I am a mark-maker. I paint memories, longings, dreams, inconsistencies. A single work often incorporates questions posed by contrasts—literal and conceptual—as I seek to capture the inescapable and dichotomous realities of life: joy and suffering, light and dark, closeness and distance, comfort and discomfort. In the face of such dualities, viewers are encouraged to formulate their own answers rather than attempt a “correct” interpretation of the canvases. Relief comes via temporary respite instead of finite solutions.
My images, which resonate with a diverse group of viewers and collectors, are contemplative and sometimes playful takes on the often bewildering constructs and confines of postmodern life. Figurative and segmented, they are influenced by both my life’s trajectory and the conundrums of compartmentalization and overstimulation we experience daily. It’s easy to identify with the struggles of the figures: a man, whose bottom half is a wheel, engaging in a Sisyphean struggle up a vaguely delineated mountain, paired with disembodied boats seemingly floating toward an uncertain destination; siblings pushing and pulling at each other over a gulf—or a lifetime; a woman pondering her choices.
The vicissitudes and joys I observe appear as well; they are as likely to be drawn from the complexities of familial bonds, such as motherhood, as from the beginnings and endings of relationships.
My openness to life’s dualities and to viewers’ own perspectives on and interpretations of my images is a hallmark of my work. While I present images and ideas, I also intimate unspoken possibilities.
I paint primarily on wood panels, using graphite, oil, and charcoal. My process produces highly textural works whose layers help to convey the beauty and the struggle of movement and transition. I capture moments, reflective and chaotic, by containing the images with varnish.
About the Artist
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Alicia Armstrong is part of a family of artists; her parents, both of whom are artists, fostered Alicia Armstrong’s artistic nature, making art an important part of her childhood.
Holder of a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with a concentration in oil painting, from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Alicia Armstrong stood out early from her peers, winning the Fine Art Department’s academic leadership award. After a decade of working in traditional painting and photographic portraiture, she began to concentrate on producing more abstract works imbued with symbolic imagery.
In addition to being in numerous private collections, Alicia Armstrong’s paintings are in the collection of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, in Lipinsky Auditorium, and are part of Asheville’s Bravo Concert Series. They also grace many gallery walls in Asheville and throughout the Southeast.
Alicia Armstrong is represented by The Haen Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina; Eno Gallery, Hillsborough, North Carolina; Atelier Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina; Gregg Irby Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia; Gardner Colby Gallery, Naples, Florida; and Jules Place, Boston, Massachusetts.
Earlier this year, from February 18 to March 2, Alicia Armstrong was featured with Kevin Sloan in Gardner Colby Gallery’s exhibition “The Storytellers.”