Sheer surfaces and layered elements call on the intricacies of transparency, both physical and figurative. Areas of these works showing surface restraint emphasize the frame and details below, but through varying degrees of obscured visibility with translucent materials. Many attributes can be withheld or disguised through frost, censored effects, or outright obstruction when deciphering what is beneath. Applied passages of thick pours and piped/piled adornment segmented in architectural swoops, fields, and curves allude to a desire for control. Also present are perceived or physical surface voids, mirroring cartoon-ish mouths, nets, or moments of clarity. In concert with structural lines and planes from the exposed frame and walls, these instances become part of the image, disrupting and diffusing.
Gestures made below, between, and above continue to be seen, in some way, all at once. The history of past moves remains, and what is done can never really be gone. The back and forth between clear or muted communication illustrates the competing tendency to stay private or explicitly share. References to entrances and exits hint at places to explore or be barred from physically or psychologically. These “places” can feel familiar cinematically and otherworldly— semi-symmetrical layered actions of concealing and revealing result in often playful, quirky, and eerie images.
Elise Thompson (b. Cincinnati, OH) received a BFA from Northern Kentucky University in 2010 and an MFA at Florida State University in 2016. She received the Andrew McLaughlin Award in ’14 -’15 and the Mary Ola Reynolds Miller Scholarship in Visual Arts in ’16. Thompson attended the Boom Gallery Fellowship + Residency in Cincinnati, OH, in ’15 via an Exceptional Opportunities award from FSU. Additional residencies include Vermont Studio Center ’16, The Wassaic Artist Residency ’17, The Maple Terrace ’17, DNA Artist Residency ’20, and Stay Home Gallery + Residency ’21. Thompson was published in New American Paintings South in ’16, Friend of the Artist vol. 8 in ’19, and was featured in VAST Magazine vol. 1 in ’20. Past exhibitions include The Spartanburg Art Museum, The Wassaic Project, 500 X Gallery, BS Projects, and Paradice Palase. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.