Painted color-forms emerge and recede in the picture plane; their presence lingering on the surface — waiting to be absorbed by a memory or tangential thought. The paintings, prints, and sculptures adhere to their biological and color references while simultaneously being vulnerable to new contexts. Their arrangements create a framework for new logic to be found — a logic of chance and association, like a puzzle game, while emotional landscapes are built up through color palette, form, pattern, and material. Literal narrative becomes arbitrary, as no sequential story ever materializes, but rather the gesture of a place, a glimmered slant of light, the echo of a scream, the smell of grass after rain.
I’m interested in the mechanics of memory and lucidity — the sensitivity and desire for things to make sense and work. Questioning if there is space where reference can be exponential while also offering a place for the mind to rest. The work is preoccupied with its own object-hood and the question of a thing’s physical reality. These objects and paintings speak to change, contention, heartbreak, discomfort, loudness, solace, irony, beauty, sleep, and how color and form can abstract the ordinary.
Claire Whitehurst is a painter, printmaker and ceramicist living and working in Iowa City, Iowa, where she is teaching and pursuing her MFA in Painting at the University of Iowa. She was born in Louisiana and raised in Mississippi. Her work explores dreams, memory, time, identity, and emotional experience through color, form, texture and pattern. Paintings, prints, and ceramic sculpture test the boundaries of emotional narrative through formal qualities as well as playing with the metaphysical relationships between image and object.