Traces. Mixed Media. 31.5 H x 23.6 W x 0.5 in
There are few places as personal, and as potential a source of embarrassment as a person’s bed. In this Traces, by artist Melinda Matyaswe see an unmade bed, strewn with sheets, blankets, pillows and clothes. Items of indeterminate identification lay on the floor beside the bed. The mattress itself is askew, as if to reinforce the obvious impression that whatever else might be going on in the person’s life whose bed this is, the state of their room is not a priority (and we might wonder why). The artist herself suggests that this piece is a “metaphor of the hidden traces of life issues.” Yet, for many of us, who find that our own bedrooms are the last to receive our attention after all of our other more urgent responsibilities to children, work, and community have been attended to, this scene is only too familiar.
The painting is roughly composed into three radiating regions: two walls, and the bed and floor. One effect this has is to draw our interest to the head of the bed, where a bright blue sheet or blanket or sheet sits. The articles atop the bed are painted as angular regions. The painting as a whole has the pleasing aspect we might find in abstracts.
Winter Impression 18. Oil on Linen. 10.6 H x 13 W x 0.4 in
In Marta Zamarska’s pleasing series of paintings, Winter Impressions, we see various snowy winter landscapes, often featuring figures in various outdoor activities: children sledding in the snow, climbers make their way up snowy peaks, cross country skiers treading along a path. In these, the figures are painted as the merest impressions, as if seen some distance off through a haze of wind blown snow. The features of the landscape, captured as soft variations in color and shadow.
Winter Impression 19. Oil on Linen. 39.4 H x 47.2 W x 1 in
In others, any figures that might have been present, are lost from view in their entirety. For example in Winter Impression 20, a burst of sunlight is scattered in an airborne cloud of snow, an unlooked for hazy explosion of warm red and yellow. It is as if, the view were too dazzling to see clearly.
Winter Impression 15. Oil on Linen. 10.6 H x 13 W x 0.8 in
Winter Impression 20. Oil on Linen. 19.7 H x 23.6 W x 0.4 in
Sink Full of Dishes. Oil on Wood. 46.5 H x 33 W x 1.8 in
In Sink Full of Dishes, artist Emma Copley paints in bright, cheerful colors, a garden, and behind it, a pleasant landscape of golden hills and tall grasses, as seen through a kitchen sink’s window. The view is from the artist’s summer home, and is the view the artist would have seen when standing washing up after a meal. The sink area, painted in blues and blacks, is full of dirty dishes, haphazardly stacked and waiting to be washed. The dirty kitchen taunts us with its routine drudgery, while we long for the freedom and pleasure of the bright garden.
It is tempting to read the presence of the dirty dishes as a conscious act of defiance by the artist against the cultural imposition of norms of feminine tidiness, but the tyranny of domestic chores over those who work from home: not only is the artist’s kitchen being presented to us in a state of disorderliness, but the artist has prioritized the painting of this picture over washing up.
SAT NAV. Oil on Wood. 15 H x 11.4 W x 0.5 in
In SAT NAV, the artist again shows us a part of the world as seen through a window, this time through the windshield of a vehicle. In the foreground is the dashboard of a motor vehicle, the steering wheel on the right-hand side in the British fashion. Through the window we see what might be an old windmill. The view through the window is awkwardly constrained by the vehicle. One wants to sit up and look over the dash, but one cannot.
Krukov Canal. Acrylic on Canvas. 70.9 H x 70.9 W x 1.6 in
In this pleasingly complex landscape painting by Russian artist Igor Nelubovich, the famous Krukov Canal of St. Petersburg is painted in winter; trees, lamp-posts, and fences are presented as harsh angular black shadows, and the snow is far from pristine. The only prominent regions of color are two, probably richly ornate, buildings of some sort. Their distant magnificence is in opposition to the inhospitable aspect of what is immediately observed before us.
View 01. Oil on Canvas. 23.6 H x 23.6 W x 1.6 in
In this abstract figurative painting by Hungarian artist János Huszti, a figure defined by negative space, looks through either a camera or pair of binoculars upon what might be a distant sea-side pier partially hidden by fog.
According to the painter, a blank canvas was painted in three or four colors, and then pressed against a second canvas, allowing the two canvases to slip against the other, creating a textured background. Finally, the canvas was painted with white to create negative space.
The Scent of Rain and Wet Hair. Oil on Canvas. 37.4 H x 33.5 W x 0.8 in
Few paintings of rain feel quite as wet as this evocative painting by artist Robert Bubel. Here, two trees painted in black and blue drip with rain over a sidewalk running along an empty street. Painted in whites and yellows, details of the street and sidewalk are lost, as they are slick and glossy with an abundance of rain.
Titled, The Scent of Rain and Wet Hair, the piece attains its forceful presence, in part, by drawing upon our own memories of walking in the rain. The title also does something interesting: although no figure is visible, some person must be present: the person whose wet hair is smelled, and the one who smells that hair. These, of course, could be the one and same, and the artist himself.
Harvest Season. Oil on Canvas. 60 H x 40 W x 1 in
In Harvest Season by Iraqi-American painter Qais Al-Sindy a man and a woman present their harvest of dates. The man, clothed in white, stands behind the woman, clothed in red and black and holding a bowl, as if to invite the observer to taste the fruit of their labor. Their colorful garb contrasts with the more sedate colors in the background. In describing the painting, the artist recalls visiting Southern Iraq and watching palm date farmers climbing trees to harvest the dates. The painting, indeed, presents itself as an amalgamation of memories recalled with the vibrancy of youth.
Breakup I. Oil on Canvas. 39.4 H x 39.4 W x 0.8 in
Breakup II. Oil on Canvas. 39.4 H x 39.4 W x 1.2 in
In her series of paintings titled Breakup, Polish artist Monika Marchewkapoignantly portrays the interior experience of grief as revealed in the act of covering oneself in a blanket; it is however the blanket itself, more than the act, that conveys the emotion in these paintings. Painted in cold whites and blues, but more tumultuously textured than the room’s interior, the blanket appears like a snow drift that has buried the grieving woman beneath it.
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.
Mountain 1. Oil on Wood. 11.9 x 11.9 x 0.4 in
Mountain 2. Oil on Wood. 11.9 x 11.7 x 0.6 in
In this pleasing oil painting by Polish artist Robert Bubel, a woman walks through an open art gallery towards a group of paintings hanging on the wall. Paint drips from the canvases, as if to express their fresh vibrancy. The title of the piece is provocative; is it addressed to the woman in the painting? or is it an invitation to view the art in its natural format: hanging on a wall, rather than as a digital image.
Oil on Canvas. 35.4 H x 39.4 W x 0.8 in