November 7–December 19, 2020
Adams and Ollman is pleased to present the group exhibition Eartha. Using painting as a common language, the artists included in Eartha examine the concept of the natural world and their relationship to it. Together, the works offer a different way of being in the world, one that is personal, interconnected, and spiritual, while raising questions of representation, politics, gender and pleasure. Artists included in the exhibition are Hayley Barker, Amy Bay, Mariel Capanna, Emma Cook, Ann Craven, Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, and Maureen St. Vincent.
Images are revealed as rhythmic dashes, and dots of luscious color accumulate on the surfaces of Hayley Barker’s (lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) visionary paintings. Mediumistic and deeply spiritual, the images in Barker’s works are formed by ecstatic movements that create parallel worlds, ones in which divisions of figure and ground, interior and exterior, dream and reality, dissolve amidst undulating layers of light and shadow.
Amy Bay (lives and works in Portland, OR) mines stereotypically feminine realms—floral motifs, pattern, and decoration—in an ongoing series of lush, small-scale paintings that capture flowers in vibrant hues of red, blue, and yellow. Since 2017, Bay has explored the varied ways that flowers are depicted in everything from classical still-life paintings to folk art, wall coverings and textiles. Embracing the decorative, Bay celebrates the beauty and life-giving forces of flowers, depicting them in immersive realms of pure color, shape, and pleasure.
Working from films, documentaries, slideshows of found photos, and home videos, Mariel Capanna (lives and works in Salt Lake City, UT) captures landscapes in motion. With deft brushstrokes and thickly applied paint, Capanna depicts details as they move across the screen and out of the picture. Her dense surfaces are accumulations of flowers, cars, fountains, chairs, fires, and other images that come quickly into focus and then out of sight, marking a simultaneous awareness of both stillness and the passage of time.
In Emma Cook’s (lives and works in Austin, TX) monochromatic paintings, signs and symbols emerge from patterned fields of undulated lines or dense foliage. In these shape-shifting environments, female figures, candelabras, symbolic gates and newspaper headlines spring into focus from graphic grounds, functioning like a visual archaeology of place as they hint at unsettling narratives and latent histories.
Since 1995, Ann Craven (lives and works in New York, NY and Cushing, ME) has been capturing the moon in a series of paintings made in plein-air from the coast of the Eastern Seaboard—in Connecticut, Maine and New York City—to the cities of Paris and Reims in France. Each marked by a date, a time and a place, Craven’s catalog of moons, rendered in oil paint with assured strokes and luscious color, explores the astronomical body as a feminine symbol and as a marker of rhythms, cycles, and time.
Ka’ila Farrell-Smith’s (Klamath Modoc; lives and works in Modoc Point, OR) bold, colorful paintings are rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and the history of abstraction. Engaged in formal experimentation and play, the works use a distinct visual vocabulary that includes text, pattern, symbol, line, and gesture to explore the landscape in between Indigenous and western paradigms.
Maureen St. Vincent (lives and works in the Bay Area, CA) employs a surrealist vocabulary as she isolates and re-contextualizes elements of both the figure and the landscape. Sinewy lines create a road map through a terrain of erotic female body parts while we catch glimpses of the landscape through vagina-like portals. Rendered in soft pastels, the works show us an uncanny interconnectedness of body and land.
PICTURED: Riverwood, 2020, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches