And The Sun Left
Each of the artists in And The Sun Left embrace the figure as a central character in their paintings, using the human form to connect with the viewer on the other side of the canvas. Bouncing between the surreal and the mundane, occasionally multiple times in the same piece, these five artists portray people in unabashedly idiosyncratic styles, sharing an honest, if unsettling, perspective on the human experience.
In the exhibition’s namesake painting, Bony Ramirez depicts a lone figure holding a shell on a pale purple background, and while the character’s stance leans to the right, their eyes are cast quiveringly back and out of frame, turning an otherwise straightforward portrait into something more sinister. This sort of twist is not uncommon for Ramirez, whose objects and symbols—and even hands and feet—quickly reveal that they are not what they seem at first glance.
Unusual symbologies also play a role in Brandy Wednesday’s paintings on wallpaper. Eclectically adorned groups of women circulate among wavy backdrops, pausing to swap trinkets or pass through portals. While mysterious, their connective ties are palpable, echoed in the artist’s stitching that dots the paper. Connar Weston’s “Gorgons: Girls Come in Threes” shares with Wednesday an understanding of the power of intimate group ritual, though their work focuses less on the explicitly odd, and more on the uncertainty lying below the surface of what we think we already know. Their paintings, set on traditional farmlands and homesteads, challenge any preconceptions of place.
Trading amber waves and prairies for mortared brick and shopping bags, the pair of Emily Manwaring paintings are an explosion of color and reference points. Though full of energy, her aptly titled “Can’t let the summer past” feels almost frozen in time, with figures in mid-pose or exaltation. Sydney Vernon portrays a softer side of domestic life, showing a child, attentively supported, wading waist deep in a pool of water. Set against a backdrop both urban and verdant, Vernon’s figures seem to propose the possibility of a harmonious future.