Heritage is a pressing concern to our generation. Should we allow the past to influence us—are we bound to ancient tools, materials and techniques? Or should we endeavor to make work that is specific to our time, embracing technology and its untested, ambivalent ramifications? If we do, are we at risk of becoming complicit in a catastrophe, or a pale reflection of something fleeting?
In her solo exhibition Under Influence at Tube Factory Artspace in Indianapolis, Audrey Barcio explores these questions in a new series of paintings that examines where the heritage of Modernism intersects with the tools of the Virtual Industrial Age. Her starting point for this body of work is the iconic grey and white checkerboard pattern recognized by contemporary digital designers as a symbol for emptiness waiting to be filled. Transforming that virtual nothingness into concrete form, Barcio employs it to empower interpretations of the iconographic legacy of our Modernist forbearers.
This is a vision of an aesthetic symbology as futuristic as it is rooted in the constructed languages of the past: Suprematism, Geometric Abstraction, Futurism, Orphism, Color Field Painting, Post-painterly Abstraction, Minimalism. The work transcends the accepted cultural raison d’être of this century—the cult of self—to evoke instead the universal.
Under Influence speaks to something ancestral, universal, infinite, and essential. It is a conversation arising not from coteries but from the unifying elements of a common world: shape, color, line, form, material, surface, and the infinite potentialities that arise from relationships.
Audrey Barcio received her BA from Herron School of Art and Design and her MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She attended the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, France, and completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2017. Her work has been published in New American Paintings and has been featured in multiple group exhibitions around the U.S., including Art in America at the Art Miami Satellite Fair and GLAMFA at UC Long Beach. She has had solo exhibitions at Syracuse University in New York, in the Las Vegas Government Center, and at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her work is included in several private collections and in the permanent collection of the Barrick Museum of Art. She currently lives and works in Chicago.
Image: Audrey Barcio, Second Choice, 2017