DATELINES: Donna Anderson Kam & Holly Williams
OCTOBER 5 - NOVEMBER 29, 2012
San Francisco artist Donna Anderson Kam creates large-scale pastel drawings loosely based on re-enacted scenes from news articles. She directs young actors to play out what she imagines could have happened in real life and then photographs them. After manipulating the photos, often intensifying the colors to suggest the heightened quality of the moment portrayed, she uses them as references for her impressive, often monumental pastel drawings. The drawings feature vividly colored young women in situations that are both ambiguous and disturbing, to varying degrees. The figures’ contemporary fashion, youth and seeming nonchalance are at odds with their litter-scattered surroundings and potentially dangerous or tragic experiences, creating a compelling tension.
Holly Williams, based in Los Angeles, makes oil paintings inspired by found photographs or video stills. She deliberately recalls filmic effects using spliced images within one composition or soft-focus, blurred images that imply movement. Ghostly paintings of landscapes, buildings or figures appear to be coming into or fading out of view like snippets of a longer narrative momentarily captured. In her current exhibition, Williams revisits the scene of a snowy mountainside in multiple paintings that verge on abstraction, as though it is the scene of a crime or perhaps a fond memory. Other works portray shadowy figures in the snow or in a solitary boat on a wintery lake. All are painted in a muted palette that is reminiscent of toned silver gelatin prints. Williams’ enigmatic works occupy an interesting place between traditional painting and photography, representation and abstraction, nostalgia and mystery.
-Chandra Cerrito, Curator