Texas Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition of paintings by Houston-based artist, Francesca Fuchs, opening on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 6- 8pm. The show entitled MOM will be the third solo exhibition at the gallery for the artist. Fuchs, a former Core Program member, is known for her formal approach in painting to figurative and decorative subjects. The tension between the recognizable elements in her work and the formal considerations of line and color is characteristic of all the previous work. However, this ambitious show of 6 paintings, all 8 x 10 feet, completely confounds image and abstraction. The selection of a highly personal image…a mother nursing her baby…..becomes a point of departure from a charged subject into closely valued, delicately balanced compositions. There is recognition by the viewer, confronted by a surround of large canvases, of both achievements simultaneously.
Fuchs has written the following about the MOM paintings:
Just recently a neighbor asked me what I painted. When I replied: ‘Babies and Flowers’, I had to laugh…..because babies and flowers are on the level of cat paintings – clichés of a particularly feminine sentimental aesthetic. I use this sentimental subject matter seriously, for their emotional potency is cooled down with a super-sized scale and hard-edged mechanical execution. This friction between the paintings’ emotional content and their formal execution invites both nostalgia and critical reappraisal.
In German a canvas is a “leinwand” – a screen. The baby paintings need to operate on this cinematic scale. Nursing is such a private, hidden-away, slightly taboo activity, but one experienced ubiquitously by breastfeeding mothers both in private and public spaces. With nothing else to do they look at their baby’s heads for hours studying the curve of the ear, the line of the hair. These paintings are sentimental, they are emotional. The hues are ever-so-subtle variations in flesh color; so smooth and soft that they are barely there, yet so large in scale that the image shifts and you find yourself looking at empty expanses of color.
I always think of my paintings in terms of their installation – wanting to be read in relation to the other paintings and the environment they are in. Paintings are often custom-made in an attempt to control the viewer’s experience of them – their sense of intimacy or monumentality, their position in relation to the corners and floors. Ultimately I want a dialogue between all the elements in the space resulting in a kind of total art experience, but one where the emotional content is filtered through the brain.
The show remains on view until Oct. 1, 2005.