Observing things from above helps me make sense of relationships I might otherwise miss. To visualize a ‘layout’ like a map allows me to play with information extracted to one layer and abstracted in ways to multiply other effects and meanings beyond those directly observed. The experiments with layering are not as literal as collage, but the same process ideas apply to the decisions as the paintings evolve, where intentional definitions meet accidental juxtapositions and develop their own stimulus for a response.
The work in the Sheldon | Imrich exhibit includes a variety of investigations, including sequential observations from a single hike up New Hampshire’s Mt. Lafayette in the fall. Six paintings from the hike called ‘CRACKS’ are based on zoomed-in observations and sketches taken at various geologic strains and erosion areas, as well as new plant regeneration zones between rocks. The ‘CRACK’ paintings imply close range but could easily be interpreted as aerial views.
Also included in the exhibit are pieces characterizing greater distances that are specific to a particular airscape/landscape, where human intervention meets natural phenomena. The sense of location shows in the respective titles such as ‘JOPPA 1’ recalling the Joppa Flats wetlands near Plumb Island/Ipswich, MA, and ‘CLOUD 1 DEN’ recalling Denver area weather. The place ideas reflect time, weather and lighting circumstances that may be consonant to those places. Finally, ‘THERMAL 5’ experiments with the fracturing of the atmosphere related to flying and attempts to give a sense of a turning ascent in a glider above the same hikes in New Hampshire, previously walked, but from the detachment of being at altitude.
Steve Imrich holds a Master of Architecture from MIT and a BA from Goddard College with a concentration in Studio Arts and History. He studied painting, drawing and sculpture at Goddard before focusing on architecture and design studies, and eventually transitioning to painting full time. Steve also has a background as a commercial pilot and many of his paintings recollect memories of landform, atmosphere, and visual elements from aerial vantage. His current work experiments with interactions between designed and natural patterns and how that interaction may characterize a place. Steve lives and paints in Cambridge/Somerville, Massachusetts.