In the Labyrinth: Works by Kiley Ames
Jun. 29, 2023 - Sep. 6, 2017
Each work in Kiley Ames’ exhibition, In the Labyrinth, is an exercise in variety. Through a diverse array of media, from clay and wood to oil paint on burlap, Ames creates a world where representation of the human condition is less reliant on realism than it is defined by the interactions of each visual component.
Drawn from the complex relationships between individual and whole, Ames’ pieces are characterized by their merging of contrasting visual elements. The dense flecks of color populating Startled by Stillness—light against dark, muted against vivid—come together to ultimately create an image simultaneously unified and disparate, reflecting the alienation of the subject itself.
Ames’ work is distinctive and emotionally resonant, not only portraying women as strong and resilient in the face of societally imposed challenges, but also striking a chord with the viewer and thereby asking them to engage with their own respective environments.
Though diverse in technique, material, and form, Ames’ work shares the common narratives of emotional complexity and feminine resilience. In each piece, Ames reflects the often contradictory emotional spectrum of the female experience, imbuing her subjects with both strength and vulnerability. The woman’s downward gaze in This Beautiful Sound, constructed by Ames’ trademark flurries of short, colorful strokes, reads as both haughty and inviting, blurring the line between the audience as voyeur and friend.