Show Me Yours, an exhibition featuring the work of emerging artists Brittney Leeanne Williams, Jake Troyli, and Bianca Nemelc. Presented in tandem with BASKING NEVER HURT NO ONE – a solo exhibition of Cheryl Pope’s new body of work exploring the leisured nude figure – Show Me Yours expands upon Pope’s novel approach to the nude form as a site for examining systematic social concerns. Like Pope, the artists of Show Me Yours offer up their own contemporary interpretations to the classic motif, galvanizing the nude form as a starting point to contemplate prevalent issues such as identity, trauma, and gender.
Brittney Leeanne Williams explores the potential of the female body to both encapsulate and express a variety of psychological states. Rendering skin tone in a surprising spectrum of reds in an effort to subvert expectations, Williams depicts the figures as both faceless and contorted into a near circular embrace of their own bodies, or that of another. Ensconced in these intricate moments partially inaccessible to the viewer, the bodies expand out of surreal fractured backdrops, sourced from the artist’s own personal history. Acting as an amalgamation of both the artist’s identity, as well as that of her female family members, these bodies serve as communal symbols of hope and love, pain and loss.
Jake Troyli utilizes the absurd as an entry point into larger considerations of identity and masculinity. Depicting humorous scenes grounded in the language of classical painting, Troyli inserts his own body as an elastic avatar, able to move through various surfaces and vignettes. Referencing the common social practice of code switching – the practice of alternating between varieties of language – Troyli examines the intricacies of his own identity as a biracial man whilst inhabiting different spaces.
Bianca Nemelc embraces the fragmented female form, placing it against an earthly backdrop of greens and yellows. Although beginning as self-portraits, her monumental headless female forms seek to stand in for all women of color through their renderings in multiple shades of brown. Influenced by the art in her grandmother’s home – such as Fernando Botero and Tarsila do Amaral – Nemelc depicts her figures with playful looping lines, the contours of their bodies matching the delicate curves of water streams and plant branches surrounding them. Motivated by her own identity as a multiracial woman, Nemelc creates large-scale immersive works to provide a meditative space on culture and heritage.
Brittney Leeanne Williams (b. 1990, lives in Chicago) attended the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL (2008-2009) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME (2017). Solo exhibitions include Neither Free/Nor, Dittmar Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (2017) and It Can See You, HUME Gallery, Chicago, IL (2016). Williams was a 2018 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant recipient and has had residencies at the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, IL (2017-2018), Chicago Artists Coalition, IL (2016-2017), and Hyde Park Art Center, IL (2017-2018). Select group exhibitions include The Poetics of Relation, The Gaylord and Donnelley Foundation, Chicago, IL (2019); The Annual, Chicago Artists Coalition, IL (2018); Home/Lands, The Object Press, Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy (2018); and Here + Now, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI (2017). She is currently A Tale of Today Emerging Artist Fellow at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago.
Jake Troyli (b. 1990, lives in Tampa) received his BFA from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN (2013) and his MFA from the University of South Florida, Tampa (2019). He will attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME in the summer of 2019. His solo exhibitions include Awkward Handshake, Tempus Projects, Tampa, FL (2018) and Always leave them wanting more!, ArtsXchange, Saint Petersburg, FL (2018). Troyli has been awarded a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship for the 2019-2020 season, was an ACRE resident in Steuben, WI (2018), and received a Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant, Largo, FL (2017). His work has been in numerous group exhibitions, including Extra Butter, Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL (2019); XL Catlin Art Prize, San Francisco Art Institute, CA (2018); and Secret Garden, Henao Contemporary Center, Orlando, FL (2018). He has an upcoming group show, Malmö Sessions, at Carl Kostyál Gallery, Malmö, SE (2019).
Bianca Nemelc (b. 1991, lives in New York City) received her Associate Degree in Communications at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2009. She is a self-taught artist who began her painting practice four years ago. She recently exhibited an interactive installation constructed of painting and video at the Ross+Kramer Gallery booth at Spring/Break Art Show, New York, NY, for which she was recognized as one of the best in show by Artnet, Artsy, and ARTnews. She was featured in the group exhibition Bloom Service, Galeria Del Barrio, New York, NY (2019), and has an upcoming solo show at Gallery Valentine in East Hampton, NY in summer 2019.