LOUISA MCELWAIN | along the high road
Louisa McElwain’s first solo exhibition, “Along the High Road” at EVOKE Contemporary opens in October with a series of special events. The opening reception for the exhibition is Friday, October 2nd, 5pm – 8pm and the show runs through October 31st. Preceding the exhibition will be studio tours at the artist’s New Mexico ranch in the month of September. There will also be a private collector preview party by invitation only – inquire at the gallery to learn more about these special events.
Louisa McElwain works to create a balance between her experience with the environment and the physical reality of paint on canvas. She believes, “the marks, strokes and gestures of paint express forces of nature, both internal and external.” Jackson Pollack once famously said, “I am nature.” That resonates with Louisa who believes that this idea of working from the inside out while honoring the rhythms of nature, is the most important contribution offered by 20th century American painters in the Abstract Expressionist Movement. “My painterly heritage is the New York School,” says Louisa. “I am an abstract painter that paints outside.” “I often feel energy, like electricity, surging upward from the ground, through my knees, through my arms and right on to the canvas.”
Looking at this new body of work, the importance of color is clear. Bold strokes of thick paint cut across the canvas forming a collage of colorful shapes that meld together into an abstracted landscape. Louisa isn’t interested in realism. “I like painting with sticks (palette knives) because it disengages my ego – that part of me that wants to be about describing things. I do like to draw and I do like to be right, but when I’m making a painting I want it to be as much about the paint as the motif. The palette knife doesn’t allow me to articulate things in a drawing way, but it does have an additional dimension of expressing the sensuous quality of paint. It expresses more of the physicality of the material than I’m likely to achieve with a brush.”