Gregory Lind Gallery is proud to present “Significant Landscapes” by New York-based artist Karla Wozniak. Wozniak makes oil paintings and works on paper that play with tactility, abstraction, spatial illusion, and typography. Her work chronicles her road trips throughout the United States and features landscapes typically glimpsed in transition. One may pass by them, barely registering their existence beyond the barrage of advertising that floods one’s vision. But, as the title of the exhibition (which nods to an early Wallace Stevens poem) suggests, these are places worth paying attention to.
This group of paintings meditates on and reinterprets these everyday American landscapes, rendering them unique through a tactile and expressive painting language. The works are composites: each painting represents different views of a certain geographic area. Shadows and light cut across the compositions, knitting together these fractured spaces. Recognizable elements such as signage, architecture, and foliage coexist with an abstraction that teeters on the edge of—but ultimately eludes—recognition. The language and symbols of commercial signage ground us in quintessentially American locations while also revealing the global nature of the times we live in.
Wozniak’s paintings are documentary in one sense, but in another they’re fiction. Taking visual information from landscape as a jumping-off point, they become personal and almost hallucinatory reinventions of a certain highway strip, rest stop, or Main Street, rendering these mundane, drive-by places specific and memorable through painting.
Karla Wozniak, a native of Berkeley, CA, received her MFA from the Yale School of Art. Her recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus OH. Recent group exhibitions include Bronx Calling, Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx NY; Weasel, Inman Gallery, Houston TX; Rhyme, Not Reason, curated by John Yau, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Brooklyn Redrawn, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY. Wozniak’s distinctions include a Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program Grant (2009-10), two MacDowell Colony Fellowships (2005, 2007), and an Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship (2005). Her work has been noted in a number of publications, including the Houston Chronicle, the Village Voice, Art Fag City and Harper’s. Wozniak has taught at Pratt Institute, RISD and Yale. Starting in the fall 2011, she will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This is her second solo show at the Gregory Lind Gallery.