“Echo” is an inclusive mixed-media accumulation of Birmingham-born and raised artist Amy Pleasant's works depicting the human form in repetition, and embodiment of the human presence.
Pleasant found her “dream school” and began pursuing her hopes to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 10th grade. After realizing that dream and receiving her B.F.A, Pleasant would go on to attend the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia for her M.F.A. Since then she has done countless exhibitions all across the Southeast and continues to branch out and invest her energy in her art and galleries across the Southeast.
“There are less galleries here in the Southeast,” Pleasant said. That's a double-edged sword that gives artists in the South a fresh perspective and blank canvas for their artistic endeavors. “It's very affordable to live here, and I've made my home and my art in Birmingham,” she said.
Pleasant's body of work is extensive and the bodies in her work are expressive. The minute details beg the viewer to sit, adjust and then sit again with each work in the moment.
The works themselves are an almost immediate representation of the image directly in front of Pleasant at the time of creation. “I want these forms to be found in the moment. They are figurative forms.” Pleasant said. “Seeing something familiar in the gesture, seeking ourselves and human purpose. A reflection of earlier civilizations and what they've left behind. What it means to be human and how we understand our bodies. Not only ourselves but also how we relate to each other.” This is reflective in the way her works are displayed, how they “feed off each other” in the space.
Speaking of the space, Laney Contemporary owner and namesake Susan Laney works extensively with artists all over the world to bring in an extensive repertoire representing new and established artist's work. Pleasant was thrilled to have an opportunity to present her solo exhibition in collaboration with Laney Contemporary. Pleasant worked with Jeff Bailey for 14 years until he closed his gallery and was eager to present her work in Savannah. In the ever-growing almost out of touch realm of social media, Laney and Pleasant met, were fans of each others including “liking” different posts and finally making a point to put their hopes of collaboration to work.
“I can see that she's really got a vision for how works are displayed” Pleasant said of Laney. From custom shelving for sculptures to multiple rooms, Pleasant is looking forward to seeing the results of the collaboration come to fruition. “Opening night is going to be so fun, to see it when it all comes together.”
From ceramic sculpture to ink and gouache, there will be something for everyone in Pleasant's presentation of the human body. An air of minimalism and familiarity captured in a moment of time and presented in a similar presence of space is sure to bring viewers back to see what they may have missed the first time. “I hope people come back after opening night and spend time with the work. I'm very present when I'm working and I hope that [people] will be still for a moment, be thoughtful and present.”
Note: The article has been updated to correct a mistake pertaining to the artist's process.