Heated Exchange/Contemporary Encaustics

January 28-March 16, 2016

This exhibition features the seductive surface, luminous color, and ethereal image layering unique to the encaustic medium. Each artist approaches the process from a distinct perspective that may incorporate scraping, burning, burnishing, incising, dipping, dyeing, or pouring, as well as painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, sculpture, or installation. While diverse in approach, numerous conceptual links connect our interest in this malleable material. Buried images, fragmented hybrids, or hidden codes of natural and industrial order, all translate into works infused with a physically poetic beauty. The exhibition resonates with sensual materiality. The aromatic scent of honeyed beeswax is an intoxicating perfume. Tactile surfaces reveal unique traces of the hand, while gleaming color fused with intricate markings orchestrate striking visual chords. Once an obsolete technique, encaustic (hot wax) is now recognized both for its exquisite beauty and incredible versatility. The artists Kim Bernard, Kristy Deetz, Peter Dykhuis, Lorraine Glessner, Cheryl Goldsleger, Reni Gower, Heather Harvey, Jeffrey Hirst, Laura Moriarty, and Jane Allen Nodine are among those who helped turn this legendary paint of the Fayum mummy portraits into a mainstream contemporary medium.
Funding for Heated Exchange was made possible in part by Virginia Commonwealth University, VCUarts, and the Painting and Printmaking Department.