LAUNCH Gallery is proud to present Not Your Mother's Landscape, a new solo exhibition by Gina Stepaniuk. Stepaniuk paints the world as she sees it - a convoluted beautiful place. A place run raw by our existence.
"It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth", Neil Armstrong once said about our planet. Stepaniuk reminds us that things have changed: "It has become virtually impossible for me to paint or even look at an image of a landscape without regarding earth's plight". Ecological disasters and centuries of human civilization have left their mark on our planet so indelibly that if we look closely enough, we can see these fingerprints from space. Her macro-landscape paintings, from the vantage point of spy satellites or other omniscient beings, bear such marks. Layers of charred brown, oily black and metallic gray permeate her vision - are these burned wildlife preserves, wasted crops, pit mines or chemical spills? Obscuring clouds mirror clouds in our own judgment.
Stepaniuk's technique is variable: at times realist in her careful molding of the planets surfaces and textures, at times emotively rough. Thick dried globs of oil paint in un-natural shades are jarring, like towering electrical pylons in unspoiled scrublands. Planetary patterns are melded and abstracted, applied to the canvas and then covered up - a world in flux. Change is what matters here, how we have changed things, how the planet will continue to change.
Eerily, Stepaniuk's world looks as if it could be completely devoid of human life.
Gina Stepaniuk was born in Toronto, Canada. She earned an Associate of OCAD (Bachelor of Arts) from the University of Toronto and later her MFA from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in California. In 2009, she received CGU's President's Award for Excellence and the C.E. and Bertha M. Harsh Endowed Fellowship. That same year she was also nominated by CGU faculty for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in Painting. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout California, New York and Canada. Recent exhibitions have appeared at the Garboushian Gallery in Los Angeles, Summit Fine Art in Calgary, Canada and the Affordable Art Fair in New York City.
Gina currently lives and works in Los Angeles.