Still Hot in the Shade at Inman Gallery

Open July 13 through August 25


Press Release:

Inman Gallery is pleased to present its first solo show of paintings by Charis Ammon, Still Hot in the Shade. Taken from Ammon's daily walks through Houston neighborhoods, these paintings explore the materiality of the city's structure, seen from the street and sidewalk. Thinking of "concrete as a quilt over the city," Ammon finds relationships between painting and construction, and between the contours of the cityscape and the surface of a painted canvas. Including a dozen paintings, most of them no larger than a book, the exhibition is populated with works whose jewel-like scale and imagery is suggestive of narrative. From the shady underpasses of Houston highways to bent traffic cones and abandoned shopping carts, these paintings speak of people moving through space, and a city whose concrete landscape is in a constant state of flux. The word ‘pedestrian’ can be used to describe both a person who is walking and what that person might see on her walk, and one might even be tempted to describe these paintings as pedestrian themselves. As Ammon notes, however, they also contain a paradox: "These are everyday things, but there's nothing boring about them." Indeed, in the paintings that contain objects for example, Ammon animates the objects into an emotionally suggestive state, dreaming the interior life of each found thing. Doofus, for example, teases the clumsiness of two traffic barricades, knocked over on the street they supposedly guard. Ammon describes her walks as a form of mindfulness, a way of placing the body in a heightened sense of awareness and place. An unusual activity in Houston's bustling automobile culture, Ammon's walks recalibrate the scale of the city for the artist and the viewer, making it intimate, knowable, and allowing it to reveal itself in its details. Charis Ammon (born 1992, Dallas, TX) graduated from Texas State University with a BFA in Painting. She completed her MFA in Painting at The University of Houston in May 2018. In 2017, she participated in the DUST Residency Program in Marfa, TX. She is currently based in Houston and New York.