sugar sugar is Unapologetically Sweet
Solo Exhibition by Ashely Peifer Opens May 15
MINNEAPOLIS Forget stereotypes of angst-ridden artists who want to shock audiences with morbid commentary on the state of society. Minnesota artist Ashely Peifer wants you to feel happy. Her deceptively simple, candy-colored compositions intentionally evoke impressions of simpler times and childlike innocence. And shes unabashed if critics think theyre too sweet.
My paintings are intentionally playful and happy, states Peifer. Theres no dark undercurrent. I want my work to remind people of happy little memories. Theres a quote by artist, Mary Heilman, that I really like, I just think that in the midst of all the digital stuff, people sort of crave seeing something thats still and quiet and on the wall. I want my art to be that something still and quiet, that escape we need from all the other static in our lives.
To create that sense of escape Peifer turns to her childhood for inspiration. Peifer takes preteen memories of neon bright Lisa Frank paraphernalia, rock collecting and sugary sweets that she then reduces down to their emotional essence only to emerge as sophisticated compositions in her abstract paintings.
My paintings tread the line between what is real and what is nostalgia, notes Peifer in her artist statement. I am fascinated by nostalgias ability to over-beautify, embellish or even transfigure a memory.
As a consequence, Peifers works are intentionally vague, reflecting the emotional nature of nostalgia to distort memory. I find that my memories are very fractured and fleeting, notes Peifer. The more I try to remember a moment, the less detail I can achieve.
Capturing the right balance between nostalgia and memory prevalent throughout sugar sugar doesnt come easily. The artist can spend three weeks or more working on a piece. Beginning with a base color, she allows each new color and shape to inform the next so that each painting evolves organically. Its not uncommon for there to be something ugly underneath my paintings. Theres usually some point in the creation process where the painting actually reaches a truly objectionable composition, but Im usually only a couple moves away from a painting that feels satisfying and complete.
sugar sugar is Peifers first solo exhibition in Minnesota. The show opens Fri., May 15 with an opening reception from 6 to 9 pm. The event is free and open to the public. The show runs through July 11, 2015.
Ashely Peifer www.ashelypeifer.com earned her master of fine arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in 2013, and her bachelor of arts from Taylor University, Upland, Indiana in 2009. Recent shows include 6x6x30, Spitzer Art Center, Harrisonburg, Va.,candy-coat, a solo exhibition at Beard Art Center Gallery, Marion, Ind., and group shows, In Another Voice, and Double Shifts both at MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis. In 2013, she participated in Interaction, a joint student/mentor exhibition at Burnet Gallery. Peifers work has been featured in New American Paintings (#111), and Forget Good Magazine (#14), as well as numerous art blogs and digital magazines.
Burnet Gallery www.burnetgallery.com is a commercial gallery showcasing works by a wide array of international, national and local contemporary artists. The gallery is located in Le Méridien Chambers, an award-winning art hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
Considered one of the top boutique art hotels in the world, Le Méridien Chambers features more than 250 pieces of original contemporary art throughout the public areas as well as the hotels 60 guest rooms. Located at 901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, Minn., it offers a unique combination of art, culinary, design and true boutique hotel experience. For reservations, call: 612-767-6900 or visit: www.lemeridienchambers.com/art