In Phantom Landscapes, PAFA alumni Alyssa B. DeVille (MFA '12), Georgette L. Veeder (Cert. '78) and Samuel Thuman (BFA '17) portray scenes of personal experiences and open subconscious realms through painting, drawing, and sculpture.
DeVille employs a stylized, illustrative painting style for her allegorical works that depict women, men, and children as actors of mythological force. The figures in her works - sometimes resembling the artist herself and exhibiting anthropomorphic and geomorphic characteristics - shift between being integral and communing with their environment to being in direct conflict with it. DeVille’s instinctively developed imagery offers a personal view of a story as old as time.
In Veeder’s large casts of hand-made paper, monumental rock formations take relief from the gallery wall appearing like arches and totems that tower above the viewer. These paper forms, while seemingly dense, retain a soft edge and tactility that draws the viewer deeper into the artist’s imagined world. Veeder’s sculptural works in the round expand this notion, staging small huts and ladders that suggest a living presence, engaging and altering their environment.
Thuman creates images of ghostly homes, interior spaces, and corridors through the conventions of computer-generated imagery, causing them to emanate a sense of cold and forbidding strangeness. Recognizable shapes, objects, and patterns are erased out of a heavy graphite ground and appear as anxiety-inducing diagrams and warning signs. Thuman is the co-author of the graphic novel, Blurred, where this surreal imagery depicts time-travel and a man’s connection with his veteran grandfather.
Each artist in this show pushes beyond traditional conventions of representation into evocative, imagined worlds where one can decode encrypted warnings and bear testament to the uncertainty inherent in human experience.