I was recently awarded the Victor Olorunsola Endowed Research Award for my proposal Hybrid Painting in the Expanded Field - a project that will produce large-scale frescos on 3D carved foam surfaces.
My work was featured in a solo exhibition Tiffany Calvert: Rainbow Chaos at Arkansas State University in November 2017.
contact: tiffanycalvert @ gmail
About the work
My artwork integrates traditional and emerging media in order to investigate the mutability of perception and the effect of media on the substantiation of the image. I paint in oil on large-format digital prints, and in buon fresco on 3D modeled carved forms. I work in series that iterate imagery sourced from Dutch floral still life painting and contemporary glitch aesthetic.
I am especially interested in the evolution of pictorial space. My work takes up the “digital shift” in image production that rather suddenly antiquated late modernism's various flatnesses (including, in particular, Rauschenberg's flatbed picture plane). Today we view our screens and the world they occupy as a shallowly layered space of overlapping desktop windows. The picture plane has tilted up again from the flatbed to float in front of our eyes. My paintings in turn depict an intermediate space, where the verticality of the still life paintings cohabitate with these digital panes.
Dutch floral still life paintings encapsulate multiple concerns. Their subjects were botanical fantasies, emblems of an economic mirage that has contemporary corollaries. Most important to my pictorial concerns, they depict ephemeral things in shallow and diagrammatic space - they are all foreground. They contain an abundance of visual information in overwhelming density, creating an allover resolution; a visual field that is equivalent to digital noise.
By making painterly interventions into reproductions, I attempt to dissolve the layer between the resolution of the source image and abstraction of the painted mark. In some works, I use software to digitally “glitch” the source image before printing it on canvas. In my most recent paintings, I apply full size vinyl masks based on digital vector line drawings. These masks overlay the entire digital print while I paint and are later peeled off to reveal structured negative space. Both of these techniques extend my ability to manipulate painterly space into the digital realm.
from Collapse, Visual Arts Center Gallery, MSU:
...For Calvert, abstraction and figuration spar in an art historical realm, depicting not only a mutual rebuff and attraction of the narrative and the abstract, but also the proximity of tradition and innovation in painting. Calvert's gravitational collapse of narrative information is not merely an injection of visual white noise or a cannibalism of preexisting imagery, but an interruption of familiar subject matter by a proximal transmission of intangibles. Calvert writes, "I seek a precarious balance between figuration and abstraction, using the complexity of the imagery to both create the structure and to confuse, overcomplicate and obscure. Overburdened by their ornament, they collapse. Dissolution, separation, collapse, dissemination. In the dissolution of form the theme is the dissolution of order, of aspiration." In generating a visual disturbance via abstraction, Calvert notifies the viewer of a cusp in the imagery, a beginning of something other than the narrative.
– Adrienne Callander, curator and Assistant Professor of Arts Entrepreneurship at University of Arkansas
from Artist Profile: Tiffany Calvert by Elizabeth Johnson
What is her stake in this vortex of confusion and activity? Tiny clusters of pink, circular decorations interrupt the overall composition, and I think: No, that doesn't work. But then I think: Well, maybe it does. If death and disintegration look the same as assembly and reconstruction, and my sense of aesthetic equilibrium is effectively knocked out of whack, then Calvert must truly be dwelling in chaos, which means this brand of off-putting painting is habitable and a platform from which she will continually be scouting ahead, unearthing fresh images, and staying one step ahead of comfort...Her style rises from dappled brushstrokes and air, compelling me to feel lucky to have a toehold in a mixed-up world.