On the Road

The Silk Road of history was that fabled 5,000-mile trade route between China and the Mediterranean.

My own "Silk Road" is a new series of small and midsize paintings in which I'm focused on color and the enduring power of the grid. Up close, each apparently monochrome painting is a quiet grid, built up by differently hued layers of intentionally grainy color applied at successive right angles. I've limned each panel to heighten the intensity of its color field. The title of this series was suggested by the iridescence and texture of woven cloth; the materiality comes courtesy of my medium: encaustic (pigmented wax). The paintings are installed for exhibition in variable-size grids or in a zip along the wall, for the repetition of shape, changed by color and surface, reinforces the elements of each individual work and reflects my involvement with grid-based abstraction.

"Silk Road 43," 12 x 12", 2006

Installation wall in my studio, each work 12 x 12"

If you're in New York between now and July 21, please visit the Elizabeth Harris Gallery where five of my "Silk Road" paintings are included in Neoplastic Redux, organized by Miles Manning. Other artists in the show include Gene Davis, Pat Lipsky and Helen Miranda Wilson.

Here’s an installation shot. Thornton Willis is in the foreground; I'm on the wall in the rear. Photo courtesy of the Elizabeth Harris Gallery.

If you're cyber traveling, spin on over to the Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta. Here's an installation view of my recent show there. You can see more at the website if you click onto the "Exhibitions" page, then scroll down to "Past Exhibitions" and "2006".

Pure Color, my solo exhibition at Marcia Wood Gallery, April 20-May 27, 2006. From left: "Silk Road" grid, each work 12 x 12"; "Stack," 48 x 67"; "Bask," 48 x 50"; all encaustic on panel

I'll be blogging from the Silk Road for a while, so check back soon. I should be posting a couple of times a week. If you want to know more about me or my work: www.joannemattera.com

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