Bells & Burn Piles, Vadis Turner

September 8 - October 8, 2016

Geary Contemporary is pleased to open this September with Bells & Burn Piles, a solo exhibition of recent work by Nashville-based artist, Vadis Turner.

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Geary Contemporary will be hosting an opening reception for the artist Thursday September 8, 6 – 8 PM. This will be Turner’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Turner uses many materials in her new work, including acrylic resin, breast milk, charred sticks, and ash along with her former use of textiles. As she continues to explore the use of textiles and their historically engendered properties, Turner is now combining the softness of that material with resin to create hard, wall mounted works. In new floor works, Turner uses breast milk mixed with resin and acrylic paint to create a base for burned sticks and other charred material. These large pieces embody dissident emotions; maternal nourishment and the destruction of fire are combined and safely encased within an abstract form.

The title of this show, Bells & Burn Piles, speaks to the contrast of harmony and dissonance which the works embody. As Alex Fialho of Artforum writes in the catalogue essay, “a bell’s womb-like, ovular shape reflects its pregnant possibility to be filled with sound.” Turner’s pieces oscillate between visual dissonance and harmony.

Turner’s exhibition at Geary Contemporary celebrates the feminine and the maternal through a simultaneous deconstruction and rebirth of the pregnant bell form. By weaving together materials typically germane to the decorative world of the home, Turner channels a character on the edge, standing before the flames, ready to welcome something new into the world.

Vadis Turner’s work transforms gendered materials into abstract paintings and sculptures. Connecting generations of women, her work re-contextualizes domestic textiles and other gendered materials.

Vadis Turner

Vadis Turner’s first solo museum exhibition was presented at the Frist Art Museum in 2017. Her current show is on view at the Huntsville Museum of Art. Her next solo museum project will be at the Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Art in 2023. Turner was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2016.

Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, 21C Museum, Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, Tennessee State Museum and the Hunter Museum of American Art. Turner’s work has been presented at numerous museums and institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, ICA Portland, Andy Warhol Museum, The Bunker Artspace, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Islip art Museum, Knoxville Museum and Cheekwood Museum. Residencies include Yaddo, Museum of Arts & Design, Materials for the Arts, Hambidge Center and a Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center. Selected press includes Artforum, New York Times, Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, Art Papers, Burnaway, Wallpaper*, Elle Magazine,, Observer, Artnet, and White Hot Magazine.

Her projects have also been funded by the Barbara Demming Memorial Fund and The Current Art Fund, a TriStar Arts regranting program through the Andy Warhol Foundation. Turner received a BFA and MFA from Boston University. She is currently the Hamblet Artist in Residence at Vanderbilt University and is represented by Geary in Millerton, NY.