The Hysterics: Heather Day @ Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland
“When experiencing heightened emotion, I see blurs of lush color in my peripheral vision," San Francisco-based artist Heather Day recently said of her work. "Basically my mind interprets emotion as color. To me, it’s really there –as if I’m holding a colored filter over part of my vision. Looking straight ahead, my sight is unaffected but in the peripheries, there are rich washes of cyan, burnt orange, phthalo blues, and fuchsia.” These thoughts perfectly set-up what will be her newest solo show, The Hysterics, on view from October 19 through November 23, 2019, at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland.
As the title suggests, The Hysterics refers to Day’s process of mark-making. Her process demands motion, requiring her entire body as she pours and pushes paint across the canvas. The canvases are subsequently drenched with water, enabling an element of vulnerability that remains essential to her work. Acting quickly, Day adds marks to the canvas and thereby allows each gesture to inform the next. An eternal dance between control and chaos ensues, climaxing with a unique and vivid creation.
“It’s moving, it’s rapid, and you can’t always predict what’s going to happen. I’m pouring the paint, I’m manipulating it, and there’s a level of understanding of what might happen as I control the fluidity of the paint or the opacity. Then there’s also the unexpected when I pour a bucket of water and it splashes everywhere.”
Heather Day's solo show, The Hysterics opens at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Saturday, October 19th, with an opening reception from 5 to 8 pm, and is on view through November 23rd, 2019.