Lost Coast Culture Machine, Fort Bragg, CA January-February 2015
Lost Coast Culture Machine is pleased to present Intrinsic Terrain, an exhibition of paintings by Brooklyn artist Jannell Turner and Wisconsin artist Jessica Mongeon, facilitated by ArtShape Mammoth.
Intrinsic Terrain presents ideas of wilderness and environment in contemporary painting from a psychological viewpoint, using color and movement to manipulate traditional landscape views into an expression of a deeper state of being.
Turner’s colorful, dreamy paintings convey the experience of the sublime in nature. Psychological and visual tensions resonate throughout her work, suspending us between fantasy and reality, enchantment and danger, representation and abstraction. Turner’s unique color combinations and abstract depictions of space create dimensions in which to travel. “As a child in the South, I spent a lot of time in the woods playing, imagining, and contemplating,” says Turner. Today she visits forests throughout the Eastern United States, such as the Adirondacks, Catskills, and the swamplands of southern Georgia. There she does plein air sketches and takes photographs. Back in her Brooklyn studio, she begins each piece with a series of thin transparent stains, and with each successive layer the image evolves into its own poetic narrative.
In Mongeon’s acrylic panel paintings, chaos and harmony coincide in compositions that reflect the relationship between the vast environmental changes and structures of Earth and the everyday experience of being outside. Mongeon writes, “Disorder and the inevitable breaking down of systems are part of the cyclical properties of nature that lead to growth. My processes allow for spontaneity and chance to play a role.” Mongeon’s work incorporates carbon transfers that are arranged to subvert the relative sizes of the objects. She writes, “For example, an image of duckweed appears to be a satellite view of Earth. Terrain is composed of fractals, so without a frame of reference it can be nearly impossible to determine scale.”
Mongeon's and Turner's color devices speak of a primal instinct, setting them apart from the traditional landscape genre. In Turner’s work, this color tension shapes the mood for her memories. For Mongeon, her erupting color combinations evoke visceral reactions. Both artists contrast deep reds with bright yellows and teals, which seem to put the wilderness in crisis, perhaps revealing a looming threat beyond the horizon.