concurrently at the gallery with Butt Johnson: Drawing Fast and Slow. For additional images and more information about the exhibition, please contact Meredith Leyendecker at the gallery ([email protected] or 214-521-9898) for visuals and a checklist.