ELISE WAGNER: DIVERGENCE May 2 - June 1, 2019
OPENING ARTIST RECEPTION
May 2, 2019 -First Thursday Art Walk
6:00 – 8:30pm
FREDERICK HOLMES AND COMPANY – GALLERY OF MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART is proud to present one of the gallery’s most highly collected artists, as well as one of the country’s leading masters of encaustic painting, Portland-based Elise Wagner.
Ms. Wagner is a nationally respected painter, printmaker, paint-maker, curator, and educator. She has taught encaustic painting and printmaking at various arts and cultural institutions throughout No. America and hosts an annual week-long workshop in Mexico attended by artists from around the US. She’s won numerous regional and national awards for her work, including being named one of a handful of international 2015/2016 recipients of the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.
The uniquely defining aesthetic in Ms. Wagner’s practice is her ongoing fascination with and education in various disciplines of science – physics, astronomy, cosmology, cartography, meteorology, etc. She interprets and expresses what she sees in this “rational” discipline – Science – through what some might see as an “irrational” discipline – Abstract Painting – making work that is both visually and emotionally rewarding as well as intellectually compelling. Like all of us these last many years, she’s grown increasingly concerned about climate change and it’s effect on the planet, our atmosphere, the ocean, and glaciers. (see link to 2017 interview below)
In this exhibition of recent work, DIVERGENCE Ms. Wagner states, “(The) exhibit’s title refers to diverging forces in the work itself, and with our changing climate and geo-political landscape. I work with encaustic, the ancient medium… that combines natural beeswax, resin and pigment. Advances in technology have allowed me to combine this centuries old medium with inspiration from drone, aerial, and satellite photography. Each piece evolves into its own detailed environment, through the alchemy of the materials. They are geologic as much as they are celestial, abstract and astronomical. My work expresses such dualities with the aim to bring forth the beauty, chaos and wonder inherent in our rapidly changing world.”