Visual Language & Catharsis - Houston, Texas - April 2023

Contributing to the vibrant arts community in Houston, the "Visual Language & Catharsis" exhibit displayed the works of four contemporary painters, originally from NYC, who have relocated their working studios to Texas.

  • Curated by Toby Rosser - Catalog essay by Phoebe Hoban

With the almost violent onslaught of banal imagery in our daily lives, contemporary artists have a cultural responsibility to create works that provide contemplation, introspection, and evocative qualities beyond cellphone pictures of your lunch or skillful renderings of sunsets.

Dreaming is an abstract experience. When we wake, we lose all sense of continuity and grasp of narrative, yet often feel a profound relationship to the imagery we experienced while sleeping. Abstract painters develop a visual language to modulate 2-dimensional space and create tangible experiences in response to the images which emerge from the creative subconscious, without the constraints of a narrative subject—a visual catharsis.

The four mid-career artists in this exhibition employ cathartic bursts of imagery in their work. This is not narrative subject matter, but marks, objects, and symbols that evoke atmosphere through ambiguity and structure, fashioning an objective environment for the viewer, like a dream that invokes a profound experience in the absence of a specific narrative.
- Toby Rosser