LOADED LANDSCAPES: Human and Mother Nature

JoAnne Artman Gallery
Jun 26, 2020 9:00PM

The delicate balances between human nature and Mother Nature have always been sources of inspiration found within the complex interrelations between art and nature. Synthesizing direct observation of the human form and landscape, figures within compositions interact, coexist, and fuse with their backgrounds. Highlighting the notion that landscapes are never purely nature, the following artists explore the interconnectivity of nature, humanity, and culture.

America Martin
Woman in the Sage Leaves, 2020
JoAnne Artman Gallery

The space of a landscape exists, like almost every space, together with a variety of objects. What is fundamental for the experience of a landscape, however, is not the encounter of individual or multiple objects, but instead the experience of being under and amid all of these objects. Inspired by human dynamics, animal forms, and natural scenery, America Martin’s work reflects the appreciation of nature’s fleeting design. Concentrating on the human form, Martin makes a woman the main character of Woman in the Sage Leaves. Interested in the environment in which the figure is placed, Martin contorts the female figure with strong lines and bold shapes that push the boundaries of her canvas. As a result, the woman exists both amid, and in harmony, with the rest of the composition.

Brooke Shaden
Reflection #2: Sown, 2019
JoAnne Artman Gallery

The space enveloping an artwork’s figure reshapes their environment and allows the viewer to perceive vulnerable beings amid a spatial occurrence. Creating a living space, photographer Brooke Shaden’s exploration of the literal and figurative space between illusion, perception, and identity questions how we, as viewers, give meaning to our experiences. Photographing an isolated figure within a vast terrain, her portraits offer a raw, voyeuristic glimpse of man’s relationship with nature and self. “Here the mirror pieces reflect the sky,” says Shaden. “Is it possible to see ourselves reflected in the world around us?” Blending in with the similar sized and colored glass shards, the figure and her surroundings collaboratively communicate themes of identity, discovery, and strife.

Decade Dance Facade, 2020
JoAnne Artman Gallery

Internationally recognized for his bold, iconic murals and works on the street, John “CRASH” Matos’ spray paint on canvas paintings feature his classic imagery and slick style, always informed by the artist’s Bronx, New York roots. Through bold color and crisp lines, memory in the form of cultural pop references and well-loved cartoon characters interweaves with personal narrative, becoming a tangible, concrete presence that spans between instant recognition and abstraction. Spontaneously layering his signature eye and bubbles, CRASH’s figurative components and fluid forms consolidate into one unified image.

While each artist addresses the ideas of space and place, each of their practices is laden with autobiographical elements. Directly confronting art’s real ability to document a place and its history, Martin, Shaden, and CRASH demonstrate that an image of a landscape is only that until its significance is materialized through personal experiences.

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JoAnne Artman Gallery