Ro2 Art is pleased to present 'Observations & Alterations,' featuring the felted paintings of Sonali Khatti and watercolor paintings by Scott Winterrowd. The exhibition will take place in Ro2 Art's new location in The Cedars neighborhood of Dallas, located at 1501 South Ervay Street.
Through their work, Sonali Khatti and Scott Winterrowd let the viewer into their own personal narratives, revealing more than what may be seen at first glance. Sonali Khatti's abstracted pieces are the result of a complex process of felting and layering wool, in which she manipulates her materials to create rich images reminiscent of landscapes. In choosing this material, Sonali ties her work to the long tradition of wool dying and felting, drawn from her cultural roots. Scott Winterrowd's paintings are representative of personal encounters with the Southwestern landscape, the results of careful examination of places he has visited numerous times in his life. By referencing travel culture, his work transports the viewer to iconic locations found along the interstate, including idyllic landscapes and roadside attractions.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
SONALI KHATTI is a mixed media artist who was born and raised in the Northeast, and now maintains a studio in Dallas, TX. She earned her B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art from the University of London. As a first generation Indian-American, Sonali’s work is inspired by her own cultural history and extensive travels to India. She has explored in depth the remote handicraft villages of Kutch, photographed the architectural palaces and rural landscapes of Rajasthan via train, and journeyed to many of India’s vibrant urban centers, including the holy city of Varanasi, along the Ganges River. In addition, she has studied at the Bhandani Workshop where she learned traditional Gujarati tie-dye techniques, as well as completed an apprenticeship under the tutelage of master dyer Toofan Rafai, who taught her the ancient arts of painting and block printing with natural vegetable dyes.
“History and the registration of time, both on a personal as well as a universal level are my inspiration.
“My paintings are created using the technique of wet felting, where wool fibers act as both my paint and my canvas. Each painting begins by laying tufts of dyed wool in directional layers. Recycled felt remnants, hand spun yarn, raw fleece, and a variety of other inclusions are also layered to form my abstract compositions. Afterwards, soap and hot water are applied, as well as pressure and agitation. Finally, the wool fibers begin to shrink and compress together, evolving into a piece of felt. My practice is intuitive, the process of felting is ancient; and I rely on my humble materials to connect me to my work on the most visceral level.
“Felting is unpredictable, and I never know exactly how the fibers will react with one another, and how this will affect my finished piece. My landscapes combine the blending of color and tactile forms that are caught in flux, sometimes buried and often times unearthed. Collectively, the viewer is transported to a unique sense of place and atmosphere.
“The purpose of each felt painting is to experience a passage of time by delving into the relationships between what has happened in the past, with what is left remaining on the surface. Through an exploration of migrating color, stitched marks and preserved forms; a story unfolds.”
Sonali Khatti, 2016
SCOTT WINTERROWD has made work in watercolor and print media over the last twenty years. His larger body of work is primarily drawn from travel related imagery, postcards and roadside culture. More recently his work centers on depicting the southwestern landscape, specifically capturing sites often painted by early twentieth century artists working in Texas. His works invite us to explore the diversity of Texas landscapes, from views of the Big Bend region and the woods of East Texas to the Dallas area where the artist now resides. A native of Fort Worth, Scott Winterrowd has made a career working in the art world. He has worked at major museums including the Amon Carter Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. He is currently Curator of Education at the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University.
“This past year saw a return to New Mexico for me, which has long been a source of inspiration in my work. As usual, part of my reason for going there was to teach about art made there in the twentieth century - so I found myself once again visiting sights were famous modern artists worked as well as revisiting some of my favorite landscapes. I am always drawn to the area around Los Alamos for its explosive history in relation not only to the development of the Atomic Bomb but also the eruption of a supervolcano around 1.47 million years ago, visible still at the expansive Valles Caldera. I spent a great deal of time in Taos and was able to visit a number of ancient sites related to the still thriving pueblo culture there. As my work is always about place and travel often referencing roadside culture through destinations and postcards, I was struck by the final demise of an old and dear subject of mine, the closing of a string of Stuckey’s travel stops along I-40. My earliest series was documenting abandoned and transformed Stuckey’s throughout the region, a subject I have returned to over the years. Seeing the closure of the chain of stores along I-40 from Gallup, New Mexico all the way to Adrian, Texas, signaled the end of an era. When I came upon the fire ravaged ruin of the Stuckey’s outside of Tucumcari I felt the passing had to be commemorated.”
– Scott Winterrowd, 2016