In the exhibition Adjacent Realities, artists Nicole Maynard-Sahar, Betty Canick, Marion Foster and Barbara Ishikura work with painterly investigation to understand or interpret spaces and places imagined or otherwise. Although each artist delves uniquely toward the aesthetic or the psychological, all share a common fondness for paint as a medium for self-expression.
In reaction to painting landscapes, Foster writes: “I wish to transform the ‘place’ I encounter into ‘presence’. The drama of Celtic landscapes captivates me. I have sought to express the undulating movement of the land and the changing horizon: present, then veiled, completely or partially obscured by clouds or mists. Earth and sky interchange; sometimes land embraces sky and at others sky envelops land. Shapes and forms appear to torque and shift, yielding a compressed fullness, a condensed space. It is this landscape volume that I seek to create in paint.” While Foster’s work may be clearly identified as landscapes, other artists choose another approach; Maynard-Sahar writes, “My current paintings are non-literal spaces both near and far. There is the overall special experience as well as small painted moments to be slowly observed. My perceptions are made through their substance, through their materiality, through the paint. The evidence of ritual, icons of renewal made of color. The paintings function like visual poetry, objects for reflection, and experience.” And still yet, for other artists the spaces may lean toward the psychological as Canick writes, “I am an artist and psychologist with an interest in gesture, movement, image, dream and illusion. Many of my paintings are transformations of landscape images into fantasy and dreamlike worlds.” Ishikura is interested in the melding of different cultures; she writes: “Historical and topical appropriation of culture, social and cultural borrowing, and racial stereotyping are some of the themes that fuel my imagination. I am intrigued by the exploration of humanity’s intricate psychological condition as seen through the interaction of cultures.”
In choosing to select these four member artists to show together, Concord Art director Kate James speaks for the Art Committee when she says, “Informed by psychology, spirituality and culture, these four painters–Nicole Maynard-Sahar, Betty Canick, Marion Foster and Barbara Ishikura–have developed unique iconographies and styles. The work exhibits well together as each artist allows themselves to lean into abstraction to that sweet liminal spot just beyond realism.“