A Little Abstracted
April 6 - May 13, 2017
Featuring small(ish) abstract paintings, collages, and monotypes by:
Marcia Santore (curator)
A Little Abstracted
A Little Abstracted is an exhibition of small, abstract paintings and mixed-media work by four New Hampshire artists. While we frequently think of abstract art as large, I appreciated the opportunity to work with smaller pieces that provide a more intimate experience for the viewer.
Each artist in the exhibition approaches abstraction in a unique and personal way. One point we all have in common is a deep and abiding appreciation of color—color as an expressive, powerful, life-giving force. Another is the sense of exploration, of finding our way to something new with each new piece.
Ethel Hills finds inspiration in the landscape, responding to patterns, movement, and simple, intimate compositions found in nature, and transforming them into small, boldly colorful pieces. She says, “The small scale mixed media paintings that I now create reflect my passion for color, my semi-abstract take on the world, and my use of landscape imagery. These elements contribute to my goal of producing paintings that remind the viewer of their own connections, their own memories, their own special places.”
Kate Higley is also inspired by nature—by the microscopic life that lies beneath the surface—as the basis of her deeply colorful exploration of organic shapes in her etchings and monotypes. She notes, “The play of ambiguity that exists between what can be seen at a microscopic level and what can be seen flying over a landscape has been an ongoing interest for several years.”
Lotus Lien begins with play, experimentation, and formal design elements to bring her paintings to life in the eternal present, allowing the pieces themselves to guide their own creation. Of this series, Lotus says, “I am exploring the expression of joy and irreverence, through spontaneous and controlled layers of marks, lines and blocks of color to create a relevant response to my current reality.”
In my own work, from the “Composite Rhythms” series, I am exploring color and noncontinuous pattern. In music, the term “composite rhythm” refers to the durations and patterns produced by amalgamating all the sounding parts of a specific musical texture. In this series of paintings on paper, I am bringing together shapes and patterns that first arose in my more figurative, semi-realistic work. I became intrigued by the ability of pattern—rather than serving as merely as a decorative, surface element of repeated shapes—to create shape, to convey movement, and to communicate emotion. This series reflects that exploration.
It has been a joy to consider the works of all these talented artists in the light of each other’s work, to find the points of similarity and the points of contrast, and bring them together in conversation with each other.