RE/VIEWING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE
July 20 - September 8, 2015
Opening Reception: Monday, August 3, 6 - 8 PM
“Color is the most immediate and powerful form of visual communication there is. It is able to by-pass logic and speak
directly to our emotions.” – Barbara Ernst Prey
Blue Water Fine Arts is proud to announce Re/Viewing the American Landscape, the most recent works of internationally celebrated artist Barbara Ernst Prey, July 20-August 31. This monumental exhibition explores the influences of memory, Color Field painters, and art history on the large-scale watercolor landscapes of Barbara Ernst Prey. Re/Viewing the American Landscape considers Prey’s distinct and evocative use of color as a 21st century female artist which is both essential to, and occasionally at odds with, her subjects as she explores the depth of the American landscape. Her belief that color is the most powerful way to communicate drove Prey to develop groundbreaking, intricate layering techniques, built up through dozens of thin washes on paper, often incorporating parts of her surrounds –water, soil, crushed shells - Prey’s pieces defiantly Re/View the American Landscape. While the work is predominantly American based in subject matter, the aura Prey produces throughout her work can be appreciated on a global scale. The exhibit proves Prey’s place as a significant American artist furthering the genre of American driven landscapes.
Re/Viewing the American Landscape features works that explore natural instances in which color creates a jarring balance. This is seen in her new piece Quadricentennial Nocturne, which cuts across the color wheel, layering rich developed blues directly above saturated yellows and oranges and pointing us back to these spectacular color combinations from nature. Prey’s technique is especially apparent in Fibonacci’s Workshop in which each wash has subtly changed the nature of the piece until the depth and balance are achieved, making the painting as much a reflection of the space changing over time and the artist’s memory changing over time. Her brushwork and layering of color positively thrives within this piece and truly proves why the Heckscher Museum Director Michael Schantz said, “Barbara Ernst Prey [is] one of America’s most gifted watercolorists…Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.” Re/Viewing the American Landscape at Blue Water Fine Arts brings together some of Barbara’s most powerful works both conceptually and aesthetically. Her reflections on the contemporary American landscape will be recognized on the time line of art history.
Sarah Cash, curator of the National Gallery of Art, writes, “Among the foremost artists at work in the United States today, Barbara Ernst Prey has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for nearly forty years. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places. The New York Times writes, “Prey is going where artists Rauschenberg and Warhol have gone before.”