The Landscape of Abstraction: Maegan Elise, Barbara Hinton Wood and Mel King
March 15 - April 19, 2013                                                                                                         Opening Reception: March 15, 8 - 11 pm

The Landscape of Abstraction brings together three distinct artists who each explore the complexity of our relation to nature through abstract painting. These artists employ the logic of composition and rhythm in painting as a parallel to the dynamic processes found in nature, moving beyond the tangible and toward the spiritual or emotional qualities of nature that may nevertheless be experienced directly.

Maegan Elise's paintings blur the lines between interior and exterior worlds and play with the conventions of landscape painting. These semi-abstracted fragmentations of locations (whether real or imagined) draw upon memory and the viewer's psychological interpretation of both the artwork and the physical environment.

Barb Hinton Wood's work is about reconciling the man-made and natural elements of life. The workings of the city exacerbate a feeling and a reality of extremes, which play out on a personal, community, systemic and global scale. Using formal tension, she draws on organic influences, understanding that they carry knowledge of natural cycles, rhythms, patterns, history of the land and a connection to culture and traditions. Through this exploration duality falls away and it becomes clear that things are much more fluid and expansive than they first appear.

Containers of Collapse is a series of paintings by Mel King that employ Chlorella – an ancient type of super algae – as well as incense ash as pigments in her geometric yet ethereal works. King explores painting as a phenomenological experience that derives its power from nature. This is achieved through a rhythmic interplay of forms that moves beyond the simplicity of positive and negative space in composition. The materials used similarly signal a relation to their natural origins. Chlorella is lauded for its health benefits in digestion, while the incense ash is a combination of natural fragrances and Moldavite – a substance that is extra-terrestrial in nature and possibly formed by a meteorite colliding into Earth and fusing with existing rock to form a new kind of crystal.

Image (from left to right): Mel King, Barbara Hinton Wood, Maegan Elise