Hot Color, Cool Observations


Ilana Manolson's recent show at Jason McCoy surprised me. At first glance I was prepared to dislike it, the super heated color and oily feel of the paint put me off. But the more I looked the more I was drawn in.

Realist elements combined with fields of color abstraction give a riotous picture of the chaos of nature. She seemed a keen observer of plant life and of the moment where things are in flux. As it turned out, she worked as a naturalist doing a long term condition assessment of 12-inch squares of grazing land.

She has interesting painting techniques as well. Layering paint then using spatulas and scrapers to pull up paint revealing highlights that feel internally illuminated. Try to see the show, these images do not convey what the paint reveals.