Opening: Saturday, February 5 from 3pn to 5pm
Chesapeake by Susi Cora
The scale of a wave versus the detail of a small sand ripple are the subjects of Susi Cora’s solo show at the Touchstone Gallery in D.C. The sculptural work “To Hokusai” is rendered in sculpted paper. Its three large panels form the pattern of building waves yet seeks to convey the silence of overwhelming power. In comparison the ceramic work “Strandline” is small with watery surfaces rich in detail through the use of color and glaze. Cora says, “I want my work to feel meditative and personal, not of a trend but rather one of introspection for our natural world.” The Chesapeake Bay is the inspiration for this work. The push and pull of water coaxing patterns in the sand, the winter storms dragging sand dunes into new tidal ponds and pushing others into the Chesapeake.
Susi Cora is a visual artist who works in Alexandria, Virginia and has recently opened a studio, 41 West in Hancock, Maryland. She trained as an architect and is a graduate of the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She completed the Master of Fine Arts program at The George Washington University in 2016.
Mass – Balance – Space by Gale Wallar
MASS BALANCE, in glacier terminology, refers to a measure of the change in mass of a glacier; the balance between accumulation (growth) and ablation (loss) in a glacier system.
In art terminology, MASS refers to a three dimensional form that stands out from the surrounding space because of value, color or texture. BALANCE refers to the equal weight or attention of forms in a composition that contribute to visual unity. SPACE is a term that defines a pictorial illusion to depict the infinity of the natural environment, where one sees receding forms.
A few weeks into the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, Gale Wallar reviewed her photographs taken during a journey to Alaska six months earlier.
During that summer of 2019, Alaska had been beset by unusual climactic events: heat waves, high winds, and forest and tundra fires. Denali, the highest peak in North America, was shrouded with clouds and haze. On the last day of Wallar’s trip, the skies suddenly cleared over Denali and the surrounding mountains of the Alaska Range. For the first time in weeks the snow capped peaks and glaciers glistened in the sun and offered themselves up to be revered and examined. The visual immediacy and drama of Wallar’s close up shots of mountains became the impetus for a new series of paintings.
The paintings that Wallar began in 2020 focus on the upper regions of mountains, in the snow accumulation zones, where the compressed snow and ice form the glaciers that eventually feed the rivers and creeks. Across the globe, climate change and rising temperatures in the mountains imperil sources of precious water as the glaciers recede and move rapidly toward extinction. Mass balance is shrinking.
Wallar’s compositions, based on selective adherence to her source photos, are drawn by hand on the canvas. Large shapes and value areas are blocked in. Layers of custom mixed color and details create contrast and depth The use of color tonality, value changes, repetition, texture, mass, balance and the illusion of space adds to the expressive commitment.
In February 2021, Touchstone Gallery and Wallar presented a virtual show, Mass Balance: Endgame. Despite the high quality of the presentation, a virtual show cannot replicate the physical experience of viewing art, particularly the larger works. This current show is an extension of the virtual exhibit along with several new works. All can be viewed in person in MASS – BALANCE – SPACE.
Wallar has previously exhibited in group, solo and juried shows in the US and Europe. She has a studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center and her work is in private international collections.
- Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12-5
Masks are required inside the gallery.