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Memory On Canvas--Mariel Capanna's Painting

Updated on February 7, 2017
Mariel Capanna  oil on canvas, 36.5 x 48.5 inches
Mariel Capanna oil on canvas, 36.5 x 48.5 inches | Source

Last month, I went to Gross McCleaf Gallery to watch Mariel Capanna's solo show, which incorporated her 23 paintings about a road trip.

Mariel had a road trip began in 2014 supported by a grant from The Kittredge Fund. She stretch across whole America. In the trip, she spent 1 year gathering information, experiences, memories that fully response her own Americanness. As the artist said:" At a time when art is increasingly focused on issues of personal identity, I wanted to learn about my own Americanness.”

Look at the painting Beadwork, School Bus, Teepee, Truck,Mariel created an unique atmosphere that like surrounded by fog of time. On the ground, she used extreme simple white color within variegated brushworks, that let me feel the painting as an insubstantial memory scene. She arranged the substances in a kindly symmetrical way, the composition embody a weird perspective, it shows both overlook and foreshortening. I feel her hazy memory when I see the things lack of details, most of them even only are some colorful simple shapes, different triangles and rectangles, but that still appropriately show some features of some things, such as haystack, flag, car, cow...

Mariel simplify many of motifs she gathered from the road trip, that related to her impression of american, reflected her own identity of american. She deliberately using the illustration effect let me went into her memory like fairy tale.


--Jingsi Li

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