Emily Joyce, Hills Snyder, Matthew Sontheimer

Exhibition: Jun 28 – Aug 26, 2001

Coinciding with San Antonio’s Contemporary Art Month, ArtPace presents Outline, an exhibition in the Hudson (Show)Room featuring three Texas artists, Emily Joyce, Hills Snyder, and Matthew Sontheimer. Linking the artists’ work is reliance upon contour and silhouette to form images. This emphasis on the edge results in refined images in which detail is removed, so that the reference is at once recognizable and abstract. Indeed, the artists, whose authorial mark-making seems far from their concerns, find their sources in existing material: a signature (Sontheimer), craft stencils (Joyce), or newspapers and flags (Snyder). In this manner the artists both hint at a narrative and deny a conclusive interpretation. The enigmatic results can be read formally, with sly references to pop art and minimalism, but also accept narrative interpretation. For the exhibition each artist will present a major wall-bound work accompanied by an array of smaller works.

Emily Joyce forms her colorful compositions from adhesive vinyl cut in the shapes of craft-store stencils. By presenting only a fragment of the figure or by layering multiple pieces, Joyce stalls viewers’ recognition of the images. With her particular stencils, Joyce creates a system that allows her to subtly reveal a quality of innocence and wonder.

In Empire, Hills Snyder cuts two rectangular forms into the wall. The geometric outlines are in fact based upon the Texas flag and the French flag. Stripped of their color and lone star, the flags appear as minimalist abstractions. Recognition occurs only after time or perhaps after noticing the San Antonio Express News and a Parisian newspaper lying on the floor marked with dust from the wall cutting. Snyder’s work quietly evokes historical associations.

Matthew Sontheimer etches a cryptic script directly into the wall, only to cover his marks with a coat of house paint. He diligently inscribes his messages in a specialized alphabet he created using sections of his father’s signature. The text meanders in an erratic ribbon across the wall, resembling not language as much as a graph-reading gone wrong. Sontheimer reworks one language to create another which is literally self-contained. His private considerations and questions are readable to the viewer only as hints of tension and ease.


Emily Joyce

Los Angeles, California, USA

Emily Joyce was born in 1976 and educated at the Glasgow School of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA 1998). Joyce’s paintings investigate mathematics and its resonance in the natural world as well as art history through pattern based and rhythmic abstraction. Her paintings often have a spark humor and playfulness because she adds a purposefully awkward gesture or anomaly to the composition that humanizes the rigorous geometry that is the foundation of her work. Joyce has exhibited work and participated in projects at Human Resources (Los Angeles), Machine Project (Los Angeles), Hauser and Wirth (Los Angeles), Inman Gallery (Houston), The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), The Tang Teaching Museum (Saratoga Springs), and the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and more. This winter her work will be included in the exhibition Aftereffect: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Painting at the MCA Denver. Her book of poetry “A Cigar Caught In The Lilies” was published by Hesse Press (Los Angeles) in April of 2019.

See More
Book of the Dead (Opening night)


Hills Snyder

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Hills Snyder explores history and myth through installations that playfully combine arcane and pop cultural references. Snyder’s propensity for punning, coupled with his interest in means of making sense (and nonsense), infuse his work with insights that transcend everyday ironies to touch on universal themes.
Evoking associations that are as often literary, philosophical, or religious as they are political or art historical, Snyder’s projects expose hidden meanings in familiar images. Intrigued by the post-9/11 proliferation of patriotic symbols, Snyder spliced the striped portions of three US flags to create Ridge and Furrow (2003), whose title is an etymological play on the word delirium (from the Latin delirare, literally, “to go off the furrow”). His earlier Back to Basics (2001), a red, yellow, and blue acrylic guillotine, injects menacing undertones into modernism’s palette of primary colors. Sometimes cryptic but always good-humored, Snyder’s works generate narratives that ricochet off one another like reflections in a hall of mirrors.
Born in Lubbock, TX, in 1950, Hills Snyder currently resides in Helotes. Solo shows include Fresh Up Club, Austin, TX (2004); Angstrom Gallery, Dallas, TX (2001); and Casino Luxembourg, Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (1998). Group shows include McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, TX (2004); Pearl, London, England (2001); and Lombard-Fried Fine Arts, New York, NY (2000).

See More


Matthew Sontheimer

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Born in 1969 in New Orleans, Matthew Sontheimer received a B.F.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University and an M.F.A. from Montana State University, Bozeman. He has had solo gallery exhibitions in New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, and New York, and exhibited in group shows at UCLA’s Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, and the Joslyn Art Museum, in Omaha. His work is represented by the Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, Texas, and the Devin Borden Gallery, Houston, Texas, and can be found in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.

See More