Dark Adaptation: Paintings and Site-Specific Work by Amanda Hamilton

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Opening Reception:
Saturday, April 28th, 6-9pm
Show Runs:
April 28 – June 2

In Dark Adaptation, Amanda Hamilton’s paintings are about darkness and her interests surrounding perception and contemplation.  The optical process of our eyes adjusting to lower light levels is known as “dark adaptation”.  Darkness is a common experience, as in: “I cannot see” or “night has fallen”, and darkness can be an object as in deep obsidian stone.  The paintings often include powdered pigments, volcanic black salt, sandpaper, dust and the particulate of geodes, natural flake mica, copper tape and copper filings, powdered graphite and charcoal. 

In making dark paintings, this work also references and re-animates many conversations throughout the last century as early as Malevich and including the work art historically referred to as the “Black paintings” by artists like Ad Reinhart and Robert Rauschenberg.  Hamilton’s works explore a revisiting and reimaging of these concepts that were centered on a very narrow perspective of painting as the mode of the creation of self-sufficient perceptual objects-a change that granted new roles to both artist and viewer.

It is a radical notion that the object of a painting might allow a person to be aware and sensitized to their own contemplation in space and time.  Hamilton will design and construct elements within the exhibition designed specifically to create a space of contemplation; the wall color, textiles, and gallery seating are all designed to work towards that end.  Like eyesight adjusting, the more slowly one looks the more there is to see.

Amanda Hamilton lives in Minneapolis, MN, and is currently an associate professor of art at Bethel University in St. Paul. Hamilton received her B.S. in drawing and painting from Biola University in La Mirada, CA and her MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. She has exhibited throughout the United States, including Metcalf Gallery at Taylor University, Hemingway Visual Arts Center at Boise State University and Cornell University. She has received support for her work from the NEA, Idaho Arts Commission and Boise Arts Commission and attended several artist residencies including Vermont Studio Center.

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