“Plastic Garden”, an exhibition of six painters depicting landscape and flora through a synthetic lens: Madeleine Bialke, Jennifer Coates, Sharona Eliassaf, Adrienne Elise Tarver, Emma Webster, and Brian Willmont. The works seek a spiritual connection to nature not thorough awe-inspiring vistas, but with toxic colors, moody surrealism, and industrial surfaces.
Madeleine Bialke subverts American landscape tropes with a radioactive, hyper-saturated palette. Details are simplified and natural scenes feel rubbery, while flattened spaces evoke a stage set that is unsettlingly absent of animals or other “actors”.
Jennifer Coates finds spiritual solace in the abstracted architecture of tree branches. By “kissing” the canvas with the mouth of paint tubes, Coates creates confetti gumball dots that also evoke an ephemeral dance in the forest.
Sharona Eliassaf combines her surreal landscapes with Art Deco architecture. The fluorescent lighting is reminiscent of a stage set, or the idealized backgrounds on game shows.
Adrienne Elise Tarver’s latex caulk leaves transform part of the gallery into a synthetic jungle. The utilitarian materials contrast with finely rendered, decorative details.
Joani Tremblay’s landscapes feature domestic houseplants in outdoor utopian backdrops. By creating digital collage sketches before starting her painting process, Tremblay creates moody places that are subdivided by unsettlingly sharp borders.
Emma Webster’s paintings expand and contract between grand vistas and intimate spaces that are reminiscent of the small models she builds and references in her studio. Bucolic scenes are subverted with paper doll trees, toy animals, and surfaces that are too slick and shiny to be natural.
Brian Willmont’s sleek airbrushed works delve into a virtual reality where identical butterflies glitch across the canvas. Glowing hallucinations float in a colorful nowhere space reminiscent of graphic billboard ads.