Opening tomorrow June 5th at Gregory Lind Gallery is “This Weather Is Cosmic”, by painter Karla Wozniak. This is the artist’s third solo show with Gregory Lind Gallery featuring oil paintings and works on paper are based on places she visits around the United States, and in particular these new works are inspired by east Tennessee, where Wozniak has lived since 2011. The paintings marry close observation of the region’s landscape with Wozniak’s emotional response to the new environment.
Here, highways cut through a beautiful and ferocious natural world and strip malls collide with the verdant overgrowth so specific to the region. We can retrace Wozniak’s intuitive process on the surfaces of these works, with one decision leading to another and then another through quick reaction and obsessive revision. The result is a series of unstable images that both reveal their history and exist in the present.
Abstraction helps to build these pictures—marks double as recognizable imagery and unknowable forms. The surfaces of these paintings have a molded, carved quality while other areas are transparent or rubbed away, echoing the changes to the landscape that occur over time. For example, in “Pilot, East Tennessee” (2012), a thick topographic ridge gives way to calligraphic foliage and the thin wispy atmosphere of the underpainting. In this world, everything is amplified and everyday views become strange; light feels as substantial as a mountain or a telephone pole, as though the bright, illuminated world of the city and its commercial strips have infused the landscape with alien forms. And in the end, east Tennessee comes alive—the foliage is growing, the mountains are moving, and the ground shifts beneath our feet.
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