Atlanta, Part 1: My "Diamond Life"

If you’re in Atlanta between now and May 28, hop on over to the Marcia Wood Gallery in Castleberry Hill.  My fourth solo show with the gallery, Diamond Life, is in the front exhibition space. Nancy Baker’s solo, New/Improved, is in the middle, and Mark Bercier’s solo, Youth, is in the gallery annex next door.

Rather than try to cram everything into one post, I’m going to write about the shows sequentially over the next week, along with a peek at some of the other things I saw and did while I was in town. I’m starting with my show (hey, it’s my blog!).

To orient you to what you’re seeing, we open with a couple of panoramic collages.

Above: From the entry looking into the gallery
Below: Looking back toward the door

A more realistic view of the entry, with Diamond Life 5 and Diamond Life 6, left, each 2011, encaustic on panel, 25 x 25 point to point

Peeking around the corner, six gouache-on-paper paintings from the series, Soie

I made the gouache paintings last summer after having made my first intaglio print in 20 years, an emerald square turned on its axis (story here). The print inspired a turning point in my practice. Shortly thereafter I painted a series of 22 diamond-shaped grids in gouache on paper—also called Soie, six of which you see framed here. Then, as I completed new small color fields in encaustic, I hung them with the same 45-degree orientation. I’m thinking of them now as chromatic geometries rather than color fields. Light hits the diagonal grain differently. Color appears deeper and more luminous. Formally, the diamond shape asserts itself, pushing rigorously outward while remaining resolutely poised. 

I shot this from the middle of the gallery, with the doorway to my left. The large painting on the middle wall is Romb

Soie 18, 2010, gouache on Arches, 22 x 30 unframed (about 25 x 34 framed), is the the painting just to the right of Romb in the image above this one

With the gouaches at my right shoulder I panned around the gallery toward the entry

Rummu, 2011, encaustic on panel, 32 x 32 inches

New view added. This photograph shows the color relationships and surface texture of Rummu really well. Photo: Helen Ferguson Crawford

Panning to the door

Romb, 2011, encaustic on panel, 45 x 45 inches point to point

From the front gallery we look into the middle space where Nancy Baker's show is up. We'll visit that show in the next post, along with Mark Bercier's in the gallery annex, a peek of which is below. Click here for post

Coming up:  A bit of a travelogue around Atlanta, including the High Museum (Ellsworth Kelly painting pictured here), the Goat Farm, and pics of some of the folks I spent time with over the weekend. Click here for post


lisa said...

The show looks fantastic. I respond to the "reading" of light,color and form through the space of the gallery. Rummu is a piece that keeps on giving-a visual party!

anne mcgovern said...

Congratulations on a fabulous show!

Nancy Natale said...

Wow! Your show looks sensational! How dynamic those diamonds are and the colors are fabulous. I love the play between the single diamond shapes and the big rectangles with triangles/diamonds. You outdid yourself, Joanne. Just fabulous! That gouache that you singled out with the purple and blue is eye bogglingly gorgeous. No matter what the framing cost for those paper pieces, it was worth it. Just a stunning addition to the more dimensional work.

Joanne Mattera said...

Thanks, Lisa, Anne and Nancy. I'm very pleased with the way Marcia Wood installed the show. Having worked with her for over a decade, I'm always surprised and pleased with how she hangs the work.

annell4 said...

Beautiful show!

Jaq said...

congrats Joanne!

Rob said...

Really beautiful show. I like that you have a whole show around the diamond theme. It really adds another level of interest to the work. Congratulations.

Helen said...

Wonderful show! Incredible work as always!

Richard Bottwin said...

Rummu is gorgeous and is my fave too! For me it recalls different kinds of architectural surfaces (ceramic tile, old paint, etc) that totally transforms the encaustic and makes identifying the surface more elusive. The transformation of the material to that transcendent "other" that many of us crave seems to be successfully accomplished here. I want to eat it.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous work, so inspiring!