Exhibition on view until: Sunday, November 7, 2021
Chiaroscuro Spring highlights the work of seven artists whose work celebrates Spring as not only a season but a time of growth and rebirth. Throughout the show, the included artists, Anita Allyn, Marilyn Holsing, Sam Nejati, Heather Ossandon, Laurie Beck Peterson, Rebecca Saylor Sack, and Jacqueline Yvonne present their own unique interpretations of nature’s gradual transition into Spring.
We are at a moment of time for cultural rebirth and reawakening as we emerge from what has felt like a year long winter of isolation. As cities reopen and we reunite with friends and family we ourselves are in a state of Spring-like blossoming: tentatively reaching out towards the sun in the hope of a warmer tomorrow. Anita Allyn and Laurie Beck Peterson capture the tenderness of this new-growth most directly through photography. Allyn captures delicate new branches and growth against stark black backgrounds referencing Flemish oil paintings. The heaviness of these images are balanced by being printed on silk, allowing her work to seemingly breathe in space. Beck Peterson explores non-traditional printing techniques and turns her images into not just prints, but also imposes them on tree limbs and stumps questioning the image/the real and the sign/the signifier.
Jacqueline Yvonne also addresses rebirth through trees, as well as acknowledges the past from which it springs. Dead tree branches act as foundations for beautiful family heirloom gems to spring forth, growing beauty and renewal from forgotten and discarded objects.
Rebecca Saylor Sack and Marilyn Holsing’s work both depict the exuberance of rebirth. Saylor Sack’s large scale oil paintings capture brightly colored blossoms erupting from the ground overtaking the neon detritus of natural life cycles. Marilyn Holsing’s dioramas similarly depict exploding worlds of nature that provide a space for her inhabitants, and ourselves, to get lost in exploring.
Sam Nejati and Heather Ossandon approach ideas of rebirth more metaphorically. Nejati’s paintings capture quiet and reflective moments in liminal spaces: pollen flooding a greenhouse, a flock of birds twisting in on themselves in the sky just beyond a window pane, the sunlight hitting fog and seemingly washing away color and contrast. These moments are all fleeting, tender, unsure, but also all capture the joyousness of birth and emergence. Ossandon also focuses on liminal spaces through her ominously still picnic scenes and still lives that reference both Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.