KHFA exhibition archives

The Devil Within and Without

Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins
October 10-November 14, 2015
Opening reception Saturday, October 10, 6:30-8:30 pm
Artists will be in attendance

KHFA's upcoming group exhibition, The Devil Within and Without: Curated work by Keri Oldham and Colette Robbins, presents themes on the inner and outer demons that shape many artists' creative practices.

Drawing inspiration from folk and outsider art traditions as well as psychology and religion, this exhibition features work by both Texas and New York based artists. The Devil Within and Without includes work by Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Ashley Whitt, Erin Stafford, Colette Robbins, Shane McAdams, Ken Tisa and Richard Hart. Using sculpture, painting, drawing and photography, this group of artists lifts the wool from our eyes to show us the psychological underbelly of a variety of personal and cultural norms. These artists do not stop at the surface level, but delve into the dark side of their ideas, not to be masochistic but rather to gain new insights into the world, by exploring what is sticky, prickly, or uncouth.

Artist Biographies

Shane McAdams's (NYC) reliefs consist of stump-like cross sections of trees, ballpoint pen, Elmer's glue, and resin. The psychedelic motifs he paints inside of each tree sculpture suggests a new history or meaning to the patterns normally found in the cross section of a tree. Fetishized with bright swirling colors, each piece appears to be part of a ritualistic act.

The drawing "Failure I" by Lanie DeLay (Dallas) makes a darkly humorous and possibly familiar flow chart of failure. This drawing opens up the possibility of deconstructing failure as a negative thing. Instead, failure becomes a playful game showing that our cultural constructs of what is to be avoided sometimes needs to be examined.

Richard Hart's (NYC) installation Grace, a wall sculpture made out of hair, brings to mind an unknown religious ceremony or sacrificial rite. Hart challenges our perception of cultural specificity and weaves together many types of cultural stereotypes and relics in order to create new powerful meanings and hierarchies.

A self-proclaimed lover of "hobo lore and train-car graffiti," Bruce Lee Webb's (Waxahachie) portraits of devils have a loose vibrancy often found in folk and outsider art. His style of painting on vintage paper has a homespun quality, while his portraits of devils echo American religious fervor, superstition and fear surrounding ideas of the devil.

Colette Robbin's (NYC) graphite paintings on paper uses the format of a Rorschach ink blot test, which is an iconic image and method of study of psychology. Inside of the ink blots is a detailed textured landscape that shows the possible worlds a person might encounter while gazing into a Rorschach and their own perceptions.

Erin Stafford (Dallas) takes sentimental objects, like vintage china tea sets, cutlery and serving ware and re-contextualizes them by slowly adding mineral formations onto them. When completed, they are no longer the cultural symbols of southern propriety, but hyper renditions of their former forms. Each piece, like a talisman, speaks to our desire to possess, own and absorb the power of objects.

Ken Tisa's (NYC) gouache and watercolor paintings depict figures being wrapped in lasso-like abstract shapes. This obsessive layering of lines obscures the features and clarity of the human form. In doing so these paintings unveil a psychological drama that encompasses the person, reminding us that we are made as much of thoughts and emotions as we are flesh and blood.

Ashley Whitt's (Dallas) ghost-like black and white photographs reference the history of the American occult. Whitt's photographs spark a playful curiosity into the unknown, with in her seemingly sinister achromatic worlds.