Allison Evans

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Artist Statement

Ideas come to me in a flood of urgency. The challenge is to keep up with the relentless turning of my mind. I make a ton of drawings, all with a brush on paper, and translate these drawings directly onto canvas. The speed with which I execute the drawings and paintings allows me to avoid self-consciousness.

I create my own lexicon of characters and symbols. Motifs repeat – body positions, thought bubbles, masks – shifting in psychological impact depending on their context. Within the limited vocabulary of line drawing, every mark conveys meaning. By not seducing the viewer with a veil of thick paint or color, I am able to speak as simply and directly as possible.

These paintings are about reduction. They are about not hiding – perhaps ironically so because I often depict characters whose faces are obscured. But it is through this lack of empathy in the protagonists’ blank stares that I am able to confront the viewer, subvert his/her gaze, and ask him/her to decide whether the paintings are playful, erotic, or disturbing.

I lost my mother to cancer when I was twenty. Blinded by grief and without my primary role model, I looked to popular culture, fashion, and my strong matriarchal lineage for cues about how to be female in a culture saturated with mixed messages. I could not escape the role of the body in developing human identity. Like many young women, I measured myself against the rigid standards of beauty promoted by the media and canonized by art history. I constantly considered the way I might be perceived in any given situation.

In his 1972 essay Ways of Seeing, John Berger contends that “A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself.” In Oopsy Daisy, I turn this assertion on its head, taking an irreverent stab at the idea that women are condemned to endless self-scrutiny.

My stern Jewish grandmother always chided me for taking myself too seriously, reminding me that we must be able to laugh at ourselves (though I swore she never could). So it’s no wonder that I learned to use humor to reconcile life’s challenges and contradictions, including the inescapable reality of gender disparity and the role it plays in the development of female identity.

Comedy – like art – allows contrary ideas to coexist, revealing aspects of reality in their juxtaposition. But unlike jokes, these paintings have no punch lines. Rather, they exist in a state of unresolved anxiety, an acknowledgment of the mixed signals and conflicting expectations that are inseparable from the experience of being female.

 

 

CV

EDUCATION
2009 MFA Hunter College (CUNY), New York, NY
2004 Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
2002 BA Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
2001  The International School of Art, Montecastello, Italy

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015
Amuse-Bouche. 106 Green. (artist-run venue) Brooklyn, NY
2012
Recent Paintings. YACE. (artist-run venue) LIC, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016
Offshore Residency Exhibition. Regina Rex. New York, NY (forthcoming).
Maybe I’m Doing It Wrong (curated by Jon Lutz). 106 Green. Brooklyn, NY
2014
Campfire (curated by Shawn Powell). Academic. LIC, NY.
Sunk. General Practice. Miami, FL
Credit for the Discontent. General Practice. Brooklyn, NY
Roll Call (curated by Baris Gokturk).1717 Troutman. Ridgewood, NY.
2013
New Work, Five Painters. Edward Thorp Gallery. New York, NY Marty’s Cool Biennial. Heliopolis. Brooklyn, NY
2011
Assembly. Edward Thorp Gallery. New York, NY
2010
Satellite 2D (curated by Astrid Persans). Powerhouse Projects. New York, NY
2009
Hunter MFA Thesis Exhibition. Times Square Gallery. New York, NY
At Close Range. Edward Thorp Gallery. New York, NY
2008
Allison Evans, Kristine Moran, Ted O’Sullivan (curated by David Hunt). Buia Gallery. New York, NY
2004
Visual Prospects. Dreitzer Gallery. Waltham, MA
Between the Lines. Dreitzer Gallery. Waltham, MA

PRIZES AND AWARDS
2011
Selected as Promising Emerging Artist, Christie’s Education, New York, NY
2002
Adelbert Ames Award for Excellence in Fine Arts, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
2002
ORL Art Purchase Award, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

RESIDENCIES
2016
Offshore Residency, Brooksville, ME
2005
Vermont Studio Center Residency, Johnson, VT.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
2016
Roberta Smith, “Galleries Shift Shape to Survive in a Changing Art World”. The New York Times. June 23.
Ryan Steadman, “7 Things To Do In New York’s Art World Before June 20”. The Observer. June 16.
2015
Vic Vaiana, “Your Concise Guide to the March 2015 Greenpoint Gallery Night”. Hyperallergic. March 20.
2014
Featured Artist, Quest Magazine. Fall 2014.
Paddy Johnson, “Bushwick Open Studios in Review”. Art F City. June 2, 2014.
2013
“New Work, Five Painters”, Wall Street Journal International Magazine. December 11, 2013.
Verfhond’s List: #389 Allison Evans, A Thousand Living Painters, Art Initiative Verfhond, Amsterdam, 
Netherlands, February 2013.
2011
Featured Artist, Slush Pile Magazine. March 2011.
2009
“At Close Range at Edward Thorp Gallery”, KCLOG Blog. March 2009.

ARTS-RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE
2014
Visiting Artist/Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
2012
Visiting Critic, Hunter College BFA Program, New York, NY.

CURATORIAL PROJECTS
2002
A Space For Dialogue: Cornelia Parker and Jean DuBuffet. Hood Museum of Art. Hanover, NH (catalog)