Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rift Valley: Mary Ann Strandell, Exhibiting in the Main Gallery

Transit Tower with Bonita and Goff
3D Lenticular, 42” x 32”, 2019

Rift Valley: Mary Ann Strandell

Exhibiting in the Main Gallery 
October 14- December 7, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, October 18th, 5-8pm
First Friday's: November 1 & December 6
Artist Talk & Brunch: November 9, 11-1:30pm

April Price Project Gallery is pleased to present Mary Ann Strandell: Rift Valley, the third solo exhibition of her work at the gallery. The installation includes new paintings and 3d lenticular works.

Strandell’s “Rift Valley” is inspired by the artists experience of The Rio Grande Rift that denotes the epic time and place of the earth’s shifting plates. Albuquerque is situated in part of the southern basin of the rift. While volcanic eruptions and deposits are part of the rift topography, it was not until 1987 that Strandell trekked into and painted on the volcanic gorge. While standing on volcanic rock, “I realized that I had tapped into a profound energy of place, an alive and ecstatic place,” said Strandell. She has a similar sense near huge urban construction sites, and, strangely, also when she encountered the Apple Store staircase in Chelsea, New York City. Images of these places are part of “Rift Valley” installation. 

Strandell’s exhibition engages intervals of place that intersect physical and virtual space through her multiple visits there. In October she will create an installation that combines her three-fold studio practice as a container of an expanded field from volcanic rock to the glass spiral stair. The Installation will combine her outdoor-studio oils, architecture paintings, and 3D lenticular prints.

The outdoor studio works are painted on site of the upper Rio Grande Gorge. Her architecture paintings depict structures like Bart Prince’s houses that she experienced as a student in Albuquerque and also the Apple Store staircase, located close to her Manhattan studio. In her multidimensional lenticular prints the thematic locations are used as the backdrop, and layered with symbols of cultural, and virtual references. 

These different practices are adapted and exchanged one to the next, in a playful inventive manner. Her brightly colored outdoor studio paintings meld oil paint and pigment bar, wet into wet. She follows up with a dry brush technique that creates a surface hovering between static and motion. Her architecture paintings use the same technique but are sourced from her own photographs and internet finds. The lenticular optics reveal hand drawn butterflies, Hokusai prints, fruit trees, piñon trees, a photographic insert of Pueblo Bonito, among other things. They are activated by the physical movement of the viewer, connoting the sense of moving through the landscape, a rift of terrain.
Red River Gorge with Taos Mountains, oil painting, 30" x 40”, 2018

Mary Ann Strandell (b. Watertown, SD) studied Psychology at Syracuse University (NY), received her BFA cum laude, at the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD). She was awarded an Internship as a conservator of ethnology at the W. H. Over Museum, (Vermillion, SD) and a Fellowship from Tamarind Institute (Albuquerque, NM). Received her MA and MFA are from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM).

She has held solo exhibitions at Panorama Art (Cologne, DE); The Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA); The North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Forks, ND); Michael Steinberg Fine Arts (New York, NY); Deborah Colton Fine Arts (Houston, TX); Byron C. Cohen Gallery (Kansas City, MO); and Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (Kansas CIty, MO). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including at De Weiger Museum (Deurne, Netherlands); FIAC (Paris, France); The Chelsea Art Museum, (New York, NY); Saint  Louis Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, MO); Transfer Gallery, Minnesota Street Projects (San Francisco, CA) among others. Writing on her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Art Critical, Art Papers, Art Slant, The Kansas City Star, The Albuquerque Tribune, among other publications. Strandell lives and works in the NYC area; she returns annually to New Mexico to work.  Instagram @maryannstrandell

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