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"We are nourished by that which consumes us" - Joan M. Mertz
Pastel and caran d'ache crayon on paper
26" x 26"
2011

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Comment by Resident Curator on February 12, 2013 at 8:49pm

Curator’s Comment:

 

The prophetic title We are nourished by that which consumes us is fitting for this landscape.  I read the allover pattern created by the numerous small outgrowths as emergent and thriving; progressing and consuming.  The contrasting cool blues and small bursts of orange form antagonistic complements, pushing the edges of the land up into the visible stretch of sky, and below into the downwardly flowing water of the relatively same hue. I find it interesting that the scene interprets a winter color palette, with blue-violet shadows and surprisingly little green foliage. The value contrast sets off a dynamic tension between the land and water, which I interpret as in the origin of nourishment and potential destruction.  The squarish proportion of the picture plane also compresses the space in a way to heighten this apprehension of opposing natural forces- there is no languid horizontal in the composition to break the resilient diagonal channel of the stream.  I don’t know if you view these works as paintings or drawings, or if that sensibility matters to you.  I mention it because I see this particular piece as painterly in the fluid flow of shape and color, but I’m attracted to the linear mark-marking in other related works. It’s about the Inevitability of change…for instance, has an unexpected flat sky, with contrasted emphasis on heavily built up line. It makes me wonder if the medium or process is critical to the translation of the landscape experience- the hand moving slowly over the corresponding drawing support, and the time involved to construct or give rise to the scene.  The narrative of the title also implies a poetic, personal connection to the space, or the people who stay with us.

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