Rachel Kessler’s new series of oil paintings entitled “Luma Peel” show objects fading in and out of discreet form, enmeshed in the atmosphere of the moment. These works evoke the way a spotlight may flood a palm with saturated color at night, attempting to flatten the tree into a sign of itself. Made using a system of layering color in peels, similar to how the eye organizes visible light, they depict a frozen isolation afforded by long hours of looking. Each piece explores forms both as they are, and as they appear to be, in order to emphasize the potential and peculiarity of their conditions. Slower consideration reveals something about the culture – which would strive for quick legibility of a living thing through devices of display – and whose brevity might not otherwise elicit a thoughtful second look. These paintings describe the enigmatic space between this reduction and the moment of revelation at its margins.
Rachel Kessler received a BFA from CalArts in 2004 and an MFA from Art Center in 2009. She has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Tempe, and Phoenix, as well as recent performances in Los Angeles and Trondheim, Norway. She was artist-in-residence at The Fountainhead Residency in Miami in 2012.