In Looking Back by painter Paulina Swietliczko a woman stands on the beach cooling her feet at the water’s edge; her head is turned away to watch two approaching figures, walking or running across the sand. The colors are rich and earthy, and redolent of the calm drowsiness of a hot summer afternoon. Our eyes are drawn toward, and then deflected from the standing woman, as we re-orient ourselves toward the object of her gaze. Or what we guess is the object of her gaze. Indeed, we may wonder whether she is not lost in some pleasant reverie, perhaps a fond memory of some summer day long past.
In this piece, one of a large series of paintings, Israeli artist Shalev Mann paints on the canvas a patchwork of soft earthy colors reminiscent of desert camouflage or, as is suggested by the title, fields as might be viewed from an airplane. Sparsely scattered across the canvas are small black marks that might be field workers. The painting is soothing, but also serves as a reminder of how the environments are shaped by human activity.
In these two landscape paintings by Australian painter Paul Patrick Morrison, mountains appear as anything but tranquil. Instead, using vibrant color, sharp contrasts, and almost violent compositions, these mountains feel both beautiful and dangerous, dynamic entities that must be reckoned with.
And indeed they are. Mountain 1, is in fact, K2, the second tallest mountain in the world.