April 30 - June 7, 2015
Opening Reception: April 30 | 6-9PM | Artist in Attendance
Julie M. Gallery is pleased to welcome guest artist Nava Waxman for her second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Traces is a continuation of the artist’s need to explore the endless forms of natural worlds in order to create abstractions, personified by imaginary landscapes. The works in this exhibition mark Waxman’s return to encaustic, after the detour that led her to explore drawing, oil painting and photography for the last two years. Periodically, Waxman would feel the urge for a more instant form of creative gratification. Knowing that this was, at times, a feeling that was holding her back, she traded the pigments and bee wax, the cooking pots and the carving tools for ink and paper, and later for brushes and canvases. Yet, she knew that it was a temporary deviation.
Her enigmatic relationship with the development of the encaustic medium has left its traces on the artist’s world of creativity. Interpretation of this visual language is present throughout this new body of work, though not limited to language. As the illusive shapes appear through contemplation and study, interpretations begin to emerge in the various forms of what one wishes to see.
Waxman allows herself to be led by the ductile nature of this medium. She recognizes her lack of control over her chosen material, yet maintains complete faith in its ability to outline a desired path. She embraces the randomness of the hot melted medium, and as a result, the layers between the lines and traces become more than a mere coincidence. There is a world of imagination that exists beneath the visceral surface of this wax and the delicate lines. Waxman appreciates drawing as a non-verbal form of recording the fragments of thoughts and ideas. The immediacy of drawing allows her to capture and record these raw lines and forms, which inevitably permeate through her exploration of other mediums such as painting and photography. While continuing to survey notions around body movement and representations, it becomes evident that Waxman’s work has developed into a more abstract style. It is perhaps the realization that her passion for lines could be integrated into the encaustic process what makes this body of work so unique within the artist’s overall practice.
The process of creating these new paintings is largely a subtractive one, more sculptural than painterly. In contrast to the traditional additive painting process in which one places pigment on a blank surface, Waxman puts down a coloured ground, arguably a painting on its own right, and then covers it over with many layers of (sometimes) pigmented wax. This semi-translucent over-layer is then strategically worked, removed, incised in an archeological re-exploration. Waxman 'knows' what is under the wax, but only in general terms. At first she does not have an exact idea of what she wishes to reveal to us. It is an intuitive process, and only gradually, different shapes and forms begin to emerge. Her use of sgraffito is comparable to etching or printmaking. This process allows Waxman to continue to use drawing in her works where the delicacy of the lines coincide with the visceral quality of the encaustic surface. Her works become the sum of ongoing events and impressions, but overall, the sum of her distractions.
Waxman’s work is characterized by a desire to be deliberate and intentional, without being overly controlling. She manages to bring the force and complexity of her own personality, bearing authentic expression that leaves room to chance and interpretation.