Pleasant’s work includes painting, drawing, and ceramic sculpture exploring the body and language through repetition and mark-making. Adopting the structure of a diagram or list, Pleasant explores the fragmented figure as sign or symbol. With a limited palette and an economy of line, she draws images like writing a letter, documenting essential, universal motions and human behaviors. This repetitive drawing process creates a visual language over time, like an alphabet.
At Geary, Pleasant debuts new work including Feet, a life-size pair of clay feet in the center of the space, cut from hand-rolled slabs. The artist relates the process of making them to her works on paper, made intuitively and intentionally with a knife in place of a brush.
Surrounding Feet are a series of new drawings and paintings. Pleasant explains, “the title for this exhibition speaks to the work and its imagery but also to my process of working. Everything I
make comes out of drawing and it is closely linked to writing. My drawing practice is about touching, pausing and repeating—touching the paper with my brush, breathing, pausing, drawing, marking, again and again letting the images form across the paper as I work. It is marking time. The images evolve and shift even if only slightly. I have to be present while working, each image forms before me. I don’t sketch and then fill in the shapes—they are single motion forms. A lot like calligraphy, I practice a combination of marking and breathing, very aware of my body.”
Amy Pleasant has held solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, (Hudson/NYC), whitespace gallery (Atlanta, GA), Augusta University (Columbus, GA), Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (IN), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), and Atlanta Contemporary (GA), other others. Selected group shows include the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (AL), Adams and Ollman (OR), Cueva Tilleard Projects (NY), Zuckerman Museum of Art (GA), and Knoxville Museum of Art (TN). Her work has been reviewed in publications such as World Sculpture News, Sculpture, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, artforum.com, Art Papers, Bad at Sports and BURNAWAY. She was recently awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2018). Other awards include the South Arts Prize for the State of Alabama (2018), Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award (2015), and the Mary Hambidge Distinguished Artist Award (2015). Pleasant is based in Birmingham, AL and received an MFA from Tyler School of Art, and a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.