19 Apr 2024 – 24 May 2024

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12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00

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New York
New York, United States

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Storage is excited to present Lookout, Elizabeth Flood’s debut solo exhibition in New York City. The show features a selection of oil paintings and ink drawings made in the last four years and will be on view from April 19-May 24, 2024.

Taking place outdoors in the elements, Flood’s practice is physical and watchful. She excavates strata of emotion, history, and movement embedded in the landscape in her responsive, gestural approach. As an artist, Flood feels and processes the world around her, looking to cycles of trauma and endurance in the American Landscape through depictions of the Atlantic Ocean and dunes in Provincetown, Massachusetts; The Hudson River; Civil War Battlefields in Chancellorsville, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; and the Mojave Desert. These works span four years—a national election cycle—recording changes of weather, light, and topography through physical endurance and expression of painting.

Lookout is an expression of warning, someone who keeps watch, and a place from which to see things coming. Flood’s work embodies these multiple definitions. She describes her practice as one of forecasting, communing, and vigilance. She looks to scars of impact and extraction embedded in the land to build resilience, and keep watch over a climate and country in crisis. For example, Battlefield (Chancellorsville, Summer), looks to traumas of war and loss buried in the soil, and to the persistent growth of surrounding plant life. Undulating ravines and trenches carve through the paintings’ relief-like surface. Flood looks to the land as collaborator and guide, incorporating grasses and sticks from the battlefield into the humid greens of the surrounding foliage. As a deeply divided America approaches another presidential election, weaponization of ideologies surrounding the Civil War is ever present. These paintings instead are a call to learn from what the land has witnessed, and watch out for danger on the horizon.

Her monumental multi-canvas oil paintings compile different vantage points and elevations around a particular site. Hiking out with her materials, Flood works on one canvas at a time, later joining them together in her studio. Each canvas is made at the same site, often over many months, accumulating layers of weather, seasonal shifts, and emotions. Dunes, an immersive and atmospheric six canvas oil painting, charts the landscape’s changing terrain from February through July of 2023. Sweeping gestures of violet shadows echo the speed and violence of the wind. Airborn sand abrades the surface of the paintings, carving out a site of impact. Individually, each canvas is spatially logical, but as a whole, sky and ground, near and far become one in the same. Flood looks to Diego Rivera’s massive history frescoes, Joan Mitchell’s arboreal abstractions, and Sally Mann’s haunting photographs of the American South. Her cyclical compilations of canvases foreground a turbulent, experiential, and vital landscape.

Single canvas “spiral paintings” pivot around a central locus, mapping cycles of erosion and burial, night and day, and life and death in the natural world. The topography and motion of the site dictate each vantage point’s gestural contours. As the time of day changes, the entire painting is rotated, and new horizons emerge. Nightwatch (Atlantic Ocean) weaves together phases of twilight, from dusk to dawn. Inky blacks and indigos smear with sandy grit. Wading her way through the disorienting dark, Flood grasps for beacons, searching for signals in the lights of passing boats and stars. Like the nearby lighthouses, which once kept watch for shipwrecks, these works keep vigil over a turbulent, vital, and vulnerable ocean—and the artist herself.

In her black and white ink drawings, Flood traces the movement and terrain around her. These drawings are like cross sections of her embodied paintings, each a watchful representation of the landscape as it exists today. Collectively, the works in Lookout are spaces of communing, warning, and expression.

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Exhibiting artistsToggle

Elizabeth Flood


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