Joy Every and Piper Grosswendt
At first blush, it is easy to see the similarities in the works by painters Joy Every and Piper Grosswendt. Both artists have a mastery of their medium and a strong sense of color and line and whimsy even. But it is in their differences, and how they relate to the story arc that is doris-mae’s second season, that is most interesting to me as curator.
Joy Every has a self-professed love for the outdoors. She is rejuvenated and inspired by being in nature. Her work plays with its formal aspects of space and scale, composition and pattern. While not a plein air painter, it’s while she is in a natural environment that Joy begins cataloging images and emotions to later transcribe onto canvas, many times as landscape.
In addition to these qualities, Joy’s work is influenced by a wide range of cultures, evidenced in some of her shapes and patterns and colors and her willingness to be open to them. I like to believe that this openness is a uniquely American viewpoint—an intellectual curiosity to know more about other people, the world—and an interesting way to begin a season that will explore cultural and ethnic identity.
While Joy is influenced externally, Piper draws much of her inspiration in her studio where she creates works on fabric, most notably brightly colored and patterned sheets. During our conversations, it became imperative to me that we de-emphasize the associations with these textiles in order to focus on the way Piper incorporates their patterns and color into a composition. The sheets serve as a familiar material jumping off point upon which she investigates relationships between color and form.
Piper owes much of her work to an inner dialogue that challenges and pushes her perceptions of her materials and surroundings. It’s in this private and public negotiation she’s established that we find the most interesting questions.