CAC First Floor Galleries
Opening Reception: June 25, 2011, 6 - 8pm
Brooke Pickett in conversation with Amy Mackie
Saturday, September 24th, 2pm
CAC First Floor Gallery
CAC First Floor Galleries
As part of the Contemporary Arts Center's (CAC) 35th Birthday program, the Visual Arts department presents The Center Cannot Hold: Paintings and Drawings by Brooke Pickett, an exhibition featuring the work of New Orleans-based artist, Brooke Pickett, on the first floor of the CAC. In keeping with the CAC's mission to support emerging art forms and artists, this exhibition encourages a rising voice in the field of contemporary art.
The paintings of Brooke Pickett are monumental in scale and are at times overpowering. Her process begins with the gathering of ready-made and often broken objects such as fans, pieces of fabric, houseplants, old mattresses, and electrical cords, which she arranges and photographs. These temporary sculptures are then abstracted in her oil-based paintings. As staged accumulations of primarily man-made items, they bring to mind the great swath of debris swiftly consuming our oceans and overwhelming landfills. Pickett's poetic interrogation of objects manufactured to be short-lived can be perceived as a comment on consumerism and the fleeting nature of contemporary culture, but more importantly they capture the fragility of the human spirit.
Her palette is earthy and familiar, yet the objects she uses as inspiration are often indiscernible. Pickett cites artists such as Trenton Doyle Hancock, Thomas Nozkowski, and Amy Sillman as influential to her practice, although she employs a painterly language all her own. It is perhaps ironic that her work is inspired by the finite nuances of natural and constructed worlds since her paintings occupy a tremendous amount of space. Contrarily, her line drawings made with walnut ink on paper are small focused glimpses of gaps and fissures in walls and constructed places. Though they engage the viewer on a completely different plane than her paintings, they also serve as a reflection of the psyche and the unstable world in which we live.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1980, Brooke Pickett is an emerging artist currently living and working in New Orleans. Pickett earned a M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Albany, State University of New York in 2005 and a B.A. in both Painting and Literature from the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge in 2002. She was an artist in residence at Hotel Pupik, Schrattenberg, Austria in 2009 and at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in 2007. From 2008-2010, Pickett was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Painting at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at The Front in Everyday Abstractions in February 2011. She is also the founder and director of Central City Artist Project, a non-profit residency program in New Orleans that creates opportunities for artists to produce work informed by the community and its residents.
Curated by Amy Mackie, Director of Visual Arts