When painters paint landscapes it often takes two distinct directions. In one, the details are heightened, magnified. Every blade of grass seemingly visible, every reflection of light rendered, the surfaces of rock, soil, and sea captured in minutiae. In the other, the landscape loses its detail. The marks of nature give way to expressive marks of the brush, or to abstract dimensions of color, form, and line. Eschewing the environment’s textural densities, Ayka Go opts for the latter in her solo exhibition entitled Ephemeral Landscapes.
This current set of works reveals a continued engagement with paper, a sensitivity aligned with the rendering of the material’s tears and folds in paint. In one aspect, the paintings are a record of visual impressions, culled from the artist’s travels via train in other countries. In the past, rail-based transportation provided new perspectives of the land. The speed and swiftness by which one traveled over the surface of the earth, unencumbered by the limitations of human and animal legs, lent itself to fresh geographical imaginings.
But in our current period, such vistas from a window has become more commonplace. In lieu of novelty, the passing landscape became conjurer of reveries and reflections. It transformed into a layered ephemera: an overlap of a place glimpsed too briefly, and the relentless thoughts – sometimes troubled, oftentimes anxious, almost always quotidian—that beset our existence. And yet, despite their perfunctory apparitions, these sights often provide reprieve; their distance a source of comfort for the perturbed.
Perhaps it is part of their nature, untethered as they are from the complications we often find in the places where we are rooted. The passing landscape is weightless. It shimmers in its strangeness. Beheld at a time of personal unsettling, Go reimagines them unanchored from the density of detail, from the concrete gravity of daily life. She finds respite in their surfaces. In these works, you may flit and flicker along the landscape’s creased inflections, or drop inconsequentially between the layers.
JEONA ZOLETA ft. EMMANUEL D'ABOVILLE
Filling a cup with wine to chase the dragon in me
Jeona Zoleta begins with a myriad of things: Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, the Japanese tradition of Ikebana or "way of flowers", the book The Jazz of Physics by Stephen Alexander, the Disney movie Anastasia, and several other television series. As she traverses the path through domesticity and motherhood, she returns to her anchor in nature and the intoxicating poetry of life. She cites the summer heat in its "intense dryness filled with noisy bugs and the quiet scent of flowers;" feels the motion of the woods as a "soul forming from a seed."
In this quotidian frenzy, she creates with her husband a certain quiet, an installative still life, a merging of the dream-like imagery of her paintings with his carpentry and hydrophonics. Much like the process of Ikebana, one that they both shared as they prepared the decorations for their life together, there comes a semblance of settling down and arranging the world --- with one's past adventures and behaviors --- the way one imagines it to be. Her new life, literally (re) birthed as she carries her child through this earth, is where she creates slivers of moments for her artistic practice, for her own growth as an individual that is ever mutating and ever evolving but still remains the same.
Domesticity, however hectic, has also brought her to a space of solace, focus and clarity. The exhaustion and the lack of time has bred in Zoleta a certain fascination and contentment for the demands of mundanity, the flow of nature, the essence of living. Zoleta's exhibition is a sneak peak for her work at Palais de Tokyo this June.