17-May-2019

Lay Me in a Hot Bed and Try Not to Drown
Joanna Powell

Opening Reception | Friday, May 17, 2019 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. 

Exhibition on view through June 14, 2019

  
Left: Joanna Powell, Flower Vessel, ceramic, 17" x 9.5" x 9.5", 2019. Right: Joanna Powell, Perfect Pretenders, digital photograph, 30” x 45”, 2019. Photo: Clarissa Rose Peppers.

NEW YORK – The Jane Hartsook Gallery is pleased to present new work by Joanna Powell. Lay Me in a Hot Bed and Try Not to Drown, Powell’s New York City debut, was inspired by the harrowing experience of returning to Dallas after her mother’s death. In this exhibition, Powell explores emotions that are universally felt in highly individualized ways. Everyone eventually grapples with the death of a loved one, but each person’s experience is unique. Using ceramic, photography and neon, Powell unpacks how those humid Dallas nights felt, trying to fall asleep despite the crush of emotion and thick summer air, and what it means to have common experiences without actually being able to share them. 

Powell’s work is joyful while retaining a sense of loss. Infinite black backgrounds make intense colors pop with life, and white vessels are washed in color. Pots and paintings alike are lush with beautiful plant life whose fruit and flowers promise plenty that they ultimately cannot fulfill. Joy and pain are present in Powell’s work in a way that welcomes viewers to contemplate their experiences with loss without dictating their responses.
 
Joanna Powell is an artist based out of Helena, Montana. She received her MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her BFA in ceramics from the University of North Texas. She was an artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation and has had solo and group exhibitions at University of Wisconsin-River Falls (River Falls, WI; 2019), Denison Artspace (Newark, OH; 2016), Hoffman Gallery (Portland, OR; 2018), and The Clay Studio (Philadelphia, PA; 2013), among others.

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