Delicate Rainbow, 2021, 24”x30”, oil on canvas, photo courtesy of the artist
December 13, 2021 by Art Spiel
Claire McConaughy: Nearby at 490 Atlantic Gallery
In her solo show at 490 Atlantic Gallery, New York based painter Claire McConaughy features landscapes depicted in vivid colors and expressive linear marks. In Delicate Rainbow for instance, the painting plays on tension between horizontal, vertical, and diagonal orientations – an unexpected pale pink flow becomes a backdrop horizon to green vegetation spreading its limb-like branches diagonally upwards; on the top, blue-purple brush strokes depicting sky or water, lead the eye sideways, and then right above, a surprising orange linear brush stroke with the other rainbow colors hinted, stretch across the middle top.
Can you tell me about the paintings in your show and what would you like to share about your process?
The paintings in Nearby derive from visual experiences that are transformed though painting. They are not depictions of actual places even though my personal relationship to landscape is very deep having grown up in the Appalachians with abundant woods, lakes, and streams. I don’t exclusively work with landscape but have found a wellspring of information there and nature inspires me on many levels. The history of landscape in art, literature, and film, can make a contemporary interpretation seem daunting, but in these works I use landscape as a catalyst for the painting. The color, line, space, mystery, discovery, nuance, and drama that are all inherent in nature are also present in painting.
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