The Games We Play, an exhibition of works by Tim Liddy, Fred Stonehouse, and Charles Waller, will be on display June 25-August 1, at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Thursday, June 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will feature paintings, painted sculptures, and mixed media pieces by these three nationally established artists, who employ pop culture references, both past and present, to communicate their perceptions of the human condition. Liddy's contemporized sculptural relics explore the passage and effects of time through the lens of childhood games, while Stonehouse's real-time, mythical paintings and Waller's illustrative mixed media pieces utilize facets of the primitive and surreal to examine a beautiful yet imperfect state of mind.
The Games We Play was curated by gallery assistant Sam Brown, who chose Liddy, Stonehouse, and Waller from a group of artists the gallery watches regularly. "The initial idea for our summer show was to highlight artists that are not part of our regular stable of artists. We wanted to try something a little new and different," explains Brown. "I was drawn to the playful yet thought-provoking nature of these engaging, whimsical works. Each one grabs the viewer's attention, inspiring deeper contemplation the longer one looks."
Tim Liddy's hyper-realistic painted constructions re-create antique, weathered board game containers, transforming the originally mass-produced objects into unique
sculptural works. The pieces play with viewer perception, skewing the line between commodity and fine art. Constructed from copper and detailed with enamel, these contemporary pieces have been painstakingly detailed to appear as relics from the past. Liddy enjoys the concept of such visual deception, and aspires to draw viewers in for further investigation, as well as internal dialogue. "Within the recognizable format of a mid-twentieth-century game box are surprising elements that are often at odds with the traditional object," reads Liddy's artist statement. Further, he "inserts wry commentary on mid-century social mores into this comfortably recognizable context. The fact that the boxes seem to be held together tenuously by tape suggests the rapidly eroding conventions of an earlier era."
In contrast to Liddy's familiar, nostalgic imagery, Fred Stonehouse paints colorful, kinetic vignettes that exist in his own, mythic world. Coming from a tradition of
storytelling, the artist remains influenced by the tall tales he routinely heard at family gatherings while growing up. "Our history, our myth, fact and fiction, were combined and passed down to us by our elders with the hope, I am certain, that we would add our own chapters and pass it along as well," he writes. "I believe that a great deal of what I am as an artist is drawn from the way that these stories tinted my glasses and inflected my dreams..." Indeed, Stonehouse's stylized, surreal narratives take on a larger-than-life quality, even as their messages remain grounded in an often awkward, sometimes playful, reality. "Perfection is boring," Stonehouse says. By embracing the authenticity he finds in the flawed, Stonehouse seeks to inspire introspection as he unveils the fragility of the human condition.
Sometimes referred to as an "outsider" artist, Charles Waller also works with elements of the primitive to convey his vision of the tenuous, ironic nature of our existence.
Inspiration for his subject matter spans across a broad range of found objects, including antique toys, discarded love letters, wedding dresses, and other items he collects while traveling across the United States. Waller's background as an illustrator emerges in the precisely graphic quality of his two-dimensional pieces, which display a penchant for repetition, pattern, and strong leading lines. The resulting mixed media pieces offer a visually rich juxtaposition of classical techniques with whimsical, at times irreverent, themes to create provocative, visually captivating images. "Sarcasm plays a real big part in my work," Waller has said. "I think humor is the best way to make a point."
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Tim Liddy has shown his work in exhibitions and at art fairs around the country, including venues in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, Santa
Fe, and St. Louis, among others. Internationally, he has exhibited in London, Istanbul, and Taiwan. He is currently represented by galleries in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis, along with those in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Birmingham, Michigan; and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
A Michigan native, Liddy now lives and works in St. Louis, where he has served as professor of art at Fontbonne University for the past two decades. He earned his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and his BFA from the Center of Creative Studies in Detroit. He also studied at Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy.
Fred Stonehouse has exhibited his work in one-person and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans,
Seattle, and St. Louis, among other U.S. cities. He has shown in Mexico and across Europe as well, in France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, and the Netherlands. His work has been featured in numerous catalog essays and major art publications, including Art in America, Art News, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, New Art Examiner, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, to name a few.
Public and corporate collections that contain Stonehouse's work include the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, the San Jose Art Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Madison Art Center, the Tacoma Art Museum, First Bank Minneapolis, and Illinois' Kemper Insurance, among many others.
Fred Stonehouse received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He has taught and served as associate professor of art at the University of Wisconsin in Madison since 2006.
Charles Waller has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in New York City and throughout New York State, in East Hampton, Syracuse, and Sag Harbor, among
other cities. Additionally, he has participated in shows in Canada and Japan. A longtime professional illustrator for several national publications, Waller has won numerous awards for his drawings in the New York Times, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. His fine art pieces have appeared in various publications, including Moving Art magazine, Hampton Jitney magazine, the East Hampton Star, and the New York Times, among others.
Born in California, Charles Waller grew up in South America and England. He studied English Literature and Psychology at the University of London, and Illustration at the Royal College of Art in London before earning his BFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design. Waller currently lives and works in East Hampton, New York.