the view from there: thoughts on landscape from 2012-2014
In December I will be showing a small group of works at Artworks Loveland in a show titled The View from There.
In October 2000 I made a long awaited move to the West. There were two major influences in my work; minimalism and land – earth – the soil, tierra, ground – whatever word one wants to use to describe the substance from which things grow, where things decay; and the place on which we all stand.
I decided to use the earth in my work – letting the material speak for itself. Earth from Masonville, Colorado – Chimayo and Lamy, New Mexico – Rock Springs, Wyoming – Fallon, Nevada, all places possess a magic presented by the phenomenal world.
The paintings are landscapes in terms of the literalness of the material, the use of the horizontal and because they contain land from a particular place. Painter Michiko Itatani told me many years ago when I was her student that “The work you make is either about where you have been or where you are going”. In the summer of 2014 after working for many years with soil I was moved to simplify my work further. Thinking “never say never” (I will “never” use soil in my work again), I left the gallery that was representing me in New Mexico, put the soil to the side and left my options open. It seems now, that this body of work was created about where I was going.
I am now here, firmly planted. As I have said to those who ask me if I would ever return to Chicago to live, “it would be highly unlikely”. It is, too, highly unlikely that these particular landscapes with their particular material will be returned to as a means of visual communication. They are now – the view from there.