- This event has passed.
Strange Nature is the latest two-person exhibition at Peep with new paintings by Karen Heagle and Nancy Mladenoff. Heagle’s and Mladenoff’s emotive paintings break down anthropocentric hierarchy through self-referential exploration and spiritual symbolism. The exhibition runs from June 24 to July 29 with a courtyard reception on Saturday, July 10 from 2-5 pm. Schedule a visit here.
Nancy Mladenoff’s paintings reference her time working from home at the start of the pandemic. Mladenoff’s isolation from the world resulted in a loss of self and a feeling of being reduced to just her possessions, which she symbolizes through clumps of clothes (her everyday outfit of plaid shirts, jeans, running shoes, and a bandana). Gradually a more active narrative emerged, complete with a disembodied protagonist among oversized insects, frogs, plants, birds and elements of nature. As the wildlife grew more outlandish and began donning human attire, an undercurrent of humor survived even in the most existentially chaotic moments.
Karen Heagle’s paintings work to queer the hierarchies of humans over animals in biological orders, gender binaries, race, and economics. Heagle’s wildlife and human subjects are shown as predators, scavengers and everything in between, symbolizing the complexity of identity in contemporary culture. Charged colors, a blunt physicality of brushwork, and emotional expression complement the seemingly gratuitous imagery. Metallic leaf, historically used across cultures to signify spiritual beings, makes many appearances throughout the work, operating as a device to elevate animals and nature to the level of humans and beyond.
Strange Nature’s enchanted realism helps us to view the world without looking through a destructive human-centric lens, and instead works to strengthen our non-hierarchical kinship with nature.