Burning in Water is pleased to announce representation of New York-based artist Amy Myers. The gallery will hold an inaugural exhibition of Myers’ works in Fall 2019 at its new gallery space, featuring a number of new paintings by the artist.
“The perspective of particle physics is one of a universe without stuff.
All particles exist with the potential to combine with and become different particles.
They are intermediate states in a network of interactions and are based upon events, not things.”
-Amy Myers, Artist Statement
Using physics “as a springboard into the imagination,” Amy Myers creates immersive, meditative artworks that depict unimaginable spaces and improbable systems. While Myers is best known for her highly detailed drawings visually influenced by particle physics, philosophy, biology, and the human mind, her recent artistic focus has been on painting, a medium with which she began seriously working two years ago.
Myers’ earliest memories relate to experimentation and the notion that everything is a combination of everything else, an undoubtable influence of her father’s work as a physicist. Her drawings and paintings convey a symmetry that is simultaneously beautiful and frightening. Intrinsic to Myers’ near symmetric compositions is the force of rotation, the natural, continual movement of planetary bodies and indeed all systems of the universe. She envisions her compositions existing not within a fixed physical or temporal space, but substantiating a perceived reality of a new science. Myers describes her work as “fluid to the point of indeterminacy, and infinite to the point of transcendence.” Considering Myers’ work as totemic mandalas for meditation or a view into the arcane trajectory of subatomic particles moving through space, the viewer can envision achieving a new understanding of the nature of life itself through sustained viewing of the worlds depicted in her work.
“Her constellations atomize into a spinning, vibrating abstraction that draws you irresistibly toward an ever-widening interiority—a near-infinite, yet intimate, space of dizzying electromagnetic seduction.” -Eric Fischl
Myers’ compositions, always balanced but never exactly symmetrical, seamlessly integrate layers of matter radiating from a central, often labial core. Some elements are comprised of soft, biomorphic forms, at times fleshy and pulsating, at other times wispy and iridescent. Other structures appear as webs of severe, geometric forms slicing through the multi-layered composition, reminiscent of cyborgian hybrids, industrial machinery, and the bio-mechanical art of H. R. Giger. Many elements of Myers’ works are reminiscent of human organs, particularly the vulva, a symbol of creation that relates to the cyclical recreation and renewal inherent to the mechanics of the universe. Myers’ art has clear ties to Feminist art, with notable visual similarities to Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers, buildings, and landscapes, and Judy Chicago’s series of vulvic plates for “The Dinner Party.”
Amy Myers grew up in a house of science. Physics was the currency of exchange. This was a world of muons, gluons, particles top and bottom, up and down, charming and strange—a universe of infinite space and permeable surfaces. The theories that inflamed her imagination boggle our senses. She has managed to commingle them and, to some extent, harness them in her mandalas of female physiognomy. If you thought them diagrams, you have only seen them from a distance. These feminine fantasies are as delicate as lacework, as eloquent as a bridal gown, as spectacular as fireworks, and as uninhabitable as a distant planet. When you come within range of their humming, the Dance of Veils takes effect. Fields of energy drawn from Myers’s mind and released by her hand push deep into the flatness of the paper. Her constellations atomize into a spinning, vibrating abstraction that draws you irresistibly toward an ever-widening interiority—a near-infinite, yet intimate, space of dizzying electromagnetic seduction. These shapes are tightly held within the gravitational force of her psychological/spiritual cosmos. Orbiting, endlessly orbiting. Sparkling, luminous, quirky, sexy, and playful, they bounce and zip along trajectories of mesmerizing complexity. So transfixing are they that before you know it they have left the paper-flat surface and encircled you, wrapped you in an embrace that is impossible to shake off. Though why would you want to?
Myers builds upon early feminist art in exploring the powerful intersection of sexuality and spirituality, revamped for the 21st century…
Looking at the drawings for an extended period, one starts to recognize a myriad of familiar entities: ball gowns, galaxies, uteruses, dandelion spores, pelvises, ribcages, spider webs, checkerboards, constellations. These shifting elements, never clearly representational, harmonize in ways that suggest the interconnectedness of the natural world.
Consciously she refers to subatomic particles, galactic forces and sexual organs, but what our eyes perceive is a magically engendered, non-specific world, in which elements tenuously exist in an activated space and in a constant state of metamorphosis. She may be thinking about science, but what she has evolved is a mysterious and tenuous world.
Myers’ works are like the turtle-necked physics professors behind Apple’s well-polished façade. Look at the presentation decisions: creating the work on a grid of separate sheets of paper reinforces the scientific connection, and the occasional unevenness of the grid and the unfinished edges of the paper add an inexactness and patina. Each work’s primary image, the atomic structure, is finished and heavily worked, but is surrounded by penciled-in preliminary lines and scrawled notes similar to those found on a schematic drawing or sketch.
Amy Myers (b. 1965, Austin, TX) is a New York-based artist whose large-scale abstract drawings and paintings simultaneously reference particle physics, biology, philosophy, the human mind, and the mechanics of the universe.
Myers has received numerous grants and fellowships, including The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; Ellen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation Studio Residency and Award at MANA Contemporary; and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Studio Grant. Past residencies include Yaddo Artist Residency (Saratoga Springs, NY); Dora Maar House (Menerbes, France); and The American Academy in Rome.
Previous solo exhibitions include Mike Weiss Gallery (New York, NY); Mary Boone Gallery (New York, NY); Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (Los Angeles, CA); Danese Gallery (New York, NY); and Dunn and Brown Contemporary (Dallas, TX).
Past museum exhibitions include The Sweeney Art Museum at California State University (Riverside, CA); Pomona College, Montgomery Art Center (Claremont, CA); and University Art Museum, California State University (Long Beach, CA).
Myers has artworks in the permanent collections of the Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY); California State University Art Museum (Long Beach, CA); Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Fort Wayne, IN); Greenville County Museum of Art (Greenville, SC); Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (Peekskill, NY); Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach, CA); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS); and the American Express Corporate Collection.
Myers’ artworks have been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Artnews, Art in America, and BOMB.