Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present Amy Pleasant, Tight Shot, an exhibition featuring paintings, drawings and a site-specific wall drawing.
On paper, canvas or wall, Pleasant explores simple, everyday acts: private moments, sleep and rest. The drawn or painted line, shifting in scale from intimate to vast, simultaneously anchors and opens each work, while placing the viewer at close range.
“Drawing has always been the most important part of my studio practice”, says Pleasant. “Over the last year I have challenged myself to focus on drawing in a new way. How does the act of drawing function in my work: studies, drawings, paintings, and wall drawings? Does the intimacy of the imagery come from the image itself, the scale or both? What would happen if a small image were blown up larger than life-size?”
Pleasant’s earlier paintings were arranged in a loose storyboard grid, suggesting an unfolding narrative. Her new paintings focus on a specific moment and isolate one image. In Kiss 2, a couple embraces and floats among cloudlike shapes in a vaguely defined architectural space. The couple is painted mostly in black silhouette or contoured line and each figure has no distinguishable features. They function like avatars, in a space that invites the viewer to project his or her own cast.
The wall drawing, Sleeping Head, covers an entire gallery wall, approximately thirteen by eighteen feet. With a bold economy of line, a woman’s head turns away from the viewer in repose. Experienced at this large scale, the viewer becomes a part of the moment through the immediacy of the mark.
This is Pleasant’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. Her solo exhibition, The Bed, after Lautrec, is on view at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Feb. 5 – March 29. She has had previous solo exhibitions at Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, Memphis; the University of Alabama at Birmingham and The Ruby Green Contemporary Arts Center, Nashville. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at The National Museum of Women in the Arts; Luxe Gallery, New York; the Art in Embassies Program; the Columbus Museum of Art (GA); Mobile Museum of Art (AL) and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem (NC). Pleasant received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Tyler School of Art. She lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama.