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October 1, 2017 at 5:19 pm #21174
Susan Mcalister: Land Patterns
5 October – 12 November 2017
Opening reception, Thursday, October 5 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Les Yeux du Monde Gallery
“My work is rooted in a love of land and place,” writes Susan Mcalister. The paintings in her exhibition were inspired by Mcalister’s love of the land and by her admiration for the recently deceased great abstract painter Cy Twombly, who split his time between Lexington Virginia and Italy.
“A day spent retracing Twombly’s Virginia is where this body of work began. Books he ordered, papers he used, splattered paint left in his studio. A particular green. I left reconsidering how to express space and place through the use of color and pattern,” she says.
Some of the paintings in the current show will literally be abstract renderings of patterns she observes in the land. Others will be more recognizable as landscapes. In all of them, materials and process are important. Just as Twombly’s calligraphic gestures are evident in his paintings, Mcalister’s hand and motions are evident in her energetic brushwork and exquisite line. Liberally layering oil paint, wax, graphite and other materials such as gold leaf or even dirt from the land itself, she creates masterful parallels to the land.
“Each work resolves at varying levels of abstraction,” she writes, “with the ultimate goal of luring the viewer into a personal sense of place and time.” Just as Twombly often referenced classical mythology and poetry in his abstractions, Mcalister too revisited mythology and poetry when creating this body of work. “Everyday views become mythical environments where past, present and future collide,” she says. “Imagined combines with real, abstraction with representation.”
Born and raised in the Hunt Country of Virginia, McAlister received her BA from Davidson College and studied in many workshops nationally and internationally with artists such as Yolanda Sanchez and Eric Aho. Although residing in Charlotte NC, she also considers home to be South Carolina’s Low Country, Virginia’s Hunt Country and Montana’s Ruby River Valley.
Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, 841 Wolf Trap Road in Charlottesville. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday 1 – 5 and by appointment. The Gallery be open late on the First Friday, October 6 until 6 p.m.
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