Marcia Clark: Travels: Paintings and Oil Sketches

TRAVELS: Paintings and Oil Sketches, October 4-29, 2011

Paintings by Marcia Clark in her exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery are a result of journeys to Greenland and Iceland over the past three years, and local travels between her home upstate and her studio in Manhattan. Pathways, roads, ice or waterways are repeated features of these paintings in which movement is an undercurrent. The larger works are amalgams of experience, often incorporating multiple panels and a mixture of media.

Clark has been visiting the Arctic over a period of two decades. Her paintings are not political, but hint at anxiety about climate change. This topic is also addressed in her catalogue essay from a previous exhibition “In Search of Ice”.

A twenty-two foot long folding screen, by far the largest painting in the exhibition, was inspired by hikes to the edge of an icefiord in Greenland. The panels are painted on Mylar, and are a synthesis of observation and memory. “Tundra and Ice,” oil on canvas, incorporates collaged silk screen elements from Clark’s photos taken on the tundra. The piece is large and dreamlike with a palette of terra cotta and celadon contrasting with icy blues.

An intersection on a country road in upstate New York, painted on five panels over an area map, shares a wall with two other intersection paintings done in Iceland: one near the Old Harbor in Reykjavik and the other, in the midst of the main shopping district in the city center, all painted during a residency sponsored by the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists. Small studies of ice formations and harbor views were done on another residency at the invitation of the Kunst Museum in Ilulissat, Greenland.

Clark has exhibited at venues that include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Museum of the City of New York, Albany Institute of History and Art, and the Babcock Galleries. She has been a recipient of the Childe Hassam Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Artist in Residence grant and has written for Smithsonian Magazine, retracing travels of Thomas Cole, first of the Hudson River School painters. Clark was curator for a traveling exhibition of contemporary panoramas sponsored by the Hudson River Museum and is currently artist/director of Blue Mountain Gallery. She has a BFA degree in painting from Yale University and a MFA degree from SUNY New Paltz.

Silk Screen Collaboration for “Tundra and Ice”/Ann Kalmbach, Womens Studio Workshop