Meet Chalice Mitchell
Currently Showing Until April 11
A Bit About Chalice
About Chalice Mitchell
Chalice (pronounced like the cup) Mitchell is a figurative painter based in Western Massachusetts. She was raised mostly in Maine and Vermont and has lived in British Columbia, New York, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, the West Midlands, UK, as well as Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan.
Mitchell has exhibited internationally, including shows in Tokyo, London, New York, Moscow, Athens, Wellington, and Vancouver. Her work is owned by collectors across the world and she has attended residencies in Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She has a BFA from Ringling College of Art & Design and an MFA from the University of South Florida.
Recently Mitchell received generous grants from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund to create a new body of work in marble and the Artist Resource Trust Fund to create a new series of large paintings. She has also received grants from the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Assets for Artists at MASS MoCA, and the College Arts Association. Just as this Show was set to open, Mitchell also received notice of two more grants, one from the Northern Berkshire Cultural Council, and another from the Mass Cultural Council.
My work explores the spaces in between gender, power, sensuality, religion, identity, and impermanence. Fluidity and the overlap of apparent opposites are consistent elements both conceptually and aesthetically in my work. By exploring the area between dichotomies, I aim to break down rigid categories and open up a space in which interaction can occur. As a woman in the predominantly male arena of combat sports, I am keenly aware of the limitation and falsehood of gender-based stereotypes and create artwork in order to destabilize limited (and limiting) gender divisions.
Since we relate to the world via our bodies, the physicality of paint connects the introspective inner world to the outer world of others. Through my work, I investigate the space that separates us, yet enables us to relate. This simultaneous division and connection between self and other shapes the formation of individuality. In the words of David Lomas, “Self-portraiture is the outcome of a dialectic of self and other. The subject is neither identical with itself nor with the portrait that each of us paints of ourselves, that consoling fiction of an autonomous ego invested with attributes of permanence, identity and substantiality.” Identity is fluid and interdependent, reliant on a push and pull relationship with the external world.
Having studied classical oil painting in the western lineage and ink painting in Japan, these two influences overlap in my work. In my paintings, brush strokes break apart and dissolve into the background, inspired by flying white, a technique from ink painting in which the stroke itself opens up to reveal the bland paper underneath, integrating the empty space with the ink, symbolically eradicating dualism. In my work, this cohesion of opposite entities (paper and ink, empty and full, body and space, inner and outer) is echoed in oil on raw linen. I am fascinated by the sensuality of religious art in the late-Renaissance and Baroque periods. The visceral medium of oil paint brings a sensual touch to this combination of the spiritual and the sexual. I am interested in the spaces between, the grey areas, the intersections, the multifaceted quality of identity, social relations, history, and the messy nature of human experience.
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