Category: Artist Profiling

The New Realism

posted by – 01/23/14 @ 12:26pm

They say /that Napoleon /was colourblind /& blood for him /as green as /grass. – from Unrecounted by WG Sebald

As a student of art history, I look at a lot of art each day. Because of this, I have an unintentional tendency to glaze over images and objects without second thought. But the first time I saw Richard Mosse’s photographs, they stuck with me. I found myself sharing his work with friends, family, and even strangers.

His most recent body of work, collectively titled The Enclave, immerses the viewer in a challenging and sinister world, exploring aesthetics in a situation of profound human suffering. Like other conceptual documentary photographers, Mosse’s images blur the boundaries between art and reportage, undoubtedly challenging the received conventions of documentary photography.

Throughout 2012, Richard Mosse and his collaborators travelled through the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. The resulting installation is a culmination of Mosse’s attempt to rethink war photography.

The large scale photographs were taken using a custom-built large format camera with infared color film. Interestingly, the film he used was formerly deployed by the military to identify camouflaged targets. The resulting images portray the Congolese landscape in a deep, unreal pink and the uniforms of the combatants a sickly shade of purple. At the heart of this project, as Mosse states, is an attempt to bring “two counter-worlds into collision: art’s potential to represent narratives so painful that they exist beyond language, and photography’s capacity to document specific tragedies and communicate them to the world.”


Mary Addison Hackett

posted by – 08/16/13 @ 2:36pm

As a part of our show with Stefany Hemming, we also will be having artist Mary Addison Hackett in the back gallery with the latest works from her series Shell Game. On her website she writes:

In Shell Game, I revisit my relationship with abstraction by incorporating invented flora, patterns lifted from family heirlooms, and carefully constructed layers that shift slightly in color when viewed from different angles. Before studio hours, I had a meditation practice. During studio hours I listened to mashups. In between, I walked the dog and did housework; saw a movie or read a book; took a motorcycle ride and did some yoga or ran. There were a few storms. Trees went down. On and on.

Her colorful and whimsical  paintings are a beautiful addition to our gallery and a nice continuation of Patricia Bellan-Gillen’s brightly colored affect on Tinney’s space. To read an old  interview with Mary Addison Hackett where she discusses her inspirations and her processes done by Studio Critical, you can go here.



posted by – 07/23/13 @ 3:44pm



Wanderlust: |ˈwändərˌləst| noun, a strong desire to travel.

The term bonds Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions” to the upcoming fashion seen in fall 2013 collections. Designers and our featured artist use hues of magenta and aqua to carry us into the fall, not letting us forget the majestic shades that summer leaves behind. The upcoming season also holds onto patterns of rich flora, much like the captivating environment Patricia Bellan- Gillen presents in her over-life-size pieces. The spirit of travel along with the ability to recall a memorable place are crucial to Bellan- Gillen’s show. Wanderlust inspires an affection to continually move. However, with each journey, a time of recollection and an awareness to such memories allows each “wanderluster” to create their own ideas of what is before them. Wilderness and travel inspire fashion, much like Bellan- Gillen’s attraction to adventure and the great outdoors. This lifestyle trend combines modern functionality with traditional fashion styles.


“Somewhere in the Brain”

posted by – 07/16/13 @ 2:13pm

Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, and collectors analyze contemporary art to bring forth its relevance and expose its fundamental nature, such as the medium or symbolism. On the other hand, the general public’s reaction to contemporary art provides a socially conscious response that incorporates contemporaneity with time, place, and ethics. Both viewers engage, but which is the “right” way to perceive contemporary art?

Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions,” on display now here at Tinney Contemporary, employs the art of perception itself. The artist relies on all viewers to narrate her works, pulling from their own anecdotal memories. I overheard many art crawlers at the July Art Crawl ask, “what does this mean?” or “why does she use this specific motif?” The analytical essay spelling out the symbolic truths and answering such fundamental questions does not exist in this case.

“Somewhere in the brain” begins the artist’s exhibition write-up, enhancing the elusive and ambiguous scenes. The scale of Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s work demands attention and her use of mixed media compliment the multi-layered function of her work.

I recently read, “Any art that relies on an essay to explain it is not art,” holding true to Patricia’s theory of thriving on the inexplicable, the intuitive, and the enigmatic. The artist calls welcomes such provocation and puzzlement, placing trust in the viewer to simply react. Therefore, it is fitting that “Disorderly Notions” will remain on display for the August Art Crawl, inviting all contemporaries to not ask, but tell.

Patricia Bellan-Gillen

posted by – 07/12/13 @ 1:14pm

Disorderly Notions
Patricia Bellan-Gillen
Tinney Contemporary, July 6-August 17

After years of studying cultural, dream, mythological and religious symbols, I am beginning to believe that the most important signs are the images that appear and keep pressing on one’s mind with no explanation—unexpected but oddly recognizable visions that flash across the brain when words and phrases like “doubt,” “reality TV,” “turn to salt” or “separation of church and state” are heard…or the nascent compositions that appear while revisiting the pages of vintage Mad Magazine or hearing the memorable Da-Da-DaDa-DaDa theme song from the Rocky and Bullwinkel Show.   Honoring these puzzling visages maps the direction that I have begun to follow. This new body of work combines ideas and imagery generated through study and research with ideas and imagery that are felt, intuitive and enigmatic.

The work also celebrates a return to the fundamental act of drawing.

I welcome provocation and puzzles. I would like my work to confront the viewer simultaneously with beauty and awkwardness and to mediate grace with humor. I want to achieve a weird elegance.

Above all, I place great trust in the viewer.
{artist statement provided by the artist}

The new show is up! Patricia Bellan-Gillen, a teacher at Carnegie Mellon, is showing her work here through August. Come take a look and get lost in her large and impressive works

Artist Jaq Belcher

posted by – 06/15/13 @ 2:48pm

Among all of the artists we have in the space currently for Shadow and Light, Jaq Belcher is the only one whom we officially represent. Her work, much like her colleague Reni Gower, is focused around the mediative state driven by the act of working with paper in this reductive and repetitive way. To add to this process, Jaq also numbers each and every cut she makes as she cuts them, so that the finished product includes the markers of time within it’s folds. This aspect of her work fits in to her exploration of meditative conscious states. Read more about her on our artist page, linked above. And watch this short clip where Jaq gives a brief tour of her studio and talks about her process.

Artist Lauren Scanlon

posted by – 06/12/13 @ 11:31am

While most of the work in Shadow and Light depicts a narrative or the labors of a repetitive motif, artist Lauren Scanlon takes the use of paper-cuts in a different direction. Using pages from vintage Harlequin romance novels she read at a young age, passed down to her by her grandmother, Scanlon transforms the pages of the erotic fiction by hand sewing their pages together to create a quilt of text and reductive imagery–she uses motifs from floral bedspreads to censor the content and bring a new dimension to the pages. This dichotomy is a reference to her grandmother’s two-fold nature of conservative and taboo.

The Music City Center’s Commissioned Collection

posted by – 06/11/13 @ 3:18pm

With 8 commissioned, site-specific pieces, Nashville’s new Music City Center stands just as impressive on the interior as it does on the exterior. Everything from color, form, and light inspire these artists to create extraordinary works that reflect the spirit of Nashville.

Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues lead the Ball-Nogues Studio in the creation of Euphony. Catenary stainless steel ball chains descend dramatically from a suspended elliptical ring beam and then return skyward on a new path forming two shells of pattern and color. Stretching 140 feet high, this matrix-forming geometric composition amplifies the aesthetics of light, reflection, and color creating a visual spectacle and physical sensation in the vast space of the Music City Center.


Beth Galston takes inspiration from the five bars of a musical staff and the undulating shape of a sound wave to create her interactive sculpture entitled Sound Wave. Using LED lights that dance along serpentine ribbons of suspended metal, Galston creates a visual melody that harmonizes the architectural design of Music City Center and the buzzing music scene in Nashville.


Nashville artist Alicia Henry, creates Intimacy and Peace to reflect both the human figure in isolation and the figure interacting with others. With twenty-one distinctive panels, texture and color appear only in close proximity. Henry invites the exploration and conversation of how culture, gender, race and societal differences affect individuals and group interactions.


Another local artist, Jamaal Sheats, presents Eight Octaves. The series of eight panels form the shape of an abstract guitar, complementing the architecture of the Music City Center. Sheats works in repousse and divides the series into four themes: the Rhythm, the Beat, the Pulse, and the Measure. Collectively, the artist documents the cultural heartbeat of the Nashville community.


Artist Phillip K. Smith, III creates two pieces for the Music City Center, both vibrant in color and three-stories tall. Chladni is based on the sound vibration patterns discovered by German physicist and musician, Ernst Chladni. Expressive components of music found in harmony, brightness, and fluidity are all celebrated his wall installation. Layers of color form bilaterally symmetrical shapes, revealing frequencies of reverberation through sand-covered metal plates. The overlapping colors found in the celebrated neon signs of Lower Broad and Hatch Show Print’s overprinting/layering process provided inspiration to the artist.


In his second piece, Spectrum II, Phillip K. Smith, III crafts an interpretation of resonance, rhythm, and musical vibration revealed through topography, color, and reflection. Complimenting the movement of sound and the Music City Center’s roofline, the musical motif continues as tones and intensities of reflection fluctuate with one’s movement within the space.


Composition by Aaron Stephan takes inspiration from the molded plastic tree holding parts in model car kits. Instead of car parts, plane wings, and ship rudders, Stephan’s unique work consists of a variety of over a hundred life-sized musical instruments that reflect Nashville’s embrace of all musical styles. The stark white instruments are organized in a similar grid-like form and create a rhythmic dynamic with the surrounding architecture.


Artist Bob Zoell creates a 165-foot-long ceramic mural, entitled “Happy Notes,”using birds as characters through all four seasons. By doing so, Zoell combines a poetic harmony with a playful celebration of music and the city where it is created.

Artist Michelle Forsyth

posted by – 06/07/13 @ 1:42pm

In stark contrast to the monochrome works of the other artists in our current exhibit, Michelle Forsyth uses a wide range of hand cut colored paper pins to create grids that are representational of the banal moments found at recovering disaster sites, a nice complement to the work of Lenka Konopasek. The final product is a beautiful testament to the art of optical mixing and a memorial to the sites she depicts. Together these individualized and painstakingly put together pins create a whole image.

“The images in these paintings are willingly unresolved and are partially obscured with surface embellishments that include thousands of tiny, sinuous brush strokes, and colorful hand-stitches that hold beads and sequins to the paper. Part requiem and part cathartic obsession, I work to simultaneously test the imprint of my own presence while using mark making to record the passage of time. A meticulous attention to detail stimulates viewers to get close to the work. It is at this range where I provide a space for poetic engagement and evoke sentiments of loss and grief.”

Here, we have April 5, 1958 a homage disastrous oil spill from a lare freighter and it’s aftermath at the location where flowers bloom from the still existing wreckage. Pictured is the full piece and a few details.

Artists of Music City Center

posted by – 06/06/13 @ 3:29pm

Three artists from Tinney Contemporary were chosen to adorn the walls of Nashville’s new Music City Center.

Anna Jaap, John Folsom, and Pam Longobardi help fill the 1.2 million square foot space of the new convention center.

Anna Jaap

“This work is part of the SKYFIELD series—sixteen works on canvas created over a two year period with a focus on the intersections of physical and spiritual reality.

The descriptive title phrase “when the hours of daylight are few and the hours of darkness many” is taken from a book entitled Botany for Gardeners by Harold William Rickett, published in 1957.  It speaks eloquently of the period of dormancy in the life cycle that is necessary to foster new beginnings.”

John Folsom

This work is part of Anodyne Frontiers. Folsom’s first encounter with Shaker Village was at a family reunion back in October 2011. Immediately struck by the severe symmetry of the dwellings, Folsom found that the austere nature of the architecture seemed to reflect back onto the landscape, which itself possessed a formalism usually reserved for manicured estates.  In thinking about the direction for this work, Folsom also discovered the word “Anodyne” and its relationship to the pharmacopeia of antiquated medicine. Though the word itself relates more specifically to any kind of analgesic that will numb pain, these days it is used more acutely to describe anything unlikely to cause offense or debate.

Folsom became increasingly interested in that idea, relating it visually to the way images rendered in a more liminal palette can inhabit interior spaces almost imperceptibly.  Using large swaths of cool color that upon closer inspection reveal a frontier land slowly coming into focus, Folsom presents the structures and landscape of Shaker Village as a living museum, hovering on the edge of perception. Through the use of color and mixed media, Folsom’s Anodyne Frontiers, exemplifies this fascinating “in-between” quality.

Pam Longobardi


From Discontinuity Continuum. Longobardi shows new work in paintings on copper, collage-cyanotype works on paper.  The paintings create self-contained universes where Longobardi visualizes a future point where unprecedented changes wrought by humans may be clearly read through the paintings’ materiality.  She uses a combination of naturally occurring materials (copper and chemical patinas) and industrially created materials  (plastics, acrylic and lacquers) that are mixed to create that cracks, craters and stratigraphic layers on the copper panel.  These works reveal large, connected energy systems punctuated by the minutia of a microscopic lens, continuing her investigation of the problematic psychological relationship between humans and the natural world while simultaneously suggesting an interconnected fate.