Far Away and In Between
A Solo Exhibition by Jessica Plattner
April - June 5, 2021 (Start Date TBA)
Painting is magic: it can fool the eye with illusions of depth while at the same time emphasizing the flatness of its surface. My work highlights this duality with scraps of tape, paper, and photographs that appear to stick to the surface of some paintings. Occupying a seemingly different reality, these trompe l’eoil depictions fool the eye, as upon close inspection they reveal themselves to be entirely painted. Layers of visual confusion challenge the nature and purpose of representation itself — they can only be taken in slowly, with careful looking, by questioning what is seen. This complication echoes the disorientation that I feel lately when confronting a world that appears to have gone “mad.”
My work’s philosophy stems from Magical Realism, in which unexplained or absurd elements appear in an otherwise believable setting. Influenced by years spent living in Mexico, where wall-to-wall vibrant colour is accompanied by stark economic and social injustices, I find that the best way to approximate “truth” is through implausible juxtapositions. Never has this seemed more relevant than now. During this pandemic, as the world appears to have slipped into an alternate reality, Magical Realism feels right at home.
Jessica Plattner is an American artist residing in Canada. She earned a BFA from Washington University School of Fine Art in St. Louis, and an MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Temple Rome, Italy. Plattner participated in artist residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Vermont Studio Center, and a Fulbright Scholarship in Mexico. Since moving to Canada in 2014, Plattner has had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, the Okotoks Art Gallery, and the Esplanade Art Gallery in Medicine Hat, along with many group exhibitions. She currently teaches in the Art & Design Program at Medicine Hat College and lives with her partner, artist/musician Dean Smale, and their daughter. This is her first exhibition in Calgary.