It has been a very busy year and I have pursued some different styles in the studio. I am happy to be showing recent work from the past 5 years that brings in the new mix of photography, painting and fiber. I hope you can join me at Piante this first Saturday evening in March. I am attaching Jasn Marak's notes for the Times Standard as he does a great job in describing the show.
Jennifer Mackey at Piante
notes by Jason Marak for Times Standard
... Eureka's Piante gallery will be featuring textiles, paintings, photography, collage, and sculptural work – all by the same artist. Jennifer Mackey's exhibition of recent work, "The Beauty of Decay," will showcase her artistic versatility through an ongoing exploration of the natural world and our place within it.
For Mackey, the allure of the natural realm goes far beyond the composition of a vista or quality of light. "I'm definitely abstract in my approach," Mackey said. "Everything I look at becomes a landscape, or some kind of flora." Mackey describes her process as one of experience and reaction. "The work comes from an emotional response to landscape, especially a sensibility to texture." Perhaps best known for her textiles, Mackey attributes this textural affinity, in part, to many years of work with natural fibers, wools, silks, and handmade papers. Contact with these materials seems to have given Mackey an intimate understanding of natural forms that she has been able to carry across mediums, infusing textural awareness into all her work.
Even when Mackey's work presents more traditional notions of landscape, as with some of her photographs, the pieces often feature decaying flora, fauna, or dilapidated dwellings – the breaking down of the structure she is so familiar with. "I think it's been important for me to find beauty in death and decay," she explained. "It's important to think about what holds us together, what's the structure of our lives, where do we find beauty. It's fleeting. There's an impermanence that's wonderful to capture but also to let go of."
Despite the variety of work, there is a remarkable consistency of vision in the show. Mackey presents the viewer with myriad visual representations not just of the transformation from vibrancy to decay, but also of the simultaneity that exists: In the paintings, lively blues, greens, yellows, and reds are paired with gestures and lines that feel more subdued. Rugged looking, sometimes tattered textiles are wrapped and folded into beautiful, intricate forms. Photographs depict a model lying on the forest floor, wrapped in textiles that look as though they could have occurred naturally or by human hand, the model simultaneously other and part of the landscape, simultaneously being born from and returning to the earth.
"The Beauty of Decay" will open on Saturday. There will be a reception for the artist held in conjunction with Arts Alive.