2019 SOLO SHOWS Chalice Mitchell

“Through gestural paint strokes, my work challenges dualism. By exploring the three-dimensional area between dichotomies, my aim is to break down rigid categories and open up a space in which interaction can occur. Invoking concepts from Phenomenology, Zen, and Queer Theory, my paintings approach figuration as fragments floating isolated in expanses of empty space. Fluidity and the overlap of apparent opposites are consistent elements both conceptually and aesthetically.

As a female in the predominately male arena of combat sports, I am keenly aware of the limitation of gender-based stereotypes and create artwork in order to destabilize paradigms. Exploring the definitions and divisions of what constitutes femininity, I dissect power, strength, and muscularity. In my paintings, brush strokes break apart and dissolve into the background. The aesthetic is inspired by flying white, a technique from ink painting in which the stroke itself opens up to reveal the bland paper underneath, integrating the empty space with the ink and symbolically eradicating dualism. This cohesion of opposite entities (paper and ink, empty and full, body and space, inner and outer, physical and spiritual) is echoed in oil on raw linen.

Residing in Japan for eight years has given me a glimpse of my own culture from the outside. I lived in a rural fishing village in Amakusa, a main location of underground Catholicism. I was intrigued to see the religion in which I was raised through the lens of a mainly Buddhist and Shinto culture. Fascinated by the sensuality of religious art in the Baroque period and the symbolic use of empty space in Zen painting, my work draws heavily from these very different but sometimes analogous lineages. The combination of the sacred and the corporeal demonstrates that there is no clean divide between the spiritual and physical. This idea of immanence, rather than transcendence, is prominent across various experiences, philosophies, and world views.

By employing visual and theoretical connections, I work to challenge dualism by representing the nuances and interaction between polarities. Since we relate to the world via our bodies, the physicality of paint connects the introspective inner world to the outer world of others. Through my work, I investigate the space that separates us, yet enables us to relate. This simultaneous division and connection between self and other shapes the formation of individuality.

Click on each of Chalice Mitchell’s pieces below to view titles, dimensions, and pricing. If you are interested in purchasing a piece of artwork, please call 802-362-1405, or email info@svac.org.