—The colors and textures of India in Diane Pieri’s new works cause Maegan to dream of travel.–the artblog editors————————->I have never been to India, but it’s high on my list of places I’d like to visit. Diane Pieri’s show, Intimacies of India, is comprised of colorful mixed media paintings that reflect on a recent trip to to the country.
Maybe it’s spring in the air, but seeing this show ignited in me a little wanderlust.
The show feels like an impressionist’s scrapbook. Pieri’s style consists of a blend of collage, painting and printing; these traditional methods of expression lend themselves well to the subject of the work. She layers textured paper with paint and punched-out designs to create lively scenes illustrating Indian culture.
In her piece “Madhubani Sightseeing,” punched shapes drift across a brightly painted backdrop and reminded me of an elephant.
Repeated designs suggestive of Sari prints are dotted over the scene and nicely reference the traditions of quilting and tapestry. “Stairs to the River,” a work made with gouache, decorative papers, print scraps and block printing, agreeably contrasts the flowery themes of “Madhubani Sightseeing.” These paintings feel like they belong together, as though they were moments remembered from the same day.
“The Luster of Small Happenings,” the largest painting, is the centerpiece of the show.
When I saw this painting I was reminded of a trip that a friend and I took to Amsterdam while we were studying abroad. While there, everything seemed to go our way. We met friendly strangers, always caught the train on time and had some truly strange moments of chance. While breezing through the city, we decided to check out the Anne Frank museum and arrived in time to run into a group of friends waiting in line. I’ve had a few experiences like this that I attribute to the magic of travel.
This painting touched on that feeling of fortuitous encounters.
I really enjoyed Pieri’s series of five etchings titled, Intimate Whispers. These small works felt very considered and meditative. Her use of negative space in “Whisper 5” is judicious, the piece is very balanced. Pieri’s color choices for this series are slightly more muted than that of her paintings, but I think it works.
When I left the gallery, I had the distinct feeling that I should dig my backpack out of our basement storage bin and start scrounging in the couch cushions for plane fare.
Intimacies of India will be on display at the Rosenfeld Gallery until April 28th, 2013. More information can be found by visiting the gallery’s website. All images by Jack Ramsdale, courtesy of the artist.