Julia Martin’s latest series of paintings focus on single figure female faces, rendered with expressive lines and tonal complexity. Guided by instinct she explores line and color to develop compositions. Using layers of non-objective colors, Martin realizes unique faces on canvas that communicate individual personality and identity. Her wooden sculptural work complements her paintings conceptually and enables her the freedom to explore a more hands on process. Martin searches for inspiration within herself to make art that expresses what she knows and feels as a woman. “The feminine flows freely out of me for obvious reason, but there’s a cocktail of deep-seated strength and vulnerability in women that I find utterly fascinating.”
Buddy Jackson’s new series of paintings, gum dichromate prints, and bronze sculptures highlight body and facial expressions, which poignantly evoke the beauty, strength, and vulnerability that permeates the human condition. Jackson’s focus on representing women comes from his admiration of their perseverance despite inequalities “little boys are taught by society—by school, by coaches, by their dads, by their moms, by everybody—that feminine traits are bad. But then we expect these little boys to grow up and respect women. Jackson’s representations of women are guided by what he sees in himself and his rejection of binary gender stereotypes that restrict men and women from revealing their authentic physical and emotional selves.
One objective of this exhibition is to introduce artworks by two prominent Nashville artists to Chicago. I am interested in beginning a conversation about art from the South. While many Southern artists receive national and international recognition, many remain underrepresented in terms of prevalence and prominence. An exhibition such as this is an opportunity to see two artistic voices that are examples of the fine art being produced in Nashville, TN. Martin and Jackson do not represent the whole of art from the south. In fact there is no single narrative of southern art, but these artists are significant contributors to the fabric of the rich, diverse art being produced. Martin and Jackson create skilled, imaginative artworks with eclectic color and form and whose subjects and details provoke contemplative moments.