Group show highlights landscape painting, drawing, sculpture and photography

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Group show highlights landscape painting, drawing, sculpture and photography
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Nicola Vassell Gallery is presenting, The Earth, That is Sufficient, a group show highlighting landscape painting, drawing, sculpture and photography as an assortment of traditional and radical depictions that characterize the ground we stand on and the distance we look out upon. The assembled, multi-generational group enlists various narrative methodologies to describe landscape in traditional terms and as new terrain possessing original and revolutionary spirit. The landscapes on view manifest as thought, object, vista and action. They offer up literal and metaphorical journeys and the terrestrial as full of physical and mental possibilities.

The exhibition features work by Etel Adnan, Alvaro Barrington, Sholto Blissett, Lauren Halsey, Barkley L. Hendricks, Shara Hughes, Marcus Jahmal, Ana Mendieta, Walter Price, Ugo Rondinone, Uman and Joseph Elmer Yoakum. The title is taken from Walt Whitman’s poem, Song of the Open Road.

Each artist’s distinct approach to landscape is unified by elucidations of actual or imagined habitats.

Etel Adnan, known for her work with language in poetry, novels, and plays, discovered an affinity for abstract landscapes in the late 1950s and has since, ennobled bold swathes of color and gesture to convey the simplicity and essence of nature observed. Alvaro Barrington’s non-traditional landscape paintings are about origin stories and migratory paths - his own and others in community. He utilizes mixed media, gestural brushwork, and distilled imagery, resulting in highly tactile paintings that invigorate abstraction. Sholto Blissett’s work blends surrealism with romantic vistas of the sublime, conjuring scenes of implausible lands. His approach to landscape painting underscores the evolving relationship between humans, nature and technological advancement. Lauren Halsey is inspired by the lexicon of her environment. Signage and symbols frequent her sculptures and emphasize her appreciation of the real-world aesthetics generated by her South Central, Los Angeles community.

The Jamaican paintings of Barkley L. Hendricks are meditations on lush, tropical terrain and include land, sea and sky scapes formed by cascading angles of color and gesture. Shara Hughes’ work exists in a realm between invented and natural worlds, in which familiar arboreal silhouettes and grounding horizon lines are made supernatural by bold brushwork and paradisical palettes. Ana Mendieta’s photographs emerge from her examination of the rapport between the body and nature. It urges us inward, to reexamine how we relate to our surroundings and the impact of human presence on the earth. Walter Price’s work collapses the distinction between figuration and abstraction. He constructs inviting scenes with a hint of familiarity, leaving room to interpret washes of welcoming colors.

Marcus Jahmal’s paintings transform commonly encountered objects, places and faces into luminously colored, spatially uncanny realms. Ugo Rondinone’s work illuminates the poetry and order of the natural world. Material, form and color, fashioned as horizons, rocks and beasts of the wild, are distilled to their essential qualities. Uman is a multidisciplinary artist known for intuitive work. Her geometric fashioning of color and all-over vigor offer a shamanic aura to pattern-based paintings. Joseph Elmer Yoakum devoted himself to art in his seventies after a life of adventure. Occupational travel as a railroad inspector, circus billposter, miner, horse handler and seaman, provided the dramatic framework for his topographical landscape drawings.

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