New Paintings/New Mexico
Diane Drescher has been painting New York City’s urban landscapes since 2010. Then this past year she turned her attention to the unique nature and culture of the American Southwest. Her new paintings, a result of two recent trips to New Mexico, will be featured in her third solo show at Bowery Gallery, Oct. 2- Oct. 27, 2018.
There is a long history of artists going to New Mexico to experience the large forms and vast space. It is exhilarating and liberating and yet frustratingly difficult to paint. Many artists who paint the desert develop a somewhat idiosyncratic painting language due to the extremes of the geography and ever-changing quality of light. Here one discovers the organic nature of old adobe buildings: they literally rise out of the dirt they are standing on. For a painter there is a union of structure and setting like no other: forms and planes seem to merge so that the real drama of the painting often inevitably shifts to the sky and clouds.
Georgia O’Keefe’s New Mexico paintings have become iconic images, but when one stands in the places where she painted one can appreciate what she was doing. Her way of working was to return over and over again to the same motif until it was “hers”. She painted Pedernal over 30 times. “It’s my private mountain,” she once said. ‘It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.’”
Drescher painted at Ghost Ranch and Rancho de Taos church, but finally found her own motif in Pecos National Historic Park. It is a high plateau surrounded by mountains with the remains of a Spanish Mission church from the 1600’s and Pecos Pueblo. (The only remnants of the Pueblo are the foundation and walls).
In a compilation of essays called, “The Spell of New Mexico” (edited by Tony Hillerman), Lawrence Clark Powell offers this advice to writers exploring the southwest: “Seek essences, enduring things, touchstones and symbols; try to recreate in prose what makes this country so increasingly meaningful and necessary to one. Altitude, distance, color, configuration, history, and culture- in them dwell the essential things, but they must be extracted”.…. “Crack the rock if you so list, bring to light the amethyst”.
To come upon a place like Pecos Ruins in New Mexico is to come upon ESSENCE. Many Drescher paintings in the current Bowery show were painted at this site.
Born in Wisconsin, Diane Drescher is a New York City-based artist and has had two solo shows at Bowery gallery. She has been in many group shows: “City as Subject” curated by Xico Greewald at Westbeth, NY; Columbia University; The Long Island Museum, Stonybrook; the Edward Hopper House, Nyack; the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Complex, Garnerville, NY and Boricua College, NY to name a few. She studied at the Art Students League, the National Academy of Fine Art, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and she earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. To view samples of her work, visit www.dianedrescher.com
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