Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of "A New Day," an exhibition of recent paintings by Joan Elliott. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Friday, November 4 from 7 – 9 pm and continues through December 23, 2016. Below, Joan describes the work, highlighting her transition from creating representative landscape paintings to her new abstracted, geometric-oriented work.
“ 'A New Day' features parallel bodies of work that have been incubating in the studio from 2015-2016. Process-oriented landscape painting converges with work developed from a long-held interest in geometric patterning. Both paths allow for a structural weaving of space, energized by visual counterpoints struck between organic shapes, arabesque lines, and geometric abstraction.
The geometric patterns used in this exhibition are based on Moorish designs seen in the Alhambra and Alcazar Palaces in Spain, researched onsite with a Bader Fund grant. Walking through their courtyards, assembly halls, and private chambers, one becomes mesmerized. Endless geometric mosaics and intricately carved stucco motifs ornament the walls. Vaulted ceilings are covered with plasterwork resembling starbursts of fine lace. The structures hold centuries of memory, radiating a rich and complex history of court life and changing regimes. The patterning has a potent presence, beyond decoration.
I explore the linear structures of these Moorish designs and the untamed mazes of natural environments on individual panels and diptychs. The paintings evolve in a process-oriented and largely improvisational fashion, obsessively worked with both delicacy and aggression. The surfaces are slowly built, layer after layer, with broad paint application and selective removal – drawing and etching into wet paint and intermittently sanding to build a translucent skin and tactile experience. Structural lines entwine to create open and closed web-like circuits.
Striving for a contemplative presence, the paintings offer a dialogue that converses between Western and Eastern sensibilities. Both pattern and landscape elements are infinitely extendable, without beginnings or endings, forming a boundary-less world."
-Joan Elliott, 2016
Elliott received her BFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University (1978) and lives in Richmond, Virginia. She has been a painting instructor at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School for the past 25 years. Her work has been exhibited at Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Quebec; American University Museum, Washington D.C.; Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Ruth Siegel Gallery, both, New York, NY; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA; Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; Virginia Historical Society, 1708 Gallery, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, all, Richmond, VA. She is a Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant award recipient (2013). This is her fourth solo exhibition with Reynolds Gallery. Public and corporate collections include Bank of America, Charlotte, NC; Fontaine Company, Columbia, SC; Capital One, Ethyl Corporation, The Federal Reserve Bank, Markel Corporation, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, all, Richmond, VA.