Jason Tannen + Tiera May
Remnants + Rituals
April 9–26, 2020
Artists' Reception: Friday April 10, 6-8pm (talks at 7)
Jason Tannen is an artist, photographer, gallery curator and educator. Tannen has exhibited his works widely, in the United States and internationally. He has recently exhibited work in Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco and Budapest. From 1998 to 2014, he directed the University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico, where he also taught Gallery Production, Film Studies, and the History of Photography.
For over thirty years, I’ve photographed the urban environment. I’m particularly interested in the urban landscape of signs, symbols and graphic representation, along with curious or eccentric juxtapositions. Focusing on images without people or street action allows the images to be free-floating, without reference to a particular period or era. Close framing and shallow depth helps describe a world that exists within the four corners of the picture.
Prior to this series, I printed mainly in black and white. I started working in color to explore the visual and material erosion that comes with time, the elements, or human intervention: colors that have bleached or are reduced to blues and reds, surfaces that have cracked, are peeling, or have been vandalized.
Although I’m fully engaged in digital modes of presentation and communication, for me the physical photographic print is essential in conveying an image’s content, meaning and surface properties.
Tiera May lives and works in Grass Valley, California. As a teenager, she owned only 3 VHS tapes: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. May knows the dialog of the entire trilogy by heart. She has lived in a barn, a carport, a teepee, a trailer, and a van. Now she lives in a house that she shares with her partner of 8 years and her cat, Loki. May is fascinated with the occult and is working on designing a 78-card tarot deck. She also loves science fiction novels, dark beer, and David Bowie. She is a freelance graphic designer and a self-proclaimed movie critic. She also plays music and is currently recording an album.
My work explores emotion through gesture and movement. Using a range of mixed media methods and varying degrees of abstraction, my approach involves deconstructing and reassembling a language of both recognized and invented marks and symbols to explore minimalism as a personal language.
The direction of my paintings evolves from the response I experience through the process of making. As I work, I focus on how tension and balance develop and how shape and color interact with each other and their surroundings. Similar to a conversation, an intuitive dialogue occurs between the medium and myself, informing the overall trajectory of a work.
Rituals is a series that grew out of my interest and desire to communicate multifaceted ideas with minimal elements. Within this body of work, I concentrated on the delicate interplay of line, texture, and shape combined with a limited color palette to evoke a sense of visual paradox and dichotomy in a two-dimensional space. While my approach is primarily instinctual and sensory, I consciously attempted to disrupt my own expectations throughout the process. Gradually, a visual language began to emerge: one that speaks in marks, symbols, and phases. These paintings examine concepts of personal rituals and the interruption of those rituals, of cycles and the inherent absurdity that exists within.