More Than Chairs

Jodi Waltier through November 2, 2019

Peggy Murphy

Jodi Waltier is both teacher and student–a curious, inveterate learner. When gifted with a huge stack of books titled Museum of the World, they became her de facto instruction manual for expanding and exploring her use of color. In her new exhibit The Time for Sitting is Past, the multi-faceted Waltier turns her talent to traditional paint and canvas, employing an array of color schemes and giving us a group of painting with an expressive surrealistic touch.

Using shape and shadow, her chairs become a diverse system of color. Waltier’s images carry a range of ideas and emotional cues. In Musical Chairs, the neutral palette of ghostly shapes float back and forth in a vaporous space of loose brushwork. The Red Cha Cha Chair vibrates against a green background, skittering–exotic dancing at its most dangerous. Dream Chair melts together with its partner, an incongruous white shadow slicing across the canvas. High Chair, pink and curvaceous, suggests a sexy romp or perhaps is guilty of some inappropriate behavior? And Incubator Chair, egg and baby chair included, balance center stage in warm browns and reds.

Waltier has internalized the tricks and trade of color, from the simple to the sophisticated. We see her interest in Indian painting in the three smaller pieces, with the strong use of patterns, saturated colors and perceptional illusions. Along with lessons from Museums of the World, Walter combines her own wealth of art making skills. A stitch-like mark runs throughout many of the pieces reflecting her fiber arts background and overall there is a sensitive use of space. This work has a powerful simplicity that speaks of much more than “the chair.” Waltier writes she uses the chair as a metaphor for a crucible to hold and contain spirit, and in this exhibit, she creates a group of paintings that indeed nearly bubble over with ideas and emotions.