Nil and Fancy
September 7-29, 2012
Opening Friday September 7th, 6-8 pm
Jack Hanley Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of drawings by Aris Moore. The work consists mainly of female portraiture, though many include men, children, a couple or a family. With disturbingly disproportionate faces, and pleasantly detailed, delicate clothing, the people of Nil and Fancy straddle the lovely and the grotesque.
Inhabiting the space between what is perceived versus what is presented, Moore’s people are neither children nor adults; never entirely strong, nor vulnerable; attractive nor repulsive. She gives them an uncanny semblance of personality. In fact, while uncomfortably strange, a figure will seem even more unnervingly familiar. It is difficult not to find a peculiar likeness to someone else, be they known, or imagined.
The work suggests a disconcerting language for the viewer. Free floating and loosely tied bodily features spatially deconstruct each portrait and read like an anonymous ransom note whose words have been clipped and pasted together from individual symbols.
Faced with this ambiguity, the viewer becomes a participating judge of character. A couple’s embrace may signify comfort to some, or control to others. A girl’s smile can be questioned or taken at face value. Without revealing too much about anyone, Moore pinpoints our own attempt to fill in these gaps, though often we are left with all-too-human contradictions.
Aris Moore is a recent MFA graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, culminating in a thesis exhibition last spring. Her work has been included in a number of art fairs, and a group show with Jack Hanley Gallery in April. She currently lives in Exeter, NH where she teaches middle school and has two children.