My extremities curled in the heat of circumstance.
Featuring Jackie Cassidy and Erica Harney
The Art Locker is a space that uses its small scale to explore ideas revolving around intimacy. The paintings exhibited here made by Jackie Cassidy and Erica Harney present the viewer with, from this curator’s perspective, intimacy of a delicate sort. The visceral tactility of Jackie's monochromatic works evoke an almost painfully vigorous mark making harking back to the work of Joan Mitchell or Lee Krasner, but where they deviate is in the depth and pictorial space Cassidy depicts. The aggressive layers don't behave like a protective armor but act instead like a cave for the viewer to explore and lose themselves in. “You wouldn't like me if you knew how I really was,” they almost seem to say as they evoke a feeling of revealing one’s suppressed emotions. What we realize by beholding her recent work is our own familiarity with the spaces she paints. These are about affirmation.
What do we think of when we look at dead leaves? Even better: What drives Erica Harney to collect and meticulously paint dead leaves? The curator cannot help but see an aspect of his humanity reflected in one dead leaf, curled up on a sidewalk but not yet trampled but instead picked up and immortalized on paper for viewers to find beauty in. Like Cassidy, Harney's paintings evoke a viewer’s curiosity with a surreal viciousness. That is not where the journey of the work ends though! The leaves are realistic enough to evoke the same feeling of fragility, as if they are on the paper themselves—and if we so much as look at them too hard, they will crumble. But because they are beautiful, the viewer can't help but behold them. Both the viewer and the viewed are the same, experiencing an existentially beautiful moment, preserved on paper. My extremities curled in the heat of circumstance.