Jessica Wachter Returns with ‘Rebirth’

ecce gallery | PHOTO COURTESY Gestural boldness and expressive color-usage are staples of Wachter’s work.
ecce gallery | PHOTO COURTESY
Gestural boldness and expressive color-usage are staples of Wachter’s work.

Serving as a foundational element to ecce gallery’s regionally focused artist program, Jessica Wachter brings a hotly anticipated new series for the month of December.

Now in her fourth solo exhibition with ecce, Wachter focuses on growth and progression – evident in the show’s title, “Rebirth.” The improved technicality and added experimental elements result from a continued practice and showing opportunities.

In addition to Wachter’s solo shows at ecce, she exhibited at the Plains Art Museum in 2013, Art Basel Miami in 2014 and completed an artist-in-residency program in Medora this past summer.

The exhibition is in many ways, a culmination of the last three years of progress. She mentioned the anxiety and vulnerability attached to not showing for a given time, and the expectations that can result. Yet the overall mood remains positive.

“I hope you can see the growth in this show, while still being able to recognize it’s my work … I would like you to breathe in a lot of emotions,” Wachter said.

“Rebirth” includes the active abstractions quintessential to Wachter’s career, as well as mixed-media paper drawings. Both lines of work feature a more restrained, matured approach to color, texture and form application.

Wachter is included in a specific breed of artists who create work that reflects the personality and presence of the maker in an uncannily direct way. The vibrant, large-scale, gestural paintings closely mimic Wachter’s charismatic temperament.

The honesty to Wachter’s approach allows viewers to respond more readily, while the abstractions allude to the intimate narrative occurring strictly between the artist and the work.

“It’s the blood, sweat and tears, the involvement … I’m really within it, that’s why I like the big scale … It becomes bigger than me,” Wachter said.

The titling of the pieces is one way in which Wachter guides the viewers’ understanding. Many are derived from song titles and responses to personal experiences. | PHOTO COURTESY | PHOTO COURTESY

With a standard audience, abstraction possesses the risk of being misinterpreted. The resulting questions create an opportunity for Wachter to reflect further on her intentionality in making.

“It force(s) me to look back at myself and remember what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and to be confident in that,” she said.

Much of Wachter’s work is meant to bridge a gap between language, emotional experience and visual interpretation.

“That’s why I paint, you don’t need words … I can’t give you that feeling, or explain it, but I can make it,” Wachter said. “That’s how I see the world.”

Another factor related to the development of the series is the multi-faceted work experience Wachter has accumulated, and mentors guiding her progress.

Wachter’s taste has been determined through studying art, assisting and curating at ecce and interior design consultation. Understanding her own perspective, and relating it to client needs provides a unique framework to her approach. Nevertheless, she remains adamant about producing work in an organic, self-fulfilling way, rather than succumbing to commercial pressures.

In essence, the show is defined by increased risk-taking and increasingly deliberate execution. Wachter also found freedom in a lessened focus on creating a thematic show, and establishing unity through the maker, rather than a calculated motif.

Wachter concluded, “The work is a true reflection of my values and concerns … Rebirth without throwing any of (myself) away.”

Ticket Info:
WHAT: Jessica Wachter opening reception
ecce gallery, 216 Broadway N
Saturday, 6-9 p.m.
Free, open to public

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