Alyssa E. Fanning
Bluein Green Platform Project Space Brooklyn, New York December 06, 2019 - January 04, 2020
Alyssa E. Fanning
Lee Lee Walker
Blue in Green By Alyssa Fanning
aybe you’ve heard “Blue in Green.” It’s a song featured on Miles Davis’ seminal 1959 album Kind of Blue. In May of 2006 on the occasion of Davis’ eightieth
birthday, the writer and poet Quincy Troupe shed new light on “Blue in Green.” Troupe told NPR’s Ed Gordon that in writing the song Davis sought to express a memory from his childhood in Arkansas. Davis was trying to get back to feelings he experienced as a six-year-old, walking home from church with his cousin, through dark back roads and overhearing notes of gospel tunes through the trees. Troupe describes “Blue in Green” as aching, plaintive and evoking the loneliness of the dusty road through the woods, the darkness, and memories. Memory and an effort to evoke the essence of a place once seen, lived in, or imagined pervade the exhibition Blue in Green, which showcases thirteen artists whose works depict images of landscape and the natural world.
The title also alludes to the manner in which the artists perceive the spaces and places they depict. The phrase blue in green infers an act of searching – such as concentrating on finding the primary hue of blue within the secondary color green – and a way of studying and investigating. As soon as we recognize the blue in the green, we acknowledge the composite – we identify the relationship between the parts and the whole. Each element of a landscape is replete with possibilities, which the thirteen artists in Blue in Green focus on and weave together in startling and modern ways.
The artists in Blue in Green take landscape as a starting point for making.
Nancy Goldring’s “foto-projections” present landscape as manipulations of images of specific sites. In her Sunflowers: Broken Landscape we see a view from the artist’s studio overlooking Lake Trasimeno in Tuscany. The scene of fields of sunflowers beneath glistening blue skies is fragmented and reconstructed – parts of the landscape are blackened silhouettes and parts are overlaid with cast shadows of trees and architecture that we cannot see. She is looking beyond the surface of flowers and grass to the history of the space – its agrarian past, its occupants and caretakers, like an archeologist on a dig. In Barbara Takenaga’s work we are presented with what the artist refers to as space-scapes. As we look at her canvases, we see distinct modes of image-making: there
are washy fields of dripped paint that resemble organic forms and hard-edge linear bands of mark-making. These bands resemble rings inside a geode, or the cross section of an old tree trunk filled with age rings. The artist begins these works by laying down paint in a method she describes as faux abstract expressionism by applying drips and pours which serve as the basis of her composition. The resulting splatters and splashes become fields of stars, cosmic galaxies and layers of atmosphere. She looks at the accidental and finds meaning. For Joey Parlett it’s not the splatter but the line, the thread of ink skimming the surface of a sheet of paper that starts a process of recognition and image building. His scenes of distant mountains, clouds, flowers, and moonlit vistas hover in a delicate balance with marks becoming form while simultaneously seeming to resist solidity. As our eyes traverse the peaks and valleys of Parlett’s rock formations we are constantly reminded of the individual line couched between two slivers of white aside an infinite field of marks. A similar phenomenon occurs when we gaze upon Andy Mister’s work. Mister’s monumental mountain-scapes alternate between representation and abstraction when viewed up close. As when analyzing Parlett’s drawings, in Mister’s we can easily become lost in the repetitive play of light and shadow across the craggy peaks and flat planes of his mountainsides. Mister’s work acknowledges and presents the mountain in
all of its complex grandeur. The smallest crevices are treated with the same finesse as are the large blankets of snow drift. Emma Tapley’s paintings continue this exploration of the minute and the vast in her intimately grand odes to fields of grass and clover. As if seen on a walk through the park the humble patch of grass in her painting Cultivating the Empty Field contains all the complex wonder of the mountainside. Each blade of grass has its own gesture and sway. What another artist might paint with a few quick dashes of thin green marks, Tapley transforms into a world of complexity and wonder acknowledging that we can’t have a field of grass without countless individual blades.
For artist Eric Wolf the world is a surface of undulating waves and ripples
set against sky and silhouettes of distant mountains. Color does not feature in the reality of Wolf’s ink paintings. Rather he shows us a world in black, white and rich grays as if to say color gets in the way of pure experience. We see in his work a synthesis of his understanding of the natural world, where bands of black against white describe the continuous dance of the tides across ancient glacial lakes. He has distilled a pure extraction of natural phenomenon. In Elliot Green’s world, color rushes back in. In his painting Watery Light what appears as squeegeed tubes of turquoise paint race towards us – the energy is seemingly uncontainable. For Green, marks and paint strokes
miraculously merge to become water and wave but like in Parlett’s work we are reminded that we are looking at individual marks or here, applications of paint. The mind is engaged in the tension between material and image in a seemingly endless loop of becoming and unraveling; these are mindscapes as much as they are landscapes. In some ways the same is true of Lee Lee Walker’s ink drawings. For Walker landscape is a vehicle to access memories and impressions of places once seen and loved: her childhood garden lit by the moon’s rays or a view of the street from her window when the quality of light and atmosphere was irresistible. Her urgent ink lines suggest a sense of longing to connect with trees, sky and the energy of life.
In Daniel Herwitt’s acidic dreamscapes we are invited to romp amongst
giant sunflowers, wavy mushrooms, floating eyes, yin yangs and peace signs. We begin to see that his plants have faces both droopy and smiling. An untamed vine has become a dog’s face or a bird’s beak while a plant has sprouted moth’s wings. The world is a stage for psychedelia and the unexpected, an optimistic place where all things are possible. In Alexander Ross’s Upward Cascade I, fantastical loops and vines band together – appearing to work in unison as they wrap around their hearty base. Are we looking at a huge mythical beanstalk rising up, up into the sky or at a small sprout
viewed through the eyes of an insect? In either scenario Ross’s greenish formation that flows and bulges upward appears both beautiful and grotesque. Upon close observation we see that the shallow shadows of the veiny formations are comprised of myriad pencil marks – a network of marks emerge across his surfaces. We see a similar complex network of mark, shape, shadow and form in Alec Dartley’s forest panoramas. The artist presents us with sprawling views of fallen vines and trees that appear to go on forever. Light and shadows become positive and negative, and then become occupied spaces or voids in a fluttering dance across the surface of ink on paper. Standing in front of Dartley’s panels we experience the intensity of being in the woods: the sensation of stillness alongside a disruption of linear perception in the face of so much visual stimuli. James Siena’s Cova (Cave) etching appears as a respite – a tiny hiding place. His delicate lines and hatching depict craggy stones and the mouth of a cave. We wonder how deep it is and what’s inside – a place of shelter, a winding network of tunnels, or just a shallow niche where we can stop to catch our breath and quiet our thoughts amidst the choppy waters, the looping vines, the floating mushrooms and the steep cliffs. Blue in Green asks.. what do you see? 11.08.2019
Three Fallen Trees, 2016, Ink on paper 12 x 36 inches
Alyssa E. Fanning
Purple Scatter, 2019, Colored pencil on paper, 12 x 16 inches
Broken Landscape: Burning Wall, 2016, Digital C print on HahnemĂźhle paper, 29 1/2 x 20 inches, 2/3 edition
Broken Landscape: Sunflowers, Digital C print on HahnemĂźhle paper, 29 1/2 x 20 inches, 1/3 edition
Watery Light, 2017, Oil on linen, 34 x 42 inches
Inhale, Exhale, 2018, Oil on linen, 30 x 40 inches
Moth, Colored pencil, ink, watercolor and airbrush on paper, 18 x 13 1/4 inches
Blue Work, 2019, Colored pencil, ink, watercolor and airbrush on paper, 13 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches
Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Go Anywhere, 2019, Carbon pencil, charcoal and acrylic on paper mounted on panel, 30 x 22 inches
The Sublimation Hour, 2019, Carbon pencil, charcoal and acrylic on paper mounted on panel, 30 x 22 inches
Waterfalls, 2019, Ink on paper, 30 x 22 inches
Upward Cascade I, 2016, Color pencil, crayon, watercolor, graphite, 30 1/4 x 22 inches
Upward Cascade III, 2016, Watercolor, graphite, color pencil, 30 x 22 inches
Cova (Cave), 2011, Etching, plate 35 x 31 cm, Edition of 25, Printer Poligrafa Obra Grafica
Serrulata 2, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 36 x 42 inches
Swirl, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 42 x 36 inches
Talese Pond, 2019, Oil on panel, 24 x 30 x 2 inches
Cultivating the Empty Field, 2017, Oil on panel, 24 x 30 inches
Lee Lee Walker
Summer Storm, 2019, Ink on paper, 16 x 20 inches
View of Second Street, 2019, Ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches
Mooselook Meguntic Lake, 2019 Ink on paper, 44 x 52 inches
Birch Point, 2019, Ink on paper, 22 x 30 inches
On the occasion of the exhibition
Bluein Green December 06, 2019 - January 04, 2020
This exhibition is dedicated to climate and animal activists worldwide.
Platform Projet Space 20 Jay Street, #319 Brooklyn, NY 11201 platformprojectspace.com Images: Courtesy of the Artists Elliott Green Images: Courtesy of the Artist and Pierogi Gallery Essay by Alyssa E. Fanning Catalogue Design by Joey Parlett Printed by AlphaGraphics Midland Park, NJ
Platform Project Space Brooklyn, New York December 06, 2019 - January 04, 2020