Press Release

Half/Dozen is pleased to present Glass Lakes by artist Kendra Larson. This exhibition is a collection of paintings that are rooted in the tradition of the natural world and the nostalgia of an untouched land. The work is playful, magical and emotional with skillful use of complex color and unique compositions.

Glass Lakes is a discovery of an unforeseen sense of place and a questioning of perception. Though Larson is working within the grand tradition of representational landscape painting, her work is full of moments that draw out and highlight the material properties of the paint with complex surfaces.

Larson received her MFA in Painting at University of Wisconsin, Madison and has shown her work in venues including Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR), the University of Minnesota’s Nash Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), Boise State University (Boise, ID), and Overture Center for the Arts (Madison, WI). Her work has appeared in publications such as The Bear Deluxe and Tree Sap Magazine. She is a past Signal Fire (www.signalfirearts.org), Caldera (Sisters, Oregon) and New Pacific Studios (Masterton, New Zealand) resident who teaches at Willamette University.

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Biography

Larson received her MFA in Painting at University of Wisconsin, Madison and has shown her work in venues including Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR), the University of Minnesota’s Nash Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), Boise State University (Boise, ID), and Overture Center for the Arts (Madison, WI). Her work has appeared in publications such as The Bear Deluxe and Tree Sap Magazine. She is a past Signal Fire (www.signalfirearts.org/), Caldera (Sisters, Oregon) and New Pacific Studios (Masterton, New Zealand) resident who teaches at Willamette University.

 

Statement

You see no ruined tower to tell of outrage – no gorgeous temple to speak of ostentation; but freedom’s offspring – peace, security, and happiness… And in looking over the yet uncultivated scene, the mind’s eye may see far into futurity. Where the wolf roams, the plough shall glisten; on the gray crag shall rise temple and tower – mighty deeds shall be done in the now pathless wilderness

-Thomas Cole, Essay on American Scenery (1836)

As a symbol of hope and potential, Cole’s impression of the mighty American landscape rings true today. On the other hand, when Cole’s sentiments are not read as metaphor, the ideas of the land as a commodity are fuel for contemporary debate. Any way you look at it, Landscape painting has historically helped clarify each generation’s understanding of Place. In other words, the social and political atmosphere is reflected in our art and the way in which we depict our world. My work is a collection of paintings that function within this tradition. By meditating on a natural world through technological, mystical, and art-historical nods, I am reflecting a generation marked by the uncertainty and nostalgia brought on by globalization. With the recent global financial collapse and rebuilding of infrastructure, the building materials I weave into my paintings have taken on complex new meaning. The playful, magical, and emotional quality of this work ultimately helps to shed new light on what we call landscape painting.

My paintings are a discovery of an unforeseen sense of Place and a questioning of evolving perception. Though I am working within the grand tradition of representational landscape painting, there is a point where I draw out and highlight the material properties of paint through shifting its application.

I enjoy landscape painting because each piece can be full of personality and abundant with unforeseen opportunity. The subtle poetry, complicated color, and unique compositions make the process of painting exciting. My fascination with nature stems from an interest in contemporary film noir, literature on the woods, and research of natural phenomena. In my art practice, I find that chaos, awe and fear are revealed in ways I could not plan when I begin a piece.