Erik Benson • Jon Elliott • Frank Webster
September 16 – October 16, 2016
Opening Reception: September 16, 6–9pm
With water covering 71% of our planet’s surface, the accelerated processes caused by global warming resulting in rising sea levels, thawing permafrost, diminishing ice shelves, changes in migratory patterns, increasingly devastating forest fires due to loss of precipitation, all pose an existential threat to our future being. Failing utopian architectural ideas combined with post industrial structural changes in global regulations on trade, commerce and migration caused previously functioning cities to fall into disrepair and decay, creating a dychotomic relationship between inner city and suburban interests.
Erik Benson's poured and collaged acrylic constructions create a certain mimetic relationship between the visual information depicted and the processes in which they are made. The still life compositions within his landscape paintings are depictions of mundane found objects collaged together to create a kind of totem to the Everyday. these makeshift totems serve as the actors portraying the subplots within the larger landscapes. The impermanence of these structures echo the idea of the architecture and theories of edge cities poetics and politics as they too are temporally and shifting. Throughout human history, from its earliest religions, there have been incongruences between daily life experience and what we know of as the truth of reality.
In Jon Elliott’s work the combined sense of reality is partially reduced to flows and patterns of individual units of experience in a fluid dynamic system. Water based media plays an important role in this process as they allow for complex fluid dynamic conditions that inform the patterning that is the dominant motif in much of his work.
Frank Webster’s strong concern for contemporary environmental issues permeate his recent work on Iceland. After spending time at the Nes Artist Residency, Webster commenced a series of watercolors about the strange and ethereal landscape of northern Iceland. Although at first glance these paintings harken back to the tradition of the sublime and of grand tour travel paintings, on further examination they belie an urgency and wistfulness for things passing that is indicative of the period of rapid climatic change that we are experiencing.