Play It as It Lays takes its title from the 1970 novel by American writer Joan Didion. In this group exhibition each artist provides a distinct monologue with overarching themes of nihilism, fatalism, sexual desire, and longing that are all at once spiked with brilliance, beauty, wretchedness, modesty and self-doubt. Their relationship with materials and the space they occupy stand in for bodies, places, dreams and memories. The transformation of materials and objects not only allude to the literary but also the cinematic. Together their purpose is not to create a narrative but to provide a portal that is at once visceral and metaphysical, harmonious and discordant, near and distant, authentic and constructed. It is a means to make sense of the world and how they navigate through it. Each negotiation, compromise, and confrontation is revealed discretely on her surface. It is the evidence of accepting the existing conditions when acting and reacting to a problem-one, which is both unique in its inception but also universal in its open-endedness.
Margaux Crump is a Houston-based artist whose objects, drawings, and texts are rooted in the slippery relationship between desire, intimacy, and control. She has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis and The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington, DC. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Marie Bannerot McInerney is artist, curator, and educator. Her work investigates conceptions of fragility, instability, and experiential knowledge. She has exhibited across the United States and abroad including shows at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in Saint Louis, MO, Corcoran College in Washington, DC, and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Her formative years were spent in Houston, TX before she earned her BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis. She part of the curatorial collaboration Plug Projects; is currently Vice President of Annual Meetings for the Friends of Dard Hunter, and serves as Assistant Professor in the Fiber Department at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Gillian Tobin received her BFA in 2009 from the Kansas City Art Institute, concentrating in painting and art history. Tobin also holds an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University and an MA from Eastern Illinois University. Tobin has contributed to multiple exhibitions throughout Missouri and Illinois. She was a recipient of the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency in 2014-15. Her practice is driven by material experimentation with a focus on the ontology of objects. She lives and works in Kansas City, MO.
José Guadalupe Garza is an artist, educator and curator living and working in St. Louis, MO. He earned a BFA from the University of Florida and MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Garza examines the way in which one constructs/reconstructs histories and how ideas are a dialogic conflation of different people, places, and times. He generates shifts in meaning and interpretation by demonstrating how concepts and relationships are constantly inverted and transformed through the use of improvisation and assemblage. His practice is informed by, and connected to ideas relating to aesthetics of power, manifestations of desire, the ready-made and the moving image as a tool and vehicle for propaganda.