Reni Gower Shows at Chroma Projects

 

St-Germain Series: SG-18, acrylic on paper, 2021

My work is inspired by sacred geometry, which is thought to convey sacred and universal truths by reflecting the fractal interconnections of the natural world. By reiterating these ratios, my work unlocks the language of abstraction through the collective recognition of geometric perfection that is evident in ethnic patterns all around the world. This commonality creates connections. As such, my work is a perfect conduit for cross-cultural conversations that embrace our shared humanity through mindfulness and mutual respect.

St-Germain Series: SG-17, acrylic on paper, 2021

My research actively explores the physicality of materials and the haptic through intense process-based abstraction. Whether working with paint, encaustic, collage, or paper cutting, I blend improvisation with repetitive systems to create complex images that counter visual skimming.

St-Germain Series: SG-19, acrylic on paper, 2021

I often incorporate the grid and the circle as decorative motifs, as metaphors for pixels or binary code, and as cultural symbols of continuity and infinity. Through intricate patterning, these references are combined to contrast passive technological consumption with the redemptive nuance of slow work made by hand.

St-Germain Series: SG-20, acrylic on paper, 2021

I intentionally work slowly to create artwork that fosters mindfulness. Enticed through touch, repetition and beauty, my work encourages a physical and contemplative slowing down. By embracing the redemptive effect of highly focused methodical work made by hand, my work transforms a shared encounter into an immersive meditation that quiets the nonstop noise of our time.

Covid Collage Series: CC-40, mixed media, acrylic on paper, 2021

My research is informed by my travels to the Middle East and Western Europe. During these trips, I document motifs shared by diverse cultures as discovered in mosaics, stain glass windows, decorative textiles, carvings, and architectural ornamentation.

Covid Collage Series: CC-15, mixed media, acrylic on paper, 2020

While I am drawn to perfect forms (circle, square, triangle) I am also attracted to the complex interwoven designs found in Amish quilts, Celtic knot work, and Islamic tile patterns. The paintings highlighted in this post are variations based upon the clerestory windows in Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois cathedral in Paris, France. By manipulating the color combinations and its placement, I can create highly individualized works based on the same system.

Covid Collage Series: CC-27, mixed media,acrylic on paper, 2021

The collages riff on geometric shapes culled from patterns I invent for my paper cuts. Through materiality and dense details, an expansive plasticity defies the works’ small scale. Viewers are encouraged to linger on, make associations, or go down the proverbial “rabbit hole.” To see more work, please link to my website: www.renigower.com I am presently showing my collages at Chroma Projects until April 29th. Chroma is at Virginia Vault, 3rd Street, Charlottesville, Va.

Covid Collage Series: CC-20, mixed media, acrylic on paper, 2020

Reni Gower
Reni Gower received a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. In 2017, she was awarded SECAC’s Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. In 2014, she received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teacher of Art Award, as well as distinguished teaching awards from Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU arts. Her art work is represented in many prestigious collections and has been exhibited at international and national venues for over forty years. In addition to her painting practice, she curates award winning traveling exhibitions that include The Garden, FLASHPOINTS: Material / Intent / Fused, Geometric Aljamía: a Cultural Transliteration, and Pulped Under Pressure: The Art of Handmade Paper. After thirty-seven years, Professor Emerita Gower retired from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2018. Gower is represented by Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, Va. She lives in Mechanicsville, Va.

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