Tag: Tinney Contemporary

Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors at the Frist

posted by – 01/27/17 @ 5:00pm


Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors is a nine channel video installation arranged in a black room on the second floor of the Frist.  Each camera is positioned in one of forty-three rooms in a historic mansion in New York, where Ragnar Kjartansson and seven friends begin a musical performance sitting alone in eight individual rooms.  The ninth camera is focused on the back porch of the house where a large group of people are sitting.

The musicians listen to the group via a pair of headphones, accompnaying Kjartansson on a cello, piano, drum set, banjo, accordion, and guitar. Without visual cues from their fellow performers, the begin to play a very complex and long musical composition. The song itself ebbs and flows in emotional crescendos and diminuendos.  Kjartansson pulls inspiration from Icelandic poet, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, borrowing lines from her work, including the performance’s haunting mantra: “Once again, I fall into my feminine ways.”

The music evolves from meditative and melancholic to a thunderous intensity. Lasting for about an hour and a half, the song is full of quiet, mysterious, contemplative moments, alongside loud, emotional outbursts.  With each artist playing in isolation, the piece explores ideas of relationships and collaboration. The length of the performance alone lends itself to contemplating endurance in production and spectating.

Eventually, characters on each screen interact with each other and move between films.   While the characters walk from screen to screen, the audience moves to follow, blurring the line between audience and performance.  As the video ends, each performer gathers in a single room, where they migrate out of the home, continuing their melody into the distance of the Hudson River Valley.

Frist Center Chief Curator, Mark Scala, says that Kjartansson “…pushes the limits of endurance for himself and his collaborators, he congenially accepts that audiences will come and go as they please, experiencing the work in its entirety or in brief episodes. But…the reward of extended viewing is a heightened perception of differences in the repetition of a scene, musical phrase, or physical action. The whole world is contained in these variations.

The Visitors is certainly worth staying to view the entire performance.  The music is captivating, and the composition in its entirety is a romantic, mournful rhapsody.  It manages to become a portrait of the audience as well as the performers, showcasing their unique personalities and relationships, perhaps mirroring our own.  The immersive installation will certainly leave you feeling enchanted.

The Frist is currently offering free admission to view The Visitors until February 9th, 2017 while they are transitioning exhibitions.

Artist Spotlight: Martica Griffin

posted by – 01/24/17 @ 4:11pm

Dreamboat, 48"x48" acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Dreamboat, 48″x48″ acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Martica Griffin is a Nashville-based artist whose work is primarily abstract and figurative. She has been with Tinney Contemporary for over eight years and four of her works are currently being exhibited in the gallery’s new show, Women of Abstraction.

For the pieces in the exhibition, Griffin drew inspiration from children’s stories – “each with a positive message, strong rhythm, and great sense of humor. Some of the paintings are a bit more structured, others freer and flowing, but all with the same purpose – to stir up the imagination through color, line and texture.”

Her four exhibited paintings focus on having the same starting point and limited palette. Each work starts with intentional and organic black lines covered with a colored grid. This gives each piece a unique sense of energy and rhythm. The work is then built, layer upon layer, through painting, drawing, and scraping, until the completed piece is revealed. Characterized by energetic lines and bold colors, each piece should leave viewers with a smile.

Altered State, 47"x47" acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Altered State, 47″x47″ acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Although her current works utilize the same starting point, Griffin normally works with a continuously changing process. Sometimes her canvases are first filled with color, while other times the canvas is filled with marks or crazy textures using tape, spackle or thick gloss medium. Griffin’s desire to always try new ways of tackling the canvas drives her continuously evolving process and ever-changing way of viewing the world around her. For example, Griffin is currently working on a new body of work on paper that involves starting with offbeat materials and then depicting a figurative group using only large sharpies.


On the topic of producing art, Griffin believes creating work can sometimes be frustrating and unenjoyable but is ultimately rewarding. She says, “When I feel like something is finished, that’s the payoff. And when someone has one of my paintings in their home or office and it adds to their life, that’s the best.”

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.


posted by – 03/24/12 @ 2:37pm

What a loaded term. What does it even mean to be a human being? Is it something corporeal, overdone, or more emotional? We wanted to answer this question, so of course we enlisted the help of Jason Lascu in our newest exhibit: to be human. Lascu has guest curated our exhibition, which will show “figurative” works from James Croak, Christina West, Lyle Carbajal, Eef Barzelay, and Lascu himself.

The human figure has long been a contested subject in art. From Da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man, to tattoo art, we’ve been talking about the human body for as long as we can remember.

But let’s draw your attention to something a little more unusual: the exhibition’s title: to be human…

Do you notice that it’s human, not Human? And the ellipsis, as though being human is an unfinished thought of sorts? Perhaps we are no longer thinking of being a human as this elusive, philosophical question, but rather a quick musing, something that can be contested over morning coffee. Or maybe we’re just getting too wrapped up in the title of the exhibition. Either way, be sure to look out for Lascu’s guest curation at Tinney Contemporary, opening Friday, March 31st!

– TC

The Lost Boys

posted by – 03/13/12 @ 11:19pm

Isn’t it amazing how something that goes viral truly does spread like a pandemic? That was the case of last week’s #Kony2012 movement. Started with Invisible Children’s Youtube video, #Kony2012 has become almost as iconic a hashtag as #OccupyWallStreet, and sparked a debate that transcended normal partisan divisions. In an age in which we can disseminate information and social messages nearly as fast as it takes our synapses to fire them up, we often lose sight of artwork that can pack just as meaningful of a message.

We thought back to a Tinney exhibit from December 2008: The Art of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Under the supervision of Nashville photographer Jack Spencer, these young men–all refugees from Sudanese villages–exercised the most simple and rewarding of acts: creating something. The result was a series of masks. Whether you are compelled by invisible children or lost boys, or hesitant to delve into the tangled web that is foreign policy and social media, you can’t deny the powerful image that is The Lost Boys’s artwork hanging on our walls.

– TC

Colorblock Party

posted by – 02/29/12 @ 6:30pm

With spring weather teasing us on a weekly basis, we thought we’d come out of our winter cocoon and have a block party–a colorblock party, to be exact. Ever since Peri Schwartz’s exhibit The Architect Within, we’ve been stuck on warm-hued swaths of colorblocking (à la Schwartz’s abstract swaths, depicting bottles within her studio). From Aquilano.Rimondi’s punchy runway looks, to Rothko’s tried-and-true canvases of vibrant hues, we can’t get enough of the look. All hail colorblocking!

– TC

For another kind of party, head over to the 1st Saturday Art Crawl, this Saturday, March 3rd from 6-9 PM!

Movin’ on Up

posted by – 02/25/12 @ 3:05pm








Towering over Commerce Street, the FirstBank building isn’t the first venue that comes to mind when one thinks of art–and yet, the edifice is quickly becoming a model for office-building exhibitions. Through their “Art of Community” project, donors Jim and Janet Ayers are transforming what could be a serious, static environment into a who’s who of Tennessee artists: the building will features works from over 50 artists from the Volunteer State, including three of Tinney’s very own–Anna Jaap, John Folsom, and Mary Postal.

Ayers have also tapped some of Nashville’s eminent curators for the project, including Celia Walker of Vanderbilt University Libraries Special Projects, and Susan Edwards of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. We’re so compelled by the pseudo-exhibition because it has a music festival-esque vibe to it–bringing diverse artists together under one roof–like Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you can check out works from some of our past artists, right in the heart of Nashville. Are you planning on checking out the revamped FirstBank building? Let us know in the comments section.

– TC

Rock the Vote

posted by – 02/21/12 @ 12:37pm

Paige West of West Collection asks: “How many art fairs, galleries, and studios must one visit to get a complete picture of the contemporary art scene?” We have to agree–sometimes, it’s just downright tedious staying in the loop with the year’s trendiest exhibitions. So, what’s an art hound like yourself to do? Vote! West Collection has managed to create an expansive sprawl of artists in their contest West Collects. In something that sounds like a soundbite from a 3 A.M. infomercial, West Collection crows that contest participants need only be 18 or older, and have a working painting/sculpture/photography portfolio.

But let’s get to the important stuff. Jaq Belcher–one of our represented artists–is featured in the contest. With a prize that comes in at a cool $300,000 there’s a lot at stake. Plus, we kinda want to show our competitive side…so in the words of P. Diddy–Vote or Die. Go here to vote for Jaq, or vote on your Iphone/Ipad via the West Collects app. And don’t forget to peruse past winners here.



Natural Motion

posted by – 01/19/12 @ 6:24pm


Remember in your elementary school art classes when the teacher would ask you to draw continuously, without picking up your pen once? Well, Vancouver-based artist Stefany Hemming makes that her M.O. Hemming works within a “strict set of formal parameters: one tool, one layer of paint, and one limited block of time.”

This paradoxically free-form and restrictive method results in fecund, seemingly never-ending nests like “Jig,” seen above. To learn more about Hemming and some of our other artists, head over to Tinney Contemporary.

– TC