Three Artists, Esthela Calderón, Amy Hauber, Cassie Jones

October 17, 2019 to December 14, 2019


Certain artistic acts of creation are defined in part by one’s ability to focus on being in the present moment. The exhibition Here and Now brings together work in this context by three artists who explore formal elements of drawing and painting on paper, canvas, and Duralar.

Esthela Calderón’s paintings on paper from her “Pollen” series employ the centuries-old technique of marmoleado, or enamel marbling, that she learned in Spain in 2018. “This activity requires great speed, a relation between what we want and the time we have left. So similar to life itself. So similar to the life of a grain of pollen,” she writes.

Amy Hauber’s “dot paintings” became “synonymous with breathing, blinking, and meditating,” as she rebuilt her life after a series of mental health struggles. “In these works,” she states, “each dot is like a miniature Zen enso painting, a bit of data, a moment in time, a tiny proof that I am here.”

Cassie Jones’ paintings on Duralar expand upon her “interest in the natural world and its representation in human culture,” according to the artist. “While various sources feed the work, the moment in which I’m working is highly intuitive and left open to chance and discovery. When I’ve painted myself into a corner, the best ideas emerge as I find my way out.”

Traditional Chinese fine brushwork paintings highlight the use of small brushes and delicate lines to outline objects, and I then overlay the result with layers of traditional Chinese ink. This art form stresses realism to transcend the subject’s spirit. In these works, I augment traditional painting techniques with colors drawn from the hyper-realistic palettes of Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and fellow Fauvists. This juxtaposition allows me to draw attention to the nuances of natural and human-constructed subjects, and illustrate how notions of the decorative have changed over time.

In “heavy color paintings,” I work with Chinese traditional paintbrushes and Xuan paper, adding the warmth of oil painting and post-Impressionistic abstraction techniques within the vein of Henri Rousseau and the more contemporary David Hockney. In these works, the formalism of Chinese painting exposes how realism relies on specific aesthetic conventions, which are neither universal nor static.

Tibetan Buddhist religious painting is a form with a strong association with the decorative. In these works, vivid colors and an abundance of content help move the eye through the precise details derived from traditional thangka techniques.
– Dr. Jingtao Liu


Esthela Calderón
Cassie Jones
Amy Hauber