Each Contortion is made entirely of layer upon layer of acrylic paint. The paint is applied methodically to a wooden panel support until it reaches a thickness of up to a half-inch thick. Then it is pulled up from the support and cut with a box cutter. After being nailed directly to the wall, gravity pulls on the paint attenuating connections and continuing to change each piece. Not only is a temporal record created by the build-up of layers, but also by the paint sagging, stretching, and bending over time. In this way, the Contortions resonate with Eva Hesse’s ephemeral latex and rubber pieces, which relate to the body, have evolved, and are now in a state of deterioration.
This project arose from working with materials in the studio, but was guided by art historical and theoretical interests. Painting is put through a succession of stylistic and conceptual gyrations in an attempt to make ‘historical progress’ and to be validated as a medium. This series, itself a contortion, comments on these strategic acrobatics; it is painting about painting. Through its elasticity and impermanence, this work can serve as a reminder of the cycles in life as well as cycles in art.
Kris Scheifele was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She has a B.F.A. in Painting and a B.A. in English from Cornell University. As an undergraduate, she attended Skowhegan on a full fellowship. Ms. Scheifele has also been nominated for a Joan Mitchell Foundation 2009 M.F.A. grant. For the past twelve years, she has lived and worked in New York City.