Landscape as Process

September 21 – October 9, Tuesday – Saturday 12noon – 5pm
On view during Lowell Open Studios September 25 – 26

detail from Throng by Stephen Mishol

Reception: Thursday September 30 6pm
Panel: Wednesday October 6 7pm

“My drawings and paintings are studio fictions that examine the city’s ability to transform, divide and reconfigure landscape. Collections of information from larger environs and not documents of a specific place, my work depends on travels through locations rich in this phenomenon – large urbanized areas where infrastructure has transcended its foundation of service and becomes the system itself. Drawings, paintings, photographs and digital images are all part of the information gathering process as well as the literal measure of the location’s infrastructure. Although grounded in representation, the work in this exhibit grows out of twenty years of abstraction. Remaining deliberately ambiguous in definition they are still stubbornly at their core, statements about the act of seeing. Never being what they appear to be, the work asks questions about the ironic nature of painting and our relationship to it.

“Each image begins with a single decision that divides the surface into parts. Sometimes it is overt, other times it is subtle and implicit. A point is dragged across the surface of the paper establishing movement, tension and direction. Decisions about light – or absence of – continue this process spatially. Vantage points shift as I add or relocate information. As one decision begets another an image develops leading to an idea. It is through differences that unity is found; in order to build it, it must be broken down. As the drawings move from the abstract to the representational and from the perceptual to the invented – the ide is delivered through a long process of division.

“In the environment, I experience extreme change – from the open horizon to the congestion of the city. As the landscape is fused with construction – the residue of a long series of shifts in aesthetics, politics and necessity – it develops a muscular ability to redirect and alter progress, awareness and perception. Each road, building, bridge and parcel of land becomes part of an equation that is still in the process of defining itself – and like the work, its sum being one of accumulation and division. My work deconstructs and reassembles these expanding geographical locations, addressing how they challenge one’s sense and self.”

— Stephen Mishol

New drawings, paintings and digital prints by UMass Lowell Painting Professor Stephen Mishol, and an installation made in collaboration with the Plastics Engineering Department. Curated by Mary Ann Kearns and Setheyny Pen.

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