Human/Landscape is a collection of work by four artists who share an interest in the natural world and an impulse toward personal narratives. Broadly, each artist uses the body/self as the vantage point for contemplating our relationship to the world. This intention brings to mind Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta, who said of her earth-body sculptures, that she wanted “to express the immediacy of life and the eternity of nature.” The four women have supported and critiqued one another’s work for the past ten years. They first met in 2007 as founding members of the Highland Park Artists Collective. Gravitating instinctively toward a smaller, more intimate, women’s group, they have evolved an ongoing dialog ever since. This dynamic has served as both support and inspiration for each. Overlapping influences include Carl Jung’s writings on creativity, Frida Kahlo’s use of personal narrative, as well as the symbolism and pastoral settings of renaissance paintings. Marc Chagall, Jackson Pollack, JeanMichel Basquiat, and the Earthworks movement (Holt, Heizer, Smithson, Maya Lin) are also sources of inspiration. “She lived in poetry, she dreamed in poetry, and she believed in it more than almost anything else.” - Jens Peter Jacobsen Sharon Sayegh uses events in her own life to conjure evocative, dream-like scenes, inspired primarily by family events or memory. A bemused version of herself often appears to ponder questions both personal and socio-political. Her meticulous surfaces and clean lines reference classical painting and pop culture alike. “I paint my own reality.” - Frida Kahlo Jill Caporlingua’s landscape of the body is more internal. Fragments of skeletons, brain cells, and floating figures exist in both inner and outer space, drawing our attention to the universality of human experience. Her gestural marks are immediate and physical; her luminous colors evoke a primordial sense of deep space and timelessness. “I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat Katja Valeur works from intuition and impulse, starting with a discrete idea and developing it directly on the canvas in many layers, often using stencils and incorporating words in several languages. She uses oils, acrylics, spray paint and collage to create complicated, visceral, modern works. “We often forget that we ARE nature. Nature is not something separate from us.” - Andy Goldsworthy Lisa Cameron’s figures are both in and of the landscape. Influenced by her career in landscape architecture, the scales and perspectives are mismatched in an effort to encompass the depths of the earth and the reach of the universe at once. The bodies are both distinct and universal, suggesting that though we each have a unique narrative, we are all taking the same journey of life. Filmmaker Jill Soloway recently described the female gaze as an “empathy generator” – distinct from the omnipotent male gaze, which is cast from the outside and sees women as other. The works of Human/Landscape, rooted in common experience and infused with familiar imagery, are immersive, inviting, and empathic. The approach to the female body, while occasionally erotic, bears no trace of exoticism. The figures occupy their spaces undecoratively. They are not the seen, but the seeing, holding sway over worlds bursting with organic matter, memory, physicality, pain, and mystery.
Monmouth Museum- Opening Reception: Sunday, November 19th 4-6pm
The Holiday Season provides the opportunity to look forward to the future with anticipation and the expectation that despite adversity, better times are ahead. This shared experience of the positive human spirit, Hope, exists beyond borders and is not unique to any single country or belief system. Throughout time, Hope is woven into all cultures across the globe. With this Main Gallery exhibition, Hope for the Holidays, the Monmouth Museum’s intent is to offer artists’ views of a positive future for their lives, our lives and our shared world.
The Art Alliance of Monmouth County is a diverse group of over 300 member artists. It is a premier Central New Jersey showcase organization for traditional and non traditional arts. Their mission is to promote the advancement of the visual arts and provide exhibition, studio and classroom space to local artists. They have 12 Exhibitions a year.