A California Artist Brings Her Travel-Inspired Paintings to PULSE New York

Elisabeth Condon has traveled far and wide from her native Los Angeles, seeking visual inspiration in faraway landscapes to create spontaneous ‘poured’ paintings. With vivid liquid colors, she re-imagines her voyages, from the dreamy blues of the Mediterranean to the sterile grays of an airplane cabin.

But like any true California girl, Condon always comes home–at least figuratively. In a 2013 interview, she listed a few of her specific influences: “the aesthetics of glam rock... glitter, jewels, leather, satin...the blue interiors of California swimming pools, bougainvillea, hibiscus, pine, and palm trees… ocean, heat and white light…the Norwegian pines at Yaddo, the low-lit hutongs at night in Beijing.” Elements from this particular mélange of inspirations are on view at Emerson Dorsch’s booth at PULSE New York 2015.

Condon’s process is Jackson Pollock-esque, seemingly influenced by the work of the American Expressionist painter whose pouring and dripping techniques revolutionized modern art. But the artist has her own reasons—reasons that are very much tied to the here and now—for moving away from planned artworks and brushstroke precision and developing her improvisational pouring style. “At this moment,” Condon has said, “the speed and fluency of pouring feels right for how time moves, and spreads, and it also echoes the definitive images of our historical time such as 9/11 and the BP oil spill, among others.”

In embracing free-form painting and developing her process during artists’ residencies in destinations as far-flung as Shanghai and Grand Canyon National Park, Condon explores the experience of traveling on multiple levels. She not only takes us to the city streets and mountains and beaches, but also she manages a sort of cross-cultural fluency. As art critic Franklin Einspruch has said of her work, “Imagine if you could speak several languages, switching from one to another to suit your thoughts...You might begin in English for the sake of clarity, then change to Chinese for an apt metaphor, then over to French for color and texture, then to Italian for a bit of structure. Elisabeth Condon can do this, in paint.” 

Bridget Gleeson

Visit Emerson Dorsch at PULSE New York 2015, Booth A2, Mar. 5–8, 2015.

Follow Emerson Dorsch and Explore PULSE New York 2015 on Artsy.

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