Amanda Outcalt (b. 1985, Raleigh, North Carolina) explores social and psychological connections to momentary experiences. Detailed illustrations of large and unwieldy mammals, including bears, bison, camels, elephants, and walruses, are etched onto hand-shaped copper plates, embossed on pristine paper, and adorned with tinted washes, hand-stitched threads, and iridescent paint creating charmingly peculiar scenes. Outcalt’s intensive process of combining intaglio printmaking and the embellishment of works on paper results in a narrative that appears playful at the outset but carries significant weight. The monumental creatures are often seen positioned on precarious objects, such as circus balls and ice floes, while adorned in party hats and tethered to jewel-hued balloons.
Outcalt’s visual vocabulary is informed by personal struggles with natural pregnancy loss and infertility, as well as difficulties related to memory recall. The anthropomorphized animals reflect emotions, such as anxiety, contentment, and longing. Outcalt’s distinctive compositions and diverse use of media reflect optimism, growth, and an eagerness to return to normal during this extraordinary moment.
Tephra ICA at Signature, located at the Signature apartment building in Reston, VA, is an innovative satellite gallery space that presents a year-round schedule of exhibitions featuring work by local and regional artists as selected by Tephra ICA curatorial staff. Provided in partnership with Boston Properties and Bozzuto. Due to COVID-19, access to the Signature building is currently limited to residents only.