March 18 - April 29, 2023
From Ro2 Art:
“Ro2 Art is thrilled to present Interior Motives, an exhibition of new work by Sophia Anthony. The exhibition will open March 18 and remain on view through April 29, 2023, with an opening reception to be held at Ro2 Art’s expansive new gallery in Dallas’ Tin District, located at 2606 Bataan St., Dallas, TX, on March 18 from 7 – 10pm. In Interior Motives, Sophia Anthony presents a series of paintings and drawings that depict narrative, interior scenes. The singular figures in her paintings, typically men, are often set amidst uncertain atmospheres and architectures, situated somewhere between portraiture and narrative. Combining elements of art history, cinema, and literature, her tightly constructed works synthesize many different painting styles to create complex, psychological tableaus that consider, question, and negotiate ideas of masculinity.
Artist Statement Referencing cinema, art history, and found photography, my work depicts figures, typically men, amidst uneasy atmospheres in tightly constructed paintings and drawings. The paintings tend to quiet, subtle moments that belie lurking drama, while the drawings offer a distinct, more immediate psychology. Both practices investigate the act of looking, whether it be towards painting history, film, or contemporary image culture, by creating highly varied surfaces that oscillate between obsessive precision and gestural ambiguity. Poetry, lyrics, and literature inform how I construct my paintings and drawings. Of particular interest is the superfluous man character of Pushkin’s poem Eugene Onegin, a type that seems to resonate with the protagonists of my paintings, and more broadly with contemporary questions of masculinity. Just as the titular character of Eugene Onegin unravels throughout the poem, so to do the figures in my work seem in a perpetual state of dissolution, both in their psychological expression and in moments of gesturally painted brush strokes. I gather a variety of sources, including found images, film stills, and observation. Synthesizing these references, I construct my paintings into horizontal, mid-shot compositions that frame the figures as characters, moving through fictive spaces. As I work, I paint in numerous styles to signify a complex relationship to the figures. Painstaking details in clothing and hair will appear next to expressive marks that describe motion or atmosphere, while architectural motifs are often rendered to the point of geometric abstraction. The multi-modality of my painting practice underscores the emotions of the figures and creates a sense of spatial and psychological interiority, while also suggesting that these narratives are open to multiple interpretations. For example, in the painting Bitters End, the speed and control of marks varies across the canvas. The glass that moves into the frame from the right side shimmers with Vermeer-like light. In another corner, the shirt and mangled left eye of the main figure are as loosely gestural as Hals, perhaps even bordering on Auerbach. The scratches on the navy sleeve suggest handling similar to Twombly, while the architectural depictions of the top right corner are as geometrically minimal as Newman. These moments of shifting painting styles feel somehow analogous to the structure of a story within a story. Like the embedded narrative of The Grand Inquisitor within Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, moving the reader back and forth between fictions to dramatize the interior conflicts of the characters, the varied mark-making becomes a device that switches the viewer across references, histories, and emotional states.
About The Artist
Sophia Anthony (b. 1997, Texas) received her MFA from The University of Chicago in 2022 after earning dual undergraduate degrees from Southwestern University in Studio Art (BFA) and Physics (BA), graduating summa cum laude in 2019. She has also studied at Tyler School of Art in Temple University and The University of Maryland. She has exhibited nationally, including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Recent exhibitions include Sophia Anthony: Interior Motives, Ro2 Art, Dallas (2023, solo); New Texas Talent XXIX, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas (2022); Beautiful Snail, Logan Center Gallery, Chicago (2022); Garden of the Laws, Sarofim Fine Arts Gallery, Georgetown, TX (2019, solo); and The Speaking Silence, DEASIL at Bermac Arts, Houston, TX (2019, solo). This will be her first solo exhibition with the gallery.”
Reception: March 18, 2023 | 7–10 pm
2606 Bataan Street
Dallas, 75212 TexasGet directions