Frank Pictures Gallery is proud to announce the gallery’s third solo show of paintings by Cayetana Conrad in the exhibition entitled Tangled Woods. These enchanted landscapes capture visions that an observant hiker might encounter wandering in the fields and woods near the artist’s Santa Barbara studio. “Magic Realism in both painting and literature influenced my paintings. I was particularly affected by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the intricate still lives of the Dutch Masters”, says Conrad. Conrad works from dozens of photographs to compose a painting, and spends months, even years, applying layers of paint and tinted glazes to achieve a heightened reality. “When I started these landscapes I had no preconceived notion of what they would look like. I had not done any landscapes since college. However, I have spent many hours walking my dogs on beach bluffs and trails near my home , in all weather and at different times of the day observing the intertwining grasses and the fallen trees. When I stopped and stood still, I noticed red vines and wild flowers laced through the yellow grasses. A ground hog or a rabbit would appear. A stink bug might be walking in the dust before me. After some rain, a family of mushrooms could appear overnight. It seemed natural to incorporate all this life into a landscape. Concurrently, it seemed natural to balance this with a few reminders of death. A snail eaten leaf, a bird fossil, a frog skeleton and dark areas underneath the grasses represent mysteries and the unknown. And this element of darkness makes the owls in the trees, the snail on the path or the light on a leaf scintillate with life.”
Besides her two previous shows at Frank Pictures, The Language of Youth and Ondines, Conrad has exhibited at Sutherland Fine Arts in New York, The Arcadia Gallery in Greenwich, Modernism in San Francisco, The National Arts Club and at HBO/Time Warner. She majored in painting as an undergraduate at Yale and continued her studies at both NYU and the San Francisco Academy of Art. A native Californian, Conrad is the daughter of renowned writer, painter, teacher and bullfighter, Barnaby Conrad.