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The Art Galleries at TCU are pleased to announce A Number of Grand Gesturesfeaturing new work by Kalee AppletonAssistant Professor of Art at Texas Christian University. This exhibition runs September 5 - 26 at Moudy Gallery. A Number of Grand Gestureswill open with a reception for the artist at Moudy Gallery on Thursday, September 5, from 5-7 p.m.

Featuring new, large-scale photographic prints, A Number of Grand Gestures explores ideas based around the skewed perception of digital technology and its role in informing a sense of place and memory. 

Appleton presents drawing-like gestures with landscape imagery that migrate across the gallery walls. The forms are combinations of natural and human-made features that she has observed and experienced. 

Under the swipe of Appleton’s Photoshop painting tool, rivers, trails and the demarcated edges of park lands coalesce to form the boundaries of a new, imagined geography. She experiments with scale and perspective, mixing horizontal and birds-eye views, while at the same time enlarging or shrinking details. Her selection and manipulation of such topographic and cartographic features is intuitive and experimental, and results in mysterious, enigmatic forms.

Similarly, Appleton’s materials playfully support the challenge to traditional understandings of depth and space in landscape photography. Her roving, gestural forms are complemented by the use of adhesive fabric which flattens the view of landscape and eschews the need for a frame. Instead, the forms are shored up by the application of flocking to create a drop shadow. This element creates an illusion of depth and space, in contradiction to the frameless, flat photographic imagery. The soft, fuzzy, seductive surface of the flocking is a striking contrast to the cool, digital slickness of the adhesive fabric.

The use of flocking also highlights Appleton’s aesthetic concerns about materiality. Originally employed in the production of wallpaper where sheep’s wool was stuck to paper, flocking was used to imitate expensive velvet wall hangings in domestic interiors. Appleton’s choice of this material reflects a desire to engage with a discussion close to the heart of photographic practices: is it “craft” or “fine art?”

Appleton’s critique of traditional modes of engaging with landscape, in her use of non-traditional photographic materials and digital methods, reflects on the nature and history of landscape photography. Her new works suggests a fresh and expansive cartography for the digital age, where viewers can immerse and then situate themselves within fictional landscapes.  

About the artist: Kalee Appleton is a photography-based artist and Assistant Professor of Art at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally from Hobbs, NM, she attended Texas Tech University and received a BFA in Photography in 2005. She then worked as a commercial corporate and aviation photographer before attending Texas Woman’s University, where she received an MFA in photography in 2014. A former member and president of 500X, the oldest art collective in Texas, Appleton has exhibited her nationally, including Filter Photo Space, PhotoSpiva, Houston Center for Photography and Fotofest Inc. In addition, her work has been published in various print and online forums including D MagazineGlasstireAint-Bad MagazinePlates to PixelsLensCultureand F-Stop Magazine. Appleton is represented by Erin Cluley Gallery, Dallas. She lives and works in Fort Worth.

Appleton will present an artist talk in the gallery on Monday, September 23, 1-2pm. This event is free and open to the public.

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