From the very beginning of our lives we learn how to negotiate the spaces we live in, constructing ideas around the negotiations we make. We learn through trial, error and placement the rules of our culture, maximizing our potential within a landscape. We prioritize and negotiate our prefabricated versions of new experience with the spaces of old in our memory. Painting becomes a way of learning about the histories embedded in the ground, buildings, landscapes, and thus people.
This exhibition features ten women painters and their work pivoting our understanding of the American landscape. Each painter embodies the tradition of negotiating space and translating lived experience into abstract painted form. The title “The Shaping of America: A Painter’s Perspective” is taken from a book written by D.W. Meinig, an American Geographer. Meinig suggests the idea of “landscape” only taking on meaning in relationship and context to what is in the head of the viewer. The paintings in this exhibition suggests that the idea of landscape expands exponentially when the meaning and context of the artist are also considered. The nine women artists and their work illustrate that landscapes cannot be interpreted without considering the connections artists have to memory, experience, and ownership. By doing so, the viewer has the opportunity to see and experience the full picture.