FIELD NOTES: new work by 6 painters
Scherezade Garcia, Abby Goldstein, Nancy Manter, Karen Marston, Margaret Neill, Alice Zinnes
Opening Party: Saturday, December 3, 6-9
Exhibition Dates: December 3, 2022 - January 22, 2023
Exhibition Location: 382 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11-5pm closed for holidays December 24 - January 1.
Field Notes generally refers to the small notebooks kept by naturalists in which they record data and observations. Here the term takes on a new meaning while retaining its connection to the natural world. The artists in Field Notes all begin with a sensuous appreciation of the rhythms, colors, energy, and complexity of nature. With commitment, vision, and graceful power each of these artists harness Nature’s energy to create highly individual interpretations drawn from that traditionally deep source of inspiration. Our contemporary appreciation of Nature is often tinged with shades of regret and apprehension as climate change shakes our foundational relationships to the expected flow of seasons, wind, fire, floods, and storms. By providing us with reminders of the beauty and majesty of Nature, these artists keep alive our place within it and nurture our own protective instincts.
The six painters in Field Notes have developed their motifs and sensibilities over a lifetime of engagement with both the making and history of art and the world as it impacts and informs them. For Scherezade Garcia the natural world is the setting for human dramas, with the flow of water and paint providing powerful metaphors for her narratives of the flow and disruptions of history, refugees, and colonization. Abby Goldstein’s intricate topologies reference maps on a scale worthy of Borges. Her paintings offer minutely detailed almost dizzying layers of information linking natural form to human constructs wherein a tangled patch of bramble can stand in for the dense matrix of an ever changing city. Nancy Manter has a lifelong connection to the coastal weather and ancient scoured stones of her home state Maine. Probing below the surface, her fluid paintings capture the tectonic movement of stone and water suggesting the constant flux that is the life of our planet. Karen Marston is a bold plein-air painter, often working outdoors directly confronting and addressing the world she sees. With swift sure brushwork she shows us landscapes bristling with energy but also imperiled by climate crisis. Margaret Neill’s paintings register physical energy as mental process, and reveal the connection between mind and matter. Utilizing sweeping strokes that echo the sine waves that are a primary scientific construct of movement and change, her graceful marks involve the viewer in the excitement of motion much as a swimmer feels the water. Alice Zinnes finds literary and mythic resonance in her brilliantly rendered atmospheres. Like internal weather, her jewel toned canvases evince an emotional landscape that is both turbulent and densely lush where, as she has written, ‘terror coexists with joy, and loss yields to renewal’.
Henry David Thoreau, America’s first great naturalist, whose field notes filled the hundreds of pages of his diaries, once said, “Truths and roses have thorns about them”. This exhibition offers a meaningful chance to reflect upon the beauty and diversity of Nature in a moment in which Nature as we have known it is deeply at risk.