Pierce’s triptych, Water, Land, Fire (2014–15) shows three views of a horizon line, which may or may not be the same landscape. At each side, the sky is depicted in gauzy light blue, while in the center it shines in a bright yellow. Spots of orange at the edge of the brown earth are suggestive of a distant fire, which by the third canvas has evaporated into white smoke mingling with the clouds above. “I don’t know why I paint fire,” Pierce once said. “There is a transformative quality, a beauty and danger that [coexist]….And I love contradictions.”
, and richly emotive colors. In Elements: Water, Fire (2014–15), another triptych, Pierce nearly departs from realism entirely, instead only subtly hinting at the existence of a horizon. Her surfaces are rendered in thickly impastoed brush marks. The third painting in the suite is made with crimson, bright orange, and flecks of lime green.
technique. Elements: Deep Water I and Elements: Deep Water II (both 2014–2015) both use textured expanses of variegated blue hues. The former blends several colors together in a glowing, grainy field. The latter is more painterly, with hashed brushstrokes crossing the surface. In Mist (2014–15) Pierce most closely approaches single-color painting, creating a vaporous gray surface. Another, similar painting, Night Sky II (2014–15), falls on the other side of the line between abstraction and naturalism, with a mottled gray surface punctuated with small stars.