Please join us for the opening reception of
April 28, 6-8 p.m. @ Laura Rathe Fine Art
The terrain of the earth is a beautiful thing, a thing of wonder and reverence. We travel great lengths to visit and experience certain powerful, natural beauty that has now settled into a place of peace and stillness. But how the mountains, islands, and canyons were formed--none of it was still, and little of it was peaceful. The most striking and remarkable of terrains were created with violent explosions or impacts. This terrain is a actually collective of wounds and scars. And it is majestic beauty. Other terrains formed by less dramatic events, such as years of general weathering and erosion, are beautiful and powerful, too. And although initially they may not strike us with the same force or drama, these terrains may reveal their inherent beauty to us over time and exposure.
Easily we see the fragile beauty in innocence, in youth, in perfection, in virginity. We admire and celebrate the beauty of the virgin state of all things--the blooming of a perfect flower, the birth of a child, a first love, the beginning of spring, or the transition from childhood into adulthood. These moments are surely inherently beautiful and precious, but are even more precious because they are fleeting and temporary. These fragile moments of beauty will pass, just as surely as a petal will fall from a flower. And when they pass, we mourn them. We mourn the loss of perfection, and it is easy for us to comprehend why we do so.
But to really see the beauty in a terrain weathered by pain and loss, in damage, in violence, in the wounds that occur in every man and woman during every lifetime--this requires more from us. What about the gorgeous power that gradually and gracefully emerges from all of this? Of course sometimes the damage is too great, and it overtakes a life or a landscape, completely covering or destroying what once was beautiful. But more often the beauty survives, or even thrives, through the weathering or destructive events of a life, creating a magnificent terrain. We regard it with reverence and call it sublime. Each one of us has and will continue to be subject to some kind of subtraction from our innate state of perfect innocence. Do we try to cover the scars, or do we leave them as is and show them to the world exactly as they are? Do we cover select parts of our individual terrain and reveal the rest?
In the Sojourns exhibition, I have chosen to do both. I present to you the virgin beauties like Three Black Orchids with as much sincerity as I give to you the Terrain paintings. In Three Black Orchids, for example, I used traditional materials to suggest the idea of untouched beauty--the ideal. In the Terrain series I have used pieces of the floor of my former studio, literally my creative terrain, as a ground for compositions that suggest a history of both deliberate and unintentional actions--the reality. Both the ideal and the reality are essential to the creative process of making art and to the creative process of making my life.
In the spirit of a life punctuated with a certain small number of catastrophic events, with a specific degree of pain, with a particular amount of erosion and loss, plus times of immeasurable joy, moderate satisfaction, and a few moments of ecstasy--I present a group of images to you that embodies all of this. And I do so from a place that is still close enough to my own recollection of innocence and youth to be given with a certain amount of hope and promise.
Terrain IV: 48" x 24" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Terrain III: 48" x 24" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Terrain V: 48" x 24" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Terrain III, IV, & V: triptych view
Terrain I: 48" x 48" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Terrain II: 48" x 48" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Terrain VI: 48" x 48" ink, oil, oil crayon, debris, & charcoal on panel, 2012
Three Black Orchids: 72" x 96" ink, oil, oil crayon, & charcoal on canvas, 2012
Marina V: 24" x 24" ink, oil, oil crayon, & collage on canvas, 2012
Marina V_: 24" x 24" ink, oil, oil crayon, & collage on canvas, 2012
Bloom LXXI: 60" x 36" ink, oil, oil crayon, & collage on canvas, 2012
Bloom LXX: 60" x 36" ink, oil, oil crayon, & collage on canvas, 2012