openign reception: 5-7pm Saturday, April 15, 2023
exhibition open now through May 27, 2023
The Green Gallery East
1500 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Green Gallery is pleased to announce Mari Eastman at Green Gallery. This will be the artist's second exhibition at the gallery.
Eastman will be presenting a series of new drawings and paintings. These works nod to fashion, popular culture and the personal. Eastman draws our attention to the allure found therein; the seductive surface of garments, the drifting gaze of a model, the cuteness of an animal, and escapist moments found in nature. These images are also intertwined with that of the artist’s life, where Eastman depicts her family and friends. This constellation of works seems to approximate the visual experience of the present, be it slowed for a moment by the choice in media.
The works on view impart casualness, offset by a deftness of touch. The immediate, stylized rendering of Eastman’s graphite drawings evoke fashion illustrations of the past. The sensual nature of her painted stroke reminds the viewer of the Nabi school as well as mid-century artists like Fairfield Porter. Regardless of approach, the work is tied to the photographic. Through this, Eastman utilizes drawing and painting as a way to talk about mediated imagery.
Image appears by way of appropriation, where Eastman’s translation can be both clear and foggy. The viewer butts up against visual material that is immediately recognizable, and in other instances, address renderings that feel like a hazy memory. We are left to meander within the interior of each artwork as well as build associations between different pieces exhibited. Although this process happens slowly, it seems to echo the experience of scrolling on screen or paging through a magazine. We are directed, redirected, asked to pause, pushed forward, and pulled back, in a visual conflation of the past and the current.
Various strategies of deflection take place within these recent works from Eastman. One being the series of painted mice that can be found within this show and other recent exhibitions. This band of characters seem to literally paint over sections of old works, allowing Eastman to recycle her paintings. Leaning into Beatrix Potter, the mischievous creatures also seem to impart their own additions to the painting. Other deflections seem to occur via the use of alternative materials and/or placement contradicting imagery worked into given paintings. These seemingly arbitrary decisions offer contrast to the visual information below, clearing the way for a more self-aware act of looking.
Eastman’s exhibition invites the viewer to create a story upon viewing. As a collective memory is built via the imagery we take in, Eastman draws out a poetic understanding of the contemporary and historical for which we are always intertwined.
We hope you are able to join us for the opening reception with the artist Saturday, April 15th from 5 - 7pm.