Elise P. Church
Blue Like an Orange, Paintings
January 23 – February 28, 2021
Blue Like an Orange is a solo exhibition of paintings by Elise P. Church. The title of the show, Blue Like an Orange, borrows a line from Surrealist poet Paul Eluard’s poem L’Amour La Poésie which begins with “La terre est bleue comme une orange” and follows with “words do not lie.” Church takes her cue from Eluard when she creates evocative paintings filled with unexpected visual surprises that express a joyful freedom in their execution. Church’s painterly use of color, texture and form coalesce into paintings that take on sculptural personas and delight in rich surface texture.
Paintings of still lifes and interior/exterior spaces, are based on fragments of photographs culled from a vintage photo album that Church stumbled upon at a flea market. This found trove of photos carefully documenting in great detail the typical life of an adolescent boy, became a rich source of inspiration for her work. Church is essentially mining her past through other peoples’ photographs.
Her process begins by honing in on a fragment of the photo that interests her and then dramatically enlarging it to give it new life. The domestic theme of her work extends to her choice of substrates where whatever household items she has on hand; linens, tablecloths, and shower curtains, are fair game, leading to works of irregular and unpredictable shapes. There is a handmade quality to the construction of the paintings that includes stitching the edges and joining pieces together that contribute to their sculptural feeling and tactile nature.
Games, Guns, and Glory, Ink drawings on paper
January 23 – February 28, 2021
Games, Guns, and Glory, an exhibition of ink drawings on paper by Mison Kim, presents bold diagrammatic drawings that suggest semi-automatic rifles, board games, and icons. Within the confines of these striking graphics, Kim has woven a multitude of lyrical lines that make their way in and around the graphic design. Upon closer examination, the viewer discovers that these are, in fact, architectural plans for government buildings and houses of worship. Kim was deliberate in her decision to house her free-flowing, expressive lines that appear like ropes, vines, or braided hair, into these weighty structures. Her first foray into the use of architectural plans involved U.S. Capital buildings when she recognized their resemblance to board games, specifically Asian chess (Baduk) or the game of “Go,” both of which conjure associations of power and dominance. This chance connection ignited her interest in exploring other floor plans to see where they would lead and so she expanded to cathedrals and discovered that they had a surprising resemblance to firearms. There is, of course, a bit of irony to these lofty structures that function as social power centers, coming to resemble firearms and games of dominance.
Games, Guns, and Glory, directs our attention towards thoughts of social justice while leaving space for other interpretations. Kim’s intricate wanderings offer pleasure in the simple act of looking and getting lost in an image.
Incarnations, mixed media paintings
March 20 - May 2, 2021
Incarnations, a solo exhibition of mixed media paintings by Caroline Burton. This is Burton’s first show in the Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center. Originally scheduled for March of 2020, the exhibition was postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The exhibition will now be on view from March 20 - May 2, 2021. A reception for the artist will be determined by Covid guidelines at that time.
Incarnations is a series of process-intensive mixed media paintings that present themselves simultaneously as prints, paintings and objects. Patterns and richly developed surface design beckon to us through their handmade qualities making reference to traditional crafts and textile arts. Burton takes large pieces of un-stretched canvas and working on the floor proceeds to print and paint, working and reworking the surface. Many of her compositions are reassembled by cutting apart and hand-stitching back together. Burton explains that, going in, there is no preconceived vision of the final painting and meaning emerges over time. The finished paintings remain un-stretched and hang loosely on the wall projecting a sculptural modality. Burton’s exclusive use of a monochromatic palette (various shades of warm and cool grays that
push towards black) reveals multiple layers of paint that pull the viewer into deep and mysterious spaces that nonetheless retain their tactile qualities and material essence.
Never far from view in all of her paintings is the presence of a grid, either subtle or overt, which acts as the foundation of her compositions, providing formal parameters for self expression, experimentation and accidents. A kind of exquisite tension is at work
between the formal and the expressive. Burton speaks of her family heritage and background as being a strong influence on her artistic practice. Opposing qualities from her engineer/professor father who lived by the rule, and her creative, feminist mother, who challenged the status quo, contribute to her interest in balancing the
formal minimalistic elements with the uninhibited expressive qualities of her work. The convergence of these two opposing forces informs what she does and leads to work that is both highly structured and emotionally evocative.
March 20 - May 2, 2021
PAINTINGS, a solo exhibition of oil paintings
on canvas by Eric Erickson. This is Erickson’s second solo exhibition in the Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center. Originally scheduled for March of 2020, the exhibition was postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The exhibition will now be on view from March 20 - May 2, 2021. A reception for the artist will be determined by Covid 19 guidelines at that time.
PAINTINGS is a collection of works that depict uncertain terrain where spatial relationships are constantly shifting and objects are in a state of suspended animation. Pedestrian in nature and presented as diagrams, these fragmented objects, with identities diminished through abrupt truncation, inhabit a world where nothing is required to make sense. These seemingly simple forms come and go, entering right, exiting top, or breathing through the surface barely perceptible, like ghosts, embedded in multiple layers of scumbled paint that leave visible traces of what lies beneath — an assertive use of pentimento. Exactly what are these objects intended for and what is their relationship to one another? Pipes, faucets, bricks, wooden planks, 3-dimensional geometric forms and sections of wooden footboards can all be part of something useful and practical in our
daily lives, when actually connected to something, but in Erickson’s hands they float in a kind of limbo. Humor and pathos operating side by side. Time stands still for the faucet, and function is never a consideration.
Erickson was inspired a few years ago by a set of instructions he was following for assembling a piece of equipment. The instructions were sorely lacking in clarity, and visuals did not match up
to written instructions. Why not, he thought, create a world of diagrams free from the obligation of utilitarian function. Just let them be. Subsequently, diagrams have preoccupied him for nearly 10 years, along with brick walls and bedsteads. But the mysterious diagrammatic elements and domestic subjects are only part of the story. The surfaces of Erickson’s paintings reflect his singular approach and devotion to a process of painting that extends out over time, in many cases over the span of a year or more for a single work. Scraping, layering, modifying the composition; Erickson engages in a full bore, deep interaction with the painting until he finally makes peace with it, finds stasis…no instructions needed. This method of working over time creates a bond between him and his work and inevitably reveals an ironic emotional connection to the mundane objects he has chosen as his subjects. Rather than subjugate them, Erickson elevates them as part of the process of following the painting, listening to the painting and arriving at something whole.