Join us Saturday September 7th, 6-9pm for the opening reception of Vast Expanses, a two-person exhibition featuring artists Mariejon de Jong-Buijs and Katrina Bello.
The artists take inspiration from their experiences with immigration, and the vast expanses of landscape which simultaneously connect and separate. Materials, personal observations, and laborious processes reign supreme in VAST EXPANSES.
Mariejon de Jong-Buijs’s work is a “response to the world of [the] immigrant not bounded by the traditional physical borders”. In the paintings on view from her series Accumulated Experiences and Folded Paintings, the artist builds from the non-symbolic foundation of 17th century Dutch landscape painters by creating non-representational monumental paintings, but still contemplates the flatness of the Dutch landscape, with inspiration from “vast farm fields and meadows reaching beyond the horizon…” By abandoning recognizable associations, de Jong-Buijs is constructing an opportunity for her “accumulated experiences” to revere the materials, and allow the viewer to observe markings in space and time within the residue of the process. These paintings are viewed as both surface and container. On the surface, the works hold the accumulation of gestures, experiences, actions, and motion. As containers, the works unveil only fragments of the completely unfolded expanses. When partially or fully folded, the fold has a direct effect on the space the piece is occupying, hiding from view that which is within the folds.
Katrina Bello uses a more formal consideration of representation in landscape in the series IMMENSITY by including the outline of Mindanao, her former childhood home in the Philippines. This relatively small island holds within it the Pacific Ocean, breaking with traditional use of scale as the great ocean is constrained by the small island. Bello explores the shared experiences of migration with her daughters, each residing on one end of the vast Pacific which both separates and binds them. As the series progresses Bello considers the political and environmental effects on the ocean today, touching on pollution and ownership in a non-conspicuous manner. Reminiscent of Brice Marden “Taking that earth, that heavy earthen kind of thing, turning it into air and light.” Bello creates an abyss of negative space, in contrast with the highly detailed representational drawings of islands and oceans, and lays bare the medium by allowing the water and charcoal to change the topographical landscape of the work.
For both Mariejon and Katrina, the work must be done in collaboration with their materials, allowing the materials to inform without strict demands. The artists create with a sense of borderless freedom, and the materials become a conduit for both the physical and psychological elements of creation.