Friday, September 01, 2006

Rachel Popowcer, Pittsburgh Alumni

Rachel Popowcer

Since moving to New Mexico from the east coast, my work has undergone many changes. My use of graphic symbols has lessened and the spaces in the paintings have deepened. In many ways, these paintings have represented a shift in my own artmaking process towards a more deliberate, structured and personal outcome. The more open and vast my spaces have become, the more solid are my intentions for the viewer. They reference landscape [or mindscape, as I like to call it....], as well as objects in nature. The colors shift as the light changes, appearing sometimes impenetrable, sometimes transparent. They offer an invitation to explore, to look, to think, and to inhabit the spaces in and between them. They are a visual record of my own thought development.

Many of my pieces function both as landscape and mindscape, referencing the tides and erosions of nature, as well as the steady pulse that drives us to work, to create, to desire and to change. Women artists, in particular, are challenged daily with multiple roles. It is important, as artists, to find the time to think and to create. My recent paintings have evolved out of a need for a thinking space. I want people to enter the work and yet have space enough to react to its presence. Ultimately, my main desire is to evoke thought. I don't mean to imply that my paintings function as backround noise, rather that the strong personalities of each painting serve to mimic our own varied thought processes.

My own thought process generally involves a lot of organization together with a good amount of intuition. This duality is constantly present in my work, creating an active tension (and sometimes an active harmony) across the surface of each painting. I have a need to create ordered surfaces through an imperfect and often time-consuming process. I apply the lines in my paintings by hand instead of through mechanical implements. I draw and tear my geometric shapes freehand, and I often spend hours woodburning on an individual painting.

I see my work as a sort of visual topography; a recording of internal and external experiences within a carefully constucted space.

It is in these carefully constructed spaces - between the active and the still, between constraint and freedom, and between logic and instinct - where I take my viewer to new landscapes by way of a personal adventure.

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