Alicia Armstrong – Asheville, NC
Alicia Armstrong Chatham’s new body of work represents an adventurous departure from her previous series. Her new paintings, through a creative manipulation of materials and rare sensitivity to color and tone, are simultaneously abstract and boldly representational. What at first glance may appear to be washes of color that conclude with expressive, tactile features that end in drippings or dramatic concentrations of color, become suggestive of landscape, dramatic horizon lines, the interior of a rock formation, or even outer space. The application of materials she later removes to create hard lines also forms transparent layers, which lead viewers to wonder where these mysterious, but defined paths lead. Figures have often featured prominently in her work, but again, this series defies that pattern. Instead, viewers are left with more questions than answers, about the future, about destinations, and about what they are seeing. Organic tones of green, blue, and a warm red imbue these works, and contribute to the feeling that these scenes continue outside of each canvas’ confines.