West Branch Gallery presents two exhibitions of new and recent works by painters Janet Fredericks, Michaela Harlow, and Krista Harris this spring, with an opening reception Saturday, March 25th from 6 – 8 pm.
March 25 – May 30, 2017
Colorado-based artist Krista Harris’ richly layered, gestural abstract paintings seek to reinterpret the world we live in, acting as visual responses to dormant memories of people, places, and experiences. While her earliest paintings explored realistic representations of the figure and landscape, Harris’ current body of work embraces a newfound freedom of expression through its non-objectivity. Juxtaposing the organic and geometric, patterns in nature and man-made structures, she uses a variety of media in a collage-like manner. Bold, saturated swaths of color tangle with atmospheric, translucent glazes; graphic marks of the hand collide and intersect with subtler calligraphic lines, echoing the ways in which, “ … our roads seem to double back and crisscross over paths of earlier years.” The resulting surface is a textured road map of reconnection. With a clarity and maturity born of distance and time passed, this exhibition follows the artist on a journey of not exactly going home again, but of retracing her steps.
March 25 – May 30, 2017
In this two-person exhibition opening March 25th, Vermont-based artists Janet Fredericks and Michaela Harlow explore abstract landscapes on micro and macro scales in a variety of mediums, pushing references to the natural environment behind graphic mark-marking. Janet Fredericks’ woodcut prints, overlaid with drawings, recall aerial views of sprawling city grids, the latticework of farmers’ fields, and the traceable paths of meandering rivers from 36,000 feet. These renderings move beyond the merely cartographic, however, as an “invented vocabulary” of finishing marks in ink and graphite serve as reminders of the ways that humans mark and shape these landscapes on an increasingly massive scale. Michaela Harlow finds similar opportunities for observation and reflection in the fragile and constantly evolving nature of wild places, though her multimedia works on paper and panel redirect our gaze to subtler changes. The vibrating reflections of bare trees on the water’s surface, broken branches trapped in frozen streams, bits of wind-blown vegetation emerging from icy layers on the forest floor: these are the moments of seasonal transition immortalized in Michaela’s onsite sketches. Her studio work expands upon the spontaneous lines and marks of these field notes, amphibiously combining the liquid nature of painting with traditionally dry media, such as pastel, charcoal, and pencil. For these artists, whether landscapes are shaped by natural cycles or calculated interventions, over seasons or generations, transformations on all scales are equally worthy of exploration and conversation.
An opening reception to celebrate both exhibitions will be held at West Branch Gallery on Saturday, March 25th from 6 – 8 pm. For more event info and to let us know you’re coming, click here!