Art in Context VI

By Guest Blogger Rachel Swartz

As last week I discussed elements of abstract expressionism in Kathryn’s work (linked), this week I’d like to show how the colors she captures in nature are related to the frenetic, raw pace of Lyrical Abstraction. The muted pastels in both this work from the “One Day” series and Ronnie Landfield’s For William Blake are pretty without being saccharine, muted but not sad; there’s a great balance in both compositions that is more apparent in the emotions aroused in the viewer than in the visual appearance of the work. Both pieces seem to benefit from chance but also show a measured attention to detail; it is the randomness, however, that is celebrated. Landfield’s piece exaults in the dancing, hopping lines of quiet but electric color while the entire premise of Kathryn’s piece – the setting of the sun – is reliant on intangible concepts such as time. Art as abstract as Landfield’s piece has the ability to seem both completely devoid of and dripping in meaning; this multiplicity also permeates Kathryn’s work. There are so many thoughts one may have when viewing this piece, aesthetic, emotional, and theoretical, and none of them are neither right nor wrong.