Mailer will discuss her work on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, with a reception following from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.
The paintings in Mailer’s Floating World are richly layered, ambiguous landscapes that bravely embody the artist’s willingness to trust her viewers. According to the artist, the title refers to the “floating world” of 18th century Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, a worldview based on hedonism, pleasure and escapism. It was a world envisioned to be safe from danger, sadness or disasters, both real and imagined.
Mailer’s painting process is an intentionally unscientific combination of instinct, skill, accident and trust. Upon close inspection, any particular moment of a painting might contain layers of sheer, luscious color, references to classical masterworks, day-glow colors seemingly thrown down or scumbled, or thin layers that barely cover the canvas. In Mailer’s hands, these seemingly contradictory techniques coalesce into a view of a world that does indeed “float” – conceptually, visually and almost physically.
The artist writes, “like dreams, or perhaps the nature of things, I’m interested in imagery that lives within broken spatial orientations. These paintings hope to disrupt the viewer’s psychological code. And within the disruption, signal the ability to float.” She references the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe,” in which author Douglas Adams describes achieving flight as “learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss,” Mailer continues, “However, one must miss the ground accidentally… the trick usually lies in not thinking too hard, but just allowing it to happen as if it were going to anyway.” Mailer grants her paintings the freedom to happen, thereby ensuring their own graceful flight.
Born in 1971 in New York, Mailer studied architecture and fine arts, and received a B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University in 1993. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and has work in the collections of Rachel Maddow, Jimmy Buffett, and the Norman Mailer Center and Writers’ Colony in Provincetown, MA. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and in 2009, became the first artist in residence at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. Her work has been featured in Art New England, with cover stories in The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times. She now lives and works in New Lebanon.
Teaching Gallery exhibitions are supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media with assistance from the Cultural Affairs Program. All exhibitions are installed and staffed by students in Gallery Management classes.
Teaching Gallery hours
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday and Monday: closed
Directions and more information: www.hvcc.edu/teachinggallery
Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.