Karen McClanahan

Gallery Affiliations: Plus Gallery

Region: West

While my paintings still utilize a colorful schematic of geometric fields with curvilinear forms, these basic elements have begun to push beyond their flatness into multiple spatial perspectives.

The curvilinear form, formerly the protagonist within each painting, is now compressed within a defined geometric field. It has evolved from an anthropomorphic shape into a form that remains unidentifiable yet plays a role in the spatial push and pull within each painting.

My colors are still precise and have become even more specific in my recent paintings. I manipulate colors to work with or against their inherent spatial characteristics by trying to make an opaque color appear transparent or a bright color appear quiet. Utilizing harmonious or discordant combinations, and contrasting receding sections of color with hues that occupy themselves at close range, I aim to create shifts within the figure/ground relationship where spaces appear wide open yet feel compressed, bringing to mind fleeting associations with landscape or architecture.

The flat presentations of shape and color contained in the earlier work have given way to painted space where colors vibrate or hum while figure and ground continuously shift. By merging multiple spatial perspectives within each composition, my desire is to utilize a minimum of precise elements in order to challenge how the paintings can be perceived.