RARE is pleased to present Pancorum Hominum, artist Daphne Arthur‘s third one-person exhibition at the gallery. In a new series of paintings and drawings, Arthur creates personal, psychological spaces for viewers to explore should they wish to “take the time” to decipher her unique and intimate language.
While the visual results of Arthur’s efforts are recognizable images, they are arrived at through incremental and cumulative processes of layering, scraping away, and reconfiguring of complex abstract forms. These processes eventually cohere into succinct manifestations of line, color, and shape that underscore the passage of time and the gaining of insight along the way. The artist’s spiritual journey of self-discovery becomes a guiding hand to others to examine the articulation of human experience through “the poetics” of her art.
For Arthur, abstraction is a jumping-off point for an open-ended, non-rational search for the truth – an admonition to both herself and viewers to “read between the lines,” to seek out meaning through suggestion. Thus her paintings and drawings are not literal transcriptions or dictates, but rather invitations to viewers to perceive and experience her work on their own terms.
The title of the show, Pancorum Hominum, which loosely translates as “just for a few,” is indicative of Arthur’s belief that painting, like all other languages, is exclusive to the groups of people that utilize it, thereby segregating others from the knowledge gained by its use. Through an approach to art-making that is meant to suggest rather than mandate, this artist offers viewers an opportunity to travel on their own journey of self-discovery if they are willing to “take a few minutes to look.” She more than meets them halfway.
Arthur received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2009, the same year she was the Al Held Affiliate Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. She exhibited at the 2011 Florence Biennale. During 2012-13, Arthur participated in group shows at The City College of New York; The Nathan Cummings Foundation (New York); Arena 1 (Santa Monica, CA); California African American Museum (Los Angeles), which acquired one of her large-scale drawings; and Land of Tomorrow (Louisville, KY).