I was pleased to see the Lisa Adams show, “In the Land of Entropic Beauty,” comprised of nine oil paintings ranging in size from 20″ x 24″ to 48″ x 72,” downtown, at the CB1 Gallery.
The paintings attracted me by their combination of elements–the palettes mixed bright and neutral colors, forms were abstract or representational, passages were thick and thin, some with hard edges, some with soft…
Adams keeps the diversity of elements in formal control by careful selection and placement within spacious grounds. This allows the juxtaposition of subjects center-stage for a viewer’s contemplation.
Subjects depict natural elements (there are tree trunks, branches, flowers, and clouds, water, a grassy field…) together with various human architectural structures and artifacts, and yet each of the elements seems to be removed from its own environment, the place where it has grown and thrived.
I might say that it feels like the human made things in the paintings are losing their own intended functions and slipping into the greater natural life cycle, except that the space/ground of these works doesn’t feel natural so much as the artificial space of painting, the laboratory into which a painter brings selected elements and works to make something out of them.
I respond to these paintings, to the interplay between controlled simplicity and the diversity of form and content, to the straight-ahead clarity along with the poetic ambiguity, and to the inquiry of what might take shape in that expanding region where the abandoned artificial meets the damaged natural.