The Nature of Things: Magical Takes on the Physical World

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Recently closed at the Mike Kelley Gallery at Beyond Baroque in Venice, The Nature of Things explores the alchemy of nature in three separate solo shows connected with an aura of the magical.

Artists Lillian Abel, Tracey Weiss, and Karrie Ross each presented their own unique takes on life and nature.  

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Abel’s “Energy” is comprised of vivid, layered oil paintings that depict wild landscapes with the juxtaposition of limited color palettes in each piece.

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Abstract yet beautifully composed – as if a sunset, a mountain, or a seascape were viewed through a veiled lens, the artist notes that “The overall look is landscape, the desired outcome is the deeper sense of the energy of nature…” Enigmatic and rich, these paintings shift and shimmer as viewers take them in.

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Weiss offers “Metamorphosis,” beautiful, 3-dimensional wall and free standing sculptures utilizing mixed media of 35-mm slides, slide carousels and slide film.

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Weiss creates dazzling and delicate butterflies, patterns that leap from the walls, shapes that seem to dance from their surfaces. Slides themselves may be an outdated medium, but as crafted into dazzling, delightful sculptural forms by Weiss, they are undergoing their own metamorphosis.

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These ‘found objects’ have found a new, fanciful, exuberant lease on life.

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Ross looks at the passionate pull of art itself and art in nature with her “Balance & Flow.”

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Here she looks at a variety of ways to perceive the world, from a 3D installation depicting the Five Elements to delicate, intricate, abstracts that employ a variety of textures and flowing patterns, liquid and in motion, images captured and ephemeral, some with highlights of gold that add to the mystery and dimension of the works.

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Viewing each artist’s work on a different floor of the gallery space created an inherent sense of rhythm, moving from Abel’s evocative, thoroughly modern and thickly layered abstract landscapes to Weiss’ graceful and perceptive found-art sculptures, to Ross’  sculptural and painting works both mysterious and whimsical.

  • Genie Davis; photos: Genie Davis

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