Knoxville-based artist Jered Sprecher is among a generation of contemporary painters exploring the creative territory between figuration and abstraction. He describes himself as a “hunter and gatherer” who draws inspiration from an eclectic array of image sources including graffiti, architecture, cut gemstones, family photographs, and ancient frescoes.
Jered Sprecher debuted his first solo museum exhibition “Outside In” at the Knoxville Museum of Art on Thursday, Jan. 26. The exhibit consists of more than 20 abstract paintings, all featuring explosions of geometric shapes and colors, full of dichotomies and contrasting forces — juxtaposing natural imagery and artificial color to create a manmade interior landscape.
Having gathered his source materials, Sprecher constructs each painting by integrating Digital Age tools and virtuoso brushwork. Computers, copiers, and printers enable him to acquire and prepare selected images beforehand, in some cases adjusting and filtering them to the point at which they become ghostly remnants of the original.
The back of the gallery's main pieces, facing outward towards the rest of the gallery space, holds small, scraps of magazine clippings, sketches, color theory notes and other unassuming collected objects reminiscent of what may be found in the artist’s personal studio. Like a puzzle, it is here that the pieces themselves come together and begin to make sense — Sprecher leaving behind subtle traces of inspiration and references.
Outside In, Sprecher’s first solo museum exhibition, reflects the dynamic range of the artist’s recent work in terms of format, scale, imagery, and process. His design for the exhibition layout is inspired by the centuries-old practice of adorning living spaces with motifs derived from the natural world.
Muted images of birds and flowers appear sporadically, often embedded between layered abstract passages. Sprecher also uses unorthodox object placement and format to infuse the gallery setting with subtle domestic references.
Drawn from the extensive Chicago-based collection of Carl and Marilynn Thoma, "Virtual Views" premiered at the Knoxville Museum of Art Friday, Feb. 3. The exhibit explores the growing importance of electronic new media in contemporary art as seen in the work of artists who are pioneers in the use of LEDs , LCD and computer-driven imagery.
This is part of Jim Campbell’s “Low Resolution Series” in which he fragments actual home movie footage nearly to the point of dissolution, yet relies on the viewer’s perceptual intelligence to link the bits of moving light into a composition—to fill in the gaps. As a LED light animation, Home Movies, Pause may resemble how memories are replayed in the mind’s eye.
"Virtual Views" features a variety of electronic works each of which presents a paradox—it is comprised of synthetic materials and powered by digital technology, yet the rhythms and patterns of its imagery are derived from nature
Alan Rath often uses animated footage of his wife’s eyes in his electronic sculptures and program their movement to reflect particular states of anxiety and unrest. In this work they appear as if a specimen inside a scientific tube.