ArtisSpectrum Vol.38, November 2018

8 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 | Christine Stettner T he works of Christine Stettner center on the figure, but then work their way outwards toward the margins of a picture frame. Her paintings, which are often rendered in acrylic, seem to capture the process of seeing figures emerge from the act of painting, only to foreground them against an endlessly receding backdrop. Within this dream-like setting, startling associations—between person and person, or person and objects—occur that lead viewers to question the objectivity stability of the realities they encounter everyday. A frame is no longer a frame in Stettner’s work, but a portal leading the viewer into secret vistas of past and future time. In Stettner’s movement away from the figure, different painterly materials, textured surfaces, and fluid variations of shape wrap her subjects in a psychedelic sheen. Her works feel symbolic—even if they depict dreams or are informed by memories. This air of symbolism is made possible by the familiarity of her figures, whose faces are often left blank, as though mirroring the subjectivity of a viewer who might feel equally accosted by the surreal landscapes which environ Stettner’s figures. Christine_Stettner.aspx Scope of the Movement, 2016 Acrylic on Canvas 39.5” x 31.5” Nora Pineda C eramics lie at the crux of Nora Pineda ’s artistic practice. Taking inspiration from her Mexican heritage, she creates stories that wend around the physical dimensions of her pieces, rendered in vibrant colors and with a careful attentiveness to pigment and shape. Often involving folkloric themes, Pineda’s stories often speak to a feminist vision of the world, abstractly depicting scenes and narratives that can be communicated directly via color, texture, and shape—or tactically, in the scale, dimensions, and contours of the physical object she shapes. The shape and tactile quality of Pineda‘s ceramic works could be said to recreate the physical tactilty of the female body itself. Rather than reducing embodiment to a correlate of the male gaze, Pineda works from within, recreating the experience of femininity without having to depict a feminine body overtly. Nonetheless, without being fetishistic - eyes, lips, and fingernails are recurrent themes in her work. Indeed, this thematic consistency could be said to be recursive, as Pineda’s ceramic form oftens extend the shape of these features into three-dimensional works that toy with the cleavage between femininity and the feminine body. www.N Nora_Pineda.aspx Red Lips, 2002 Ceramic 9” x 11” x 6”