McKenzie Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Laura Watt. This will be her second solo show with the gallery. The exhibition opens Thursday, November 17, with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 p.m., and runs through Saturday, December 17, 2011.
Laura Watt's work has long been an investigation of pattern, repetition, and overlapping structures. For Watt, pattern and repetition are a means of condensing information and experience, compressing language, narrative, and emotion. In brightly colored paintings, she employs simple geometric forms --- triangle and diamond shapes, rectangles, forms within forms and dense, overlapping linear nets --- in works that explore how abstraction can express spiritual or cosmological states. In her paintings, she uses line, point and extension to explore the collapse between exterior and interior space.
In her latest paintings, Watt has shifted her gaze outward, creating works suggestive of exterior worlds, while referencing architectonic forms, expansive horizons and infinite space. Oblique, splintered and kaleidoscopic grids structure her compositions, generating imagined landscapes which speak of both exterior space and the viewer’s innate ability to internalize it. She notes: "We find so many patterns in the geographical world – and it is pattern that allows us to comprehend the landscape. We use a grid to map our physical world and we can also use it to imagine and create new spaces. So, rather than yoking the grid and pattern's ability to condense – I am looking at how it can create space and speak concretely of the infinite. My paintings express the lonely, evocative emptiness of landscapes of memory as well as the galactic space of the future, just beyond our understanding."
Also in the exhibition will be a group of small circular paintings. In opposition to the definite, rectangular frame of the other works, Watt views these paintings as containing a space more difficult to define and therefore compelling. To her, these works are something akin to a Petri dish, in which the more complex strategies of the larger works are explored on an intimate scale.