Allison Spence | Spread
Jim Leach | Hot Water

April 2 – May 7, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2 7-9 pm

Artist Talk: Jim Leach in Conversation with curator Robert Thurmer | Wednesday, April 13, 7 pm
Artist Talk: Allison Spence in Conversation with author Sam Kean | Tuesday, April 26, 7 pm

Hamiltonian is pleased to present two new bodies of work by artists Allison Spence and Jim Leach. The exhibitions will run concurrently from April 2 – May 7, 2016 with an opening reception on Saturday, April 2 from 7–9pm.

Allison Spence presents an installation of paintings, archival matter, and video in her latest exhibition Spread. Drawing parallels between Tomie—a Japanese horror manga with an infinitely regenerative femme fatale as its protagonist—and Pando—a prodigious and clonal forest colony in Utah that revitalizes itself in the wake of wildfires—Spence considers the potential for destructive acts to give rise to additive, creative, and infinite forms. Operating in a fluid space that confounds medium, language, and planarity, Spence’s work overlays reality with a gloss of its abject and sinister undercurrents.

In Hot Water, Jim Leach retraces common presumptions of artistic value and cultural worth through a new body of sculptural diptychs and readymade assemblages. Leach excavates the various echelons of creative output through a visceral questioning of meaning and morality. In traversing themes of philosophy, literature, and art history, these works posit new understandings of subjectivity, social unknowing, and ethical hierarchy veiled in an anarchic order.

Allison Spence received her MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. She has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Kavachnina Contemporary, Miami, FL (2014); Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ (2014); the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (2013); and Pendergast Gallery, San Diego, CA (2012). Spence was awarded the Vermont Studio Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in 2013 and is a current Hamiltonian Fellow.

Jim Leach received his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he was the recipient of the 2012-14 Rinehart Fellowship. Recent shows include solo-exhibitions at the Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH (2016); Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD (2014) and the Brown Center, MICA, Baltimore, MD (2013) and group exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (2015); Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD (2014); and Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA (2014). Leach was a 2015 Sondheim Prize Finalist and was selected by Maryland Art Place for 30: Thirty Creative Minds Under 30.