Tag Archives: artist statement

Poppy (Return)

 

2017 Poppy Transitory series, works in progress – Ren Adams

This body of work isn’t done with me.

I thought I was done with it, but like poppies, it keeps resurfacing. Blooming again, dying back. A little different. Tenacious.

In early 2017, I began working on another set of about 50 smaller works for the series, completing one wave in March. They refused to be framed, so I mounted them on wood. It gave them a certain decisive “objecthood,” but I am wary of getting too product-like.

There’s also a lineup of 11″ x 14s:

Some of the finished, mounted works installed:

Series Artist Statement – Poppy Transitory

Poppy Transitory investigates the sincere absurdity of processing loss with decorative memorials, themselves transitory tokens of grief. Based in a fiercely personal, yet oddly abstract pain, the series considers the story-infused space of mourning—colorful, obsessive layers behave like memory extracts.

Conflating the mysterious Mojave Desert deaths of my sister Cindy Adams (1972) and musician Gram Parsons (1973), I ask what it means to “know” someone through location-tied story; to “understand” events via embellished clues, just as I “knew” both individuals through family narrative. What does it mean to assuage loss through well-meaning transference? Do gifts for the dead resolve our perplexity?

To engage this, I use transparent layers to suggest recalled memory, story cycles, and the deluge of tokens posthumously offered to Cindy and Gram. I deconstruct and reframe the language of the Mojave Desert, the visual vocabulary of memorial shrines, and personal iconography from Cindy and Gram’s clothing, whirling them into a sensitive system of overlaid shapes. The desert they loved represents and consumes them.

Aware of its own artificiality, the work earnestly embraces our candy-colored attempts to mediate the space of grief with flowers, cards, and condolences—the physical trappings of a cultural process of mourning, often our only recourse in grappling with the unexplained. Poppy Transitoryis itself a fragile, momentary monument to the passage of imprints, the trace of Cindy and Gram, and to our moment, an undeniable passage of its own.

​(2016-17)

Finished works are part of this exhibition:

Inspiration 101 – Works by New Mexico Art Educators

Most artists will name their art teachers as one of their greatest influences along with famous artists in history. The knowledge, encouragement and criticism of their teachers will stay with an artist for the rest of their career. Gallery with a Cause wants to celebrate these hardworking men and women who dedicate their lives to inspire and instruct the next generation of artists. This museum quality exhibition – curated by Regina Held- features paintings, watercolor, pastel, printmaking and mixed media by New Mexico art educators from elementary to college level.  The Cancer Center Foundation raises funds to alleviate non-medical needs for cancer patients. 40 % of each art sale goes to the Foundation and is tax-deductable.

​Exhibition dates: March 12 – June 2, 2017.
Reception: Sunday, March 12, 4 -7 pm
Awards ceremony: 6:30 pm during the reception for the following awards: People’s Choice, Curator’s Choice, Patient’s Choice and Staff Choice.
Cost of event: Free and open to the public


Gallery hours:
 Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm by appointment only, please contact Alexandria Tavarez, alexandriat@nmohc.com, or call 505-857-8460. Admission is free during regular gallery hours.

Where:
New Mexico Cancer Center
Gallery with a Cause
4901 Lang Ave NE, Albuquerque NM 87109.

Artist Statement Update

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Ren Adams
Artist Statement – Spring, 2014

The Cascade

 Landscape is relative, performative. Tied to our sense of geography, time and shifting notions of history, it serves as a physical anchor, a philosophical boundary—the innate  expression of linear time tied to the measurable boundary of social space. The Cascade engages landscape as a permeating condition—a collage of interpretive macro and micro understandings, always in a physical and socio-political state of flux.

Rooted in a personal connection to the Southern California landscape which permeates American television from the 1960s-80s, I excavate instances of the conceptual space-place of the Mojave Desert and its entanglement with the very real, the vividly scripted and the culturally iconic. The LA County of my youth carries personal, regional, cultural, and international levels of understanding and history, intensified by its presence in television narrative. This transitory, filmic landscape punctuates a shared, macro-level understanding of time and location. The Cascade freezes a trace of this literal and ephemeral physicality—folding the moment back in on itself as distorted screen captures that undergo digital transformation.

The Cascade suspends geographic (and linear) traces as photographs once removed from their physical location by the original television filming and again removed by the act of capturing a temporal instant. The environmentsthus inhabit the actual, the imagined and the transient place of recollection, emblematic of a collapsed space conflating personal history, geologic reality and cultural production. Both an experienced and imagined sense of place adopt non-linear roles in this digital elastic-space. Serialization, multiplicity and accumulation allow counter-memory to emerge as stills excavated from the “porous container” of film.