Exhibition closed: August 29, 2020
There is something about patterns and nature that has seemingly been able to capture human’s imagination for as long as we have had written records. Ancient greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle thought that natural patterns were the base of what we perceive as Beauty, and symbolized the Good. From this, we can trace out architectural styles, city designs, fabric patterns, wallpaper, etc., all man-made things using patterns found in nature to capture a deep intrinsic understanding of beauty.
In that vein, the three artists of Patterning Nature are connected. Working in various materials and processes, their work is all undeniably beautiful, and harness both nature and patterns in unique ways. Jessica Demcsak uses found and man-processed pieces of wood, onto which beautiful patterns are painted in acrylic. There’s something ironic about her treatment of the processed pieces of 2x4s; stripped of their natural forms as tree structures, Demcsak seems to lovingly return some of their honor to them through the patterns that she paints. Linda Dubin Garfield uses wallpaper, and other found material to make collaged compositions depicting landscapes. The spaces Garfield creates are vast, devoid of human presence and highlight a tension between our constructed ideas of beauty and the type of vistas that we long for. Gary Grissom’s oil paintings lovingly recreate quiet moments in nature: a fallen leaf just starting to dry, tree roots growing tumultuously seemingly in defiance of their earthly place, a tree limb fallen and taken over by its own decay and growth of life like fungi. Grissom captures these quiet moments where nature is reveling in its own patterns. Through their work, we question what we think of as patterns, as “nature,” and how the two are so intertwined with beauty.
Feature image: Moon Glow Canyon, Linda Dubin Garfield