Artists often point to issues and experiences that we have ignored. It is not a normal art fair experience to confront the tangle, chaos and delight of nature, or to examine the contradictions of taking nature for granted in a natural world now threatened by global warming and climate devastation. Art fairs by their very nature invite an unnatural world and an other-worldly experience.
The four artists in DC Moore Gallery’s Armory Show booth Forgotten Nature transcend the mundane and their powerful paintings and photographs tell a different story than one tied to a particular place or pleasant memory. Charles Burchfield and Ralph Eugene Meatyard, both active in the mid-twentieth century, create a buzzing, humming aliveness in their works and in Burchfield’s case a reach towards the phantasmagorical, but both are also aware of the bleakness of destroyed environments.
Claire Sherman and Carrie Moyer defy the current critical dismissal of painters inspired by nature. Sherman references the idealistic vision of the sublime and also incorporates the emptiness and foreboding of an unraveling environment, alluding to its current fragile and tumultuous state. Carrie Moyer, known for her irreverent, cheeky abstractions that fuse Color Field, Pop Art and Feminist art grapples with elemental energies of nature that can both extinguish and rekindle. Her new paintings overflow with primordial yet futuristic forces. Both artists bring forth the sense of mystery and life that is “hiding in plain sight” and both work in a large scale to immerse the viewer with an insistence of subject matter.
Together the works of Charles Burchfield (1893-1967), Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972) and the contemporary painters Claire Sherman and Carrie Moyer surprise and engage viewers with a lush, rich and challenging environment.