Crushing on the Quarry
Mimi Oritsky is fascinated with quarries and the process of excavation. The color changes produced by digging up dry rock and placing it elsewhere to be exposed to the elements inspire Oritsky to explore the structure of these changes. When turned away from the site for trespassing, the artist found an airplane instructor to fly her over each quarry to capture the process from above. This resulting aerial vision is evident in her current exhibition that translates the quarry into graphite, gouache and oil. Crushing on the Quarry portrays three sites named after Native American tribes: Nockamixon, Stenton and Gill located in what are now known as Montgomery and Bucks Counties of Pennsylvania.
Oritsky’s working process involves the quality of airspace travel and how it can be translated into paint. While drawing the elements from above, Oritsky is aware of how we lose eye-level perspective and anticipated angles. These losses force her to explore space, scale, and time. The elements also have a sense of urgency, a desire to catch up within the vast stillness of airspace.
In this selected group of monochromatic work on paper and canvas, the artist moves away from intense color to expose nature’s elements with more definition and intricate detail. Oritsky’s choice of color schemes produces elegant images that focus more on the value of color than on its chroma while creating light through its alternative process. Her marks remain her signature as she “creates a space organized by light and a surface marked by the rhythm of the moving air.”