Deanna Evans Projects is pleased to announce, Amplification, an exhibition featuring Langdon Graves, Karen Schifano and Crys Yin. All three artists tackle difficult yet vital issues of identity through a veil of humor, mysticism and tradition. At first glance, one could miss the underlying threads of these works, but once they are seen, they cannot be forgotten. In today’s world, it remains increasingly important to offer the benefit of a second glance to be fully seen.
Langdon Graves focuses on mining the unknowns, both in the realm of psychic and supernatural phenomena, and within her own family. Inspired by the storytelling of her grandmother, her research took a turn towards methods and historical accounts of spirit communication, particularly in the practice of Spiritualism. She discovered a parallel between the rise in Spiritualism’s popularity and membership in the United States, and the foundation of the women’s rights movement. Some of those at the forefront of women’s rights and suffrage, who were an integral force for change, practiced psychic mediumship and organized séance sessions, known as Home Circles, within their communities. The ghosts in her family’s stories become metaphors for impressions created by elements of the past, and vague projections of the future; ethereal and elusive, but nevertheless present.
Karen Schifano is an abstract painter whose work previously skirted narrative subject matter. However, in these difficult times, she has felt an urgent need to make paintings that relate more obviously to underlying issues in politics and public life. Her work is reductive and simple: black and white, or “flesh” color, bringing the idea of race to the forefront. Eye holes, ghost eyes, and the KKK are references, and the paintings can read as masks, heads, bullet holes, all circling around feelings of fear, hiding, deception and threat.
Crys Yin’s work focuses on a reflection of her personal history. Distorting scale and skewing perspective are tools that she uses to recall and reinterpret this history. She's currently following a line of curiosity that leads to a better understanding of her hyphenated cultural background. In a constant state of alienation and otherness, she uses humor as a device to transcend embarrassing and awkward misunderstandings. And by grouping figures and objects in her paintings, the fulfillment of belonging and closeness – both physical and other – is possible.