OCT 2013 – FEB 2014
CURATOR Michelle Nye, Art at Colorflow
LOCATION Colorflow, Berkeley, California
SHOW LIST Exhibition image details
For the Winter 2014 show of the Art at Colorflow two artists shared the space. Though Alison Woods and Matthew Scheatzle use different mediums, their work shares an exploration of patterns that contrast the natural and man-made environments.
In the painting of Alison Woods we see a chaotic and energized realm where lines, grids, netting, charts, diagrams and day-glow veins intersect over fields, islands, rivers and map-like shapes of solid and atmospheric colors, sometimes revealing defined landscape elements, like a row of sky-scrappers or a burst of leaves. The cacophony of patterns clarifies into meditations upon and depictions of our silicon-heavy landscape when considering titles such as Utopia Machine and Nano. Woods artwork “transforms the digital into the tangible materiality of paint,” and perhaps conveys an aesthetic understanding that though computers are constructed with artificial materials, their ever-increasing complexity and ubiquitous presence interweaves with the natural world in such a way where the differences between the two become less clear the further evolved and enmeshed those technologies become.
In Matthew Scheatzle’s work brightly pigmented plastic resins snake like mortar between cell-like blocks of wood, suggesting a compelling interrelationship between the natural and artificial. Where Woods creates somewhat fragmented explosive atmospheres, hinting at the potential disruption caused by technological progress, Scheatzle constructs rhythmically layered landscapes, which are assuring in their accumulations and accretions. Within the cohesion of the landscape format randomly placed wood segments that stack, cross, weave, and wiggle will coalesce momentarily into predictable grids, as in the scales of Sea Change, the chevrons of Moab, the triangles of Scarecrow, or the squares of Sunk. His use of pattern imparts an elemental landscape, one that offers a myth-creation space where the building blocks of the world are experienced large scale – tangible, clarified, touchable. Indeed with his dimensional work of contrasting materials it is nearly impossible not to run fingers over the smooth transitions between stained wood and bright resins – a tactile invitation to consider what one offers the other and the differences between the two.
When viewing these artists work side-by-side questions arise: What are the basic differences between the artificial and the natural? When the artificial becomes hyper-complex or uses the biological, as in 3-D organ printing, does it approach and/or become the natural? Is it possible to create an elemental, simple and direct relationship to our landscape, one that is strong, tangible and grounded given the realities of complex modern technologies interwoven into our daily lives?
It was a pleasure to bring the work of these two artists together and to contemplate these questions for the Winter 2014 show of The Art at Colorflow.
ALISON WOODS https://www.alisonwoods.com/
Alison Wood’s images discuss the relationship between the human mind in all of its complexities and technology and its ramifications on culture. Her process is informed by the intersection between the work of Wassily Kandinsky and the hidden world of our intuitive senses, C.G. Jung and his research regarding the collective unconscious, and the use of modern technology. She has exhibited Internationally — in Rome, Greece, Berlin, Stockholm, Luxembourg, Australia, Budapest, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Iceland — and closer to home at The Torrance Art Museum (2021), The Korean Cultural Center (2018), Stanford University Art Spaces (2013), and featured on Art Critic Charles Desmarais’ Blog (2011).
In 2020 Woods co-curated the “Happy House” as a part of the “Spring Break Art Show” at the Row in Los Angeles. She also co-curated “We are here, here we are,” an exhibition of one hundred artists in outdoor spaces throughout Los Angeles featured in the LA Times by Christopher Knight.
From 2017-2020 she curated international arts exhibitions in Berlin, Luxembourg, and Greece, and at Durden and Ray Project Space, Los Angeles. She went on to represent Durden and Ray at the “Supermarket Art Fair” in Stockholm, Sweden, to introduce international arts opportunities to artists attending the fair. In 2014 she founded the Bridge Residency, an invitational for artists to explore the Los Angeles art scene. In 2013 Woods was an Artslant Showcase Winner and the Art Trends Artist of the Year, published by Pardee, Canada.
MATTHEW SCHEATZLE https://www.matthewscheatzle.com/ I am particularly attracted to processes that straddle the line between representation and object. The veins of my 3D and 2D projects chronicle adventures mental and physical, one by way of form and the other by image. Color and pattern act as convoys for ideas understood, a serene ocean, a decaying mosque, and material abstractions experienced, entropy, illumination. – Matthew Scheatzle Reclaimed wood from building projects and backyard fallen trees are the source materials for Matthew Scheatzle’s current work, a sculptor’s foray into painting. The work is as graceful as it is strong. His hand is meticulous, hours of cutting and arranging shapes with obsessive attention paid to minutiae of details such as the visual use of wood grain. Hours of transforming one’s physical experience in nature into “straddling the line between representation and object.” Another component not to be overlooked in the series is the use of resin. The resin is specific, made from nuts its practical application in the everyday world is the production of bowling balls. Mixing the resin with pigments creates pools and veins of color. The work expresses a sense of time similar to how Bristlecone pine trees express time, time passing slowly at a great length.