HIGH NOON is proud to present The Painted Desert, Part II, the second installment in a two part series. The exhibition will include a different roster of artists from the first also exploring a range of media and modalities. This meeting, like the Painted Desert at the Four Corners, shows a spectrum of paintings, sculpture, and photographs, interwoven across an applied understanding of the expansiveness of art historical practice. The artists in the second part of the series include Fatemeh Burnes, Cara Cole, Peter Fox, Mary Jones, Jill Levine, Daina Mattis, James Miller, Bobbie Oliver, Hanna Von Goeler, and Lindsay Walt.
The Painted Desert, earning its name for the expansive rolling desert dunes of layered earthly and seemingly otherworldly tones that expand across Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado make the land accessible and the history somewhat transparent; like an artist’s background expanded over multiple timelines and places, reflected in their work. The focus of The Painted Desert investigates layered non-linear narratives both formal and conceptual, dedicated to the process of making connections between seemingly disparate subjects that seek to explicate the stratifications of the human condition.
Fatemeh Burnes begins her approach with intuitive mark-making that becomes a psychosomatic process of problem-solving between the formal and the psychological. Although primarliy abstract in nature, the spacial logic in Burnes’ work is defined by a layering of narrative shaped by her response to world events and favoring subconscious association. Cara Cole’s juxtaposed photographs from her series The Sky Above, The Mud Below, draw on the parallels within human nature and animal instinct, acknowledging our finite relationship to the earth as well as depicting formal qualities that align with the concept of our own universal natures. Peter Fox uses formal abstraction to demand as well as defy a narrative, creating tension with color and tonal relationships to apply a sense of reality and illusion between spacial properties and the physicality of paint. Mary Jones’ recent work involves layered x-rays, silver/aluminum leaf, and dye-cut duralar to examine the influence of graphic and gestural forms as well as create a sort of inverted Renaissance painting, pushing the abstract limits of interior form with it’s own language of ideals. Jill Levine sculpts contemporary relics out of styrofoam and plaster over which she paints imagery from Pre-Columbian sources, re-imagining ancient patterns and iconography in a pop-surrealist context.
Daina Mattis slyly addresses the trajectory of our cultural norms through illusion, formalism, and material. Her new body of work juxtaposes elements designed to frame our perception, such as Kraft cheese laying atop a trump l’oeil of marble rendered in oil, set against raw linen which itself serves as subject and material. James Miller’s paintings are informed by a desire to hijack and deconstruct the spacial illusions fortified throughout art history as well as our perception of form in both the natural and man-made worlds. He culminates light phenomena, architectural elements, and invented graphic forms to augment his own expansive language of environmental space. Bobbie Oliver finds her inspiration between the direct gesture of Chinese landscape and the solidity of Roman fresco painting. Between the two, she creates floating, undulating compositions which vascilate between the macro and microcosmic. Hanna Von Goeler’s Migration series uses defunct currency as it’s background, atop which she masterfully renders migratory birds which seem to become a part of the printed, circulated image. The series seeks to draw into question the overlap of commerce and environment as well as where value is placed amongst living organisms and the invisible lines we draw to separate people and cultures. Lindsay Walt’s work is a delicate meeting of precision and fortuity. Line becomes both subtle gesture and defining form, built up like a cosmic web, and obscuring the defining moment when two subsequent planes merge.