For Immediate Release
Isabel Bigelow: Two Roads
February 24 –April 2, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 24, 5 – 7 PM
Sears-Peyton Gallery is pleased to announce Isabel Bigelow’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Two Roads continues the artist’s exploration and interpretation of landscape through paintings that reflect the enchantment of both the surprise and the familiar in nature.
Finding fertile ground in the space between abstraction and representation, Bigelow closes in on familiar elements. Trees, fences, islands and forests disappear or come sharply into view as they vie for attention with the surrounding atmosphere. Reluctant to choose a single approach to her subject, the artist visits each “place” with a particular poetic vision. Two Roads depicts monolithic chunks of land populated by towering umber pines. Two roads, perhaps waterways, carve out a central island in the center. As in her paintings of rocks/islands the ambiguities of place and scale echo the function of the Zen rock garden. There, as in the painting, the viewer’s experience is in the perception, not in the narration. Likewise, within the saturated colors of Red Tree, authority resides neither with the “tree” nor with the space around the tree.
The material evolution of the works is essential to their realization. The surface of the panel is slowly built up to provide a textural support for thin veils of color applied in layers. Each layer is restrained yet sumptuous, softly mingling with the layer underneath lending a diaphanous effect to the atmosphere of the painting.
A graduate of Harvard University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Bigelow has exhibited throughout the United States. Her work is in the collections of The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Yale University Art Gallery, The New York Public Library, the University of Virginia and the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ. She has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Yaddo and Millay.