RACHEL MAXI Divine Mind
i.e. is pleased to present Rachel Maxi's newest body of work in a solo exhibit. As a long time art observer, I am always impressed when an artist jumps the track. Especially when he or she leaves a style of work that is critically successful to venture into the unknown. That is what Maxi did after 20 years as a realist painter. For the past 5 years she has been making work that crosses borders from flat to 3 dimensional, and back again, with paintings that often look like sculpture and sculpture with beautifully painted surfaces. But they are all of one piece. Elements are broken down and put back together again. We see it in a new way. Maxi gives us a fresh and playful look at constructivism - one with texture and depth and gorgeous color.
"I am a former realist painter now doing abstract work. This gradual shift started several years ago. While my representational work reflected a very abstract compositional quality, it was within the framework of a landscape or a familiar subject. I still am inspired by many of the same things I see in the world: nature, seasonal color and light, urban landscapes, stucco and concrete painted walls, the quality of light on architecture and trees, walls with patches of painted-over graffiti, rusty old vehicles parked on the street and urban decay.
I often draw on these themes for ideas about color, composition and form to incorporate into my painting or palette later. I work intuitively: when I am in the studio, I start tapping into a work rhythm, letting the line, brush or shape go without looking at anything, just letting my hand guide that line, a sort of meditative automatic drawing. The same with sculpture and collage - pulling things together or apart - carving, and building. I am loving the puzzle of balancing the various elements in a sculpture or a painting, harmonious and dissonant, dark and light, illusions and real form. I generally don't sketch out a plan or blue print to work from, except maybe loosely for a large painting, but it always changes and evolves in the act of painting it. And the same with sculpture, I kind of let the material tell me how it wants to go, selecting pieces, holding them next to each other and feeling for the natural physical logic of things.
In general, my thoughts are often about existential stuff, people, animals, our relationship with our natural and built environments historically, culturally and spiritually.
I suppose my newer work sprung from a trauma that occurred in 2015, the subsequent recovery, and the complicated joy of pressing on through darkness. For me, it expresses a different measure of time, open and nonlinear. Moving in waves, on all fronts, slow and persistent."
Rachel Maxi, Reparative heart and Head Totem iV, wood, bees wax,metal leaf, green calcite, oil paint, flourite, 28 x 7.5 x5.5 in, 2020