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As Above, So Below – Karen Owsley Nease
October 4, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - October 26, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 5-7 p.m.
Exhibition dates: October 4 – October 26 2017.
Gallery Hours: Monday 12-6 p.m., Tuesday 2-4 p.m., Wednesday 12-6 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 2-4pm, Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
WHERE: Kruk Gallery, University of Wisconsin – Superior, Holden Fine and Applied Arts Center, 2144 Catlin Ave. & 19th St. Superior, WI 54880
The Kruk Gallery, University of Wisconsin – Superior presents As Above, So Below. The exhibition features a new body of artwork from Karen Owsley Nease’s (’93 painting), wave portrait series. Exquisitely painted, and dramatic, these oil paintings portray the waves as powerful, elemental forces. They are monochromatic in palette, ranging in size from small studies to the full size of a wave. The breaking multi-faceted waves create strong patterns of light and dark drawing the viewer closer. As Ann Landi describes, “ … this artist builds up her pictures in glazes until the surface reaches a seductive luminosity. “
Karen Owsley Nease is a contemporary landscape painter whose “…seascape painting draws from the traditions of Western landscape painting, and subverts those traditions as firmly as it refers to them. By doing so it encourages us to retune our way of perceiving the non-human world which surrounds and supports us,” states Ruth Henriquez. Throughout her career, Nease’s artwork has sought to extend the meaning of landscape beyond the Western European tradition. She achieves this by presenting the power of the waters with no reference to humans whatsoever except for the viewer’s own reaction. Her paintings present the forces of nature as entities in their own right, inviting the viewer to see the subject in new ways.
Nease’s artwork has reference points in her own efforts toward habitat restoration, American transcendentalist landscape painting and the work of more recent artists such as Neil Welliver, April Gornik and Vija Celmins who are similarly engaged with both the landscape and its use as subject matter for formalist experimentation. Almost photo-realistic when viewed from afar, the paintings become more painterly and abstract as one approaches. From the catalog essay by Ann Landi, “the wave series keeps viewer pleasurably off balance, flirting with abstraction…”
Karen Owsley Nease, artist, states, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to introduce this new and ongoing series of artwork to the Northland. The Kruk Gallery is an ideal space to present my large scale wave paintings and it is important to me that this work can be seen at such a lovely space at the University of Wisconsin – Superior, whose programs play an important role in the protection of Lake Superior which is so nearby.”
Image: L’Origen du monde, 30” x 60”, oil paint on cradled wood panel.