Something Wonderful is About to Happen
Ongoing through October 31
presented by Exeter Gallery
A three-person exhibition featuring the work of Marybeth Chew, Ilenia Madelaire, and Virginia Fleming.
On view through October 31st by appointment only. Message through Instagram, exetergallery, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your visit.
When this show was conceived in late 2019 the title was originally a joke about a self-help mantra.
The events of the last eight months have dramatically shifted so many things. This title, however, seems more apropos than ever. As anxieties have mounted, and a large part of our population is calling for change, this phrase has shifted too from sardonic humor to both an ardent hope and a desperate cry.
The ‘uneasy narratives’ painted by Marybeth Chew, Ilenia Madelaire, and Virginia Fleming are also ways of containing, finding humor, catharsis, confronting, and asserting new ways of viewing disquieting subjects, emotions, and experience.
These women are painters of uneasy narratives, power dynamics, and voyeurism. Figuration and representation are the mediators to the alternate worlds occupying the paintings. The figures are victims and transgressors, lovers and villains, participating unselfconsciously in their worlds, to be exposed, looked at, and interpreted. Humor buffers the vulnerabilities and the antipathy present in the disturbing narratives.
Culling from B movies’ film imagery, Marybeth Chew paints the apex of private moments charged with exaggerated, artificial drama – leaving us as spectators and participants of an impending eruption. The tension resides in the figures’ malleable expressions, brimming with possibilities.
Ilenia Madelaire’s bright colors and cartoony approach subvert their cheerful allusions and confront the viewer with psychological discomfort. Satire, myth, and symbolism bring forth a judgment without accusation, of both our external world in which we exist, and the world in the painting. She asks how we too have become complicit in transgressive acts.
Virginia Fleming’s deceptively simple and lighthearted figurations depict a joyfully dark world. A disorientation surfaces, and we no longer have bearings to ground us to what we thought we knew.
Suddenly we are transported into her voyeuristic fascinations, evasive and unsafe.