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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hungry Ghosts-the artist Stephanie Armbruster

HUNGRY GHOSTS / STEPHANIE ARMBRUSTER
Stephanie Armbruster - Hungry Ghosts
   
SOLO SHOW AT THE PITTSBURGH CENTER FOR THE ARTS

EXHIBIT DETAILS:
HUNGRY GHOSTS - SOLO SHOW BY STEPHANIE ARMBRUSTER
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

February 10, 2012 - April 22, 2012
www.pittsburgharts.org

www.stephaniearmbruster.com 
6300 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
412.361.0873
Gallery Hours: Tues - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Thurs open late until 7 pm, Sun 12 - 5pm


ARTIST TALK:

***Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 6pm
  (Pittsburgh Center for the Arts)


ARTIST STATEMENT:
“Everything that can be said, can be said clearly. And what we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein

The subject of these paintings is something that we cannot speak about. In Buddhist folklore, the hungry ghosts are spectral creatures that roam the Earth, tormented by cravings that they can never satisfy. These hungry ghosts cannot be seen, but their presence can be felt.

This series began as an attempt to illustrate the purely subjective portions of memory – the private experiences that we feel and sometimes share, but which evaporate the moment we try to articulate them. We live through our experiences, moment to moment, chasing them, trying to capture them and hold on to them like hungry ghosts – but all we are ever left with are memories. The negative spaces in our public reality.

 Composed of encaustic paintings on panel, these emotive pieces represent a developing vocabulary of gesture and color, exploring the language-less nature of transition and uncertainty. With their floating, atmospheric presence, at times both beautiful and malign, each depicts the texture and feel of a memory. They document the anticipation of possibilities, and the obsession with events that have already transpired, seen through the lens of synesthesia. Formless and devoid of literal language, these memories are stories that must be 
shown and cannot be told. Fragments
of a greater reality; whole, yet incomplete.


The transitory nature of memory speaks to the ephemeral nature of encaustic as a medium. Each gestural mark is created by reworking layers of material – wax and graphite - scraped from the works themselves to then be reintroduced back into the surfaces of the paintings. Like layers of memory, certain elements become obscured, while others are exposed, rising ominously to the surface as if paused between actions. A series of moments frozen in time as experiences transition into memory.

BIO:
Stephanie Armbruster is an artist living and working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Stephanie finds endless inspiration in urban spaces, populations and visual textures. Often series based and introspective, her work suggests a multi-layered sense of place. Armbruster is the recipient of numerous awards including the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Artist Opportunity Grant in 2011 and a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream Grant in 2008. She is a 2011 Flight School for Artists Fellow and her recent exhibits include In Search for Something More a solo exhibit at 709 Penn Gallery, and Encaustic Works 2011, an international biennial juried exhibition in print. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

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