Rory Haltmaier and Kacey Kim: Performing Pentimento — The Trace of a Self Painted Over

On the left, a painting of a woman hammering a nail into place and on the right, lacy red fabric set against a background of an elaborate stone building.

Left: Rory Haltmaier, The Plunge (After Artemisia Gentileschi) (2022), oil on canvas board, 28"x22". Right: Kacey Kim, Madonna and Child (2023), fabric, 6"x8". image / provided

Exhibition Abstract

In their joint exhibition, Performing Pentimento: The Trace of a Self Painted Over, Rory Haltmaier (B.F.A. '25) and Kacey Kim (B.F.A. '25) unravel layers of being through their own distinctive lenses. The idea of pentimento — the visible trace of an earlier painting beneath subsequent layers — acts as a grounding for both the political and personal aspects of the work. The artists scrape away at overpaint to reveal hidden selves — for Kim, those pushed aside by a society that has denied them a voice, and for Haltmaier, those locked away by their own inner critics. Through the rich iconography of Rome (where the two spent their fall semester), Renaissance painters, and nature, the exhibition grapples with ideas of erased histories, personal and public rituals, finding the self through the turbulence of a never-quiet mind, and becoming.

Exhibitor Biographies

Rory Haltmaier's work explores the overlooked natural world, suspended and suspenseful moments, and the interplay of light and shadow — stemming from a deep appreciation for noticing and a hunger to understand the self in relation to the world.

Kacey Kim looks to Eurocentric art history and the Catholic church as a source of exclusion and complex power dynamics that have been embedded into everyday lives, from the art we observe to the formation of one's identity. Kim challenges preconceived notions of racial superiority and femininity through the direct confrontations in her work.

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