Sarah Fox, Ken Little,
Jared Theis and James Tisdale
curated by Catherine Lee
Jared Theis and James Tisdale
About the Exhibition
Texas Art House is pleased to present a group sculpture exhibition – CRYPTIDS – curated by Catherine Lee, and featuring sculptors Sarah Fox, Ken Little, Jared Theis and James Tisdale. The exhibition will be on view January 20 through March 10 with the Artist Reception/Talk on Saturday, January 27, 5-7 pm, Talk at 6 pm, led by Catherine Lee.
These four impactful artists utilize “diverse materials including glazed ceramic, sewn leather, video, music, textiles, cast bronze, assemblage, paper mache, paint, wood… any material or method that will realize these uncanny beings.”
Sarah Fox has exhibited extensively in San Antonio, the US and has a 2018 residency at Casa Lu, Tlalpan, Mexico City.
Ken Little was the State of Texas 3-D Artist of the Year in 2014, is a professor of Art at UTSA and was the subject of a solo exhibition in 2014 with the “The West Texas Triangle” with work at The Grace Museum, Abilene; The Old Jailhouse Art Center, Albany; Museum of the Southwest, Midland; The Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa; and The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, Texas.
Jared Theis has exhibited widely in Europe including a recent exhibit in Berlin. He had a solo exhibition “Worlds in Flux” at Lakeview College in San Antonio last year.
James Tisdale is currently the Ceramic Program Coordinator at The Contemporary Austin as well has exhibited in Hungary, Romania and throughout the US.
ESSAY by curator Catherine Lee
“We do not know what the dragon means, just as we do not know the meaning of the universe, but there is something in the image of the dragon that is congenial to man’s imagination, and thus the dragon arises in many latitudes and ages. It is, one might say, a necessary monster” – Jorge Luis Borges, the Book of Imaginary Beings.
Cryptozoology is the study of unreal entities, creatures that don’t exist but that we nonetheless all know and recognize… to wit, cryptids. Faeries, dragons, Chinese hopping ghosts, orcs, genies, trolls, Arabic djinn, unicorns, ghosts, the Biblical Leviathan, elves, and a thousand other fantasies are found in all cultures throughout human history (and, one presumes, pre-history). They are a constant and recurring component of humankind’s myths, literature, and other such attempts at understanding the very basic questions: who are we, why are we here, why is this place as it is, and who’s in control, anyway?
As you read this, four Texans, from San Antonio and Austin, are summoning into existence cryptids as art. Sarah Fox, Ken Little, Jared Theis, and James Tisdale make artworks wildly different from each other’s, and yet (along with a long history of artists from Bosch to Bourgeois) they share a premise: that the introductions of imagined creatures into an otherwise known and mapped world can cause profound shifts in perspective, thus framing and illuminating issues of sociological and personal importance.
All four artists are sculptors, which is important to note, because here they’re not making an illustration of a thing, they are actually making the thing itself. This is inherent in the work of sculptors. An array of materials and means are employed: glazed ceramic, sewn leather, video, music, textiles, cast bronze, assemblage, paper mache, paint, wood… any material or method that will realize these uncanny beings.
Beasts thus created are not mere entertainments (although they may indeed be that too), but first and foremost, they are imaginative expressions of our unique and improbable world, and of our very human selves. Cryptids, at their most telling, can be the lens that stands between the two.