The work of California-based artist Tracey Snelling, whose sculptures of highly detailed vernacular buildings, streets and rundown neighborhoods show a keen sensitivity to the psychological tensions and hidden narratives of modern life in small-town America, is being presented in the Upper-Level Galleries in an exhibition entitled Tracey Snellings Woman on the Run, on view through February 5, 2012 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Woman on the Runa large tableau of architecture, sculpture, film, video, neon signs, audio and materials drawn from everyday lifeprovides a film-noir-like setting for a crime story in which a mysterious woman in Arizona is sought for questioning in the murder of her husband.
Throughout the installation, views seen through windows and overheard conversations offer clues as to whether the woman is victim or femme fatale, enabling the viewer to become both a witness and an actor in the story.
By placing the viewer in the position of voyeur, Tracey Snelling calls attention to the ways in which film noir and other elements of popular culture have shaped our shared consciousness.
The exhibition, which is being organized in collaboration with the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC, is accompanied by a gallery guide that includes essays by Frist Center Associate Curator Trinita Kennedy and SECCA Curator Steven Matijcio.
Tracey Snelling earned a B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, Mission 17 gallery in San Francisco, the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz and the Houston Center for Photography in Houston, TX.
Prior to creating sculpture, Snelling worked primarily in photography. The sculptures composing her current work often begin as photographs she has taken or found. She captures her sculptures in realistic settings, creating surreal scenes that reveal complex relationships within the environment she has created.