the evolution of landscape painting
[Richland, Washington, 2013] SOME OF THE GREATEST ART takes us to new and imaginative worlds, yet the unique and powerful artistry of Maggie Remington reminds us that it is here and now, where we stand on the earth, in this world, after all. Maggie is a “southwestern landscape painter” of a new breed. A true “nomadic artist”, her home base is now Washington State. (Past years it has been New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and even Tulumn in old Mexico.) All are representative of the many places she does landscape work which is created on the landscape, with the landscape. Honest and true, this work has the local flavors of gold, green, blue, orange and brown with names like those of her Colorado paintings: “Upper Colona, Ouray, CO”; “Grand Mesa, CO”; “Tiyoweh Trails, Montrose,CO”. She uses the earth, literally, to create her art and the earth responds, dancing with her and her viewers as she creates or they view.
Remington has been compelled to produce this wonderful work traveling throughout the American West and old Mexico. Her palette is the earth’s sometimes subtle, sometimes vibrant pigments; her easel is the ground on which she walks, each canvas completed and carefully dated, given the geographical name of the place she stopped to get to know. Her methods are logical madness, ambitious and sweaty, the results of hiking and digging, mixing and hauling mud and sand, crushed rock applied by hand, twig or weed. The results are beautiful, large canvases like tanned hides, with organic, biomorphic earth patterns, earth-stained and recorded by this artist-lover of the landscape, making her tribute to the ground we all stand upon. For Maggie it is a sacred act, this art-making. For us it is a visual experience that connects us to each other and to our geological present and past, it is sensual and most of all, real.
It is interesting to note that Maggie is a distant cousin to Frederick Remington and her paternal Grandmother had Remington as her middle name and she married Harold Remington—all from upper New York—Watertown.
Maggie’s friend the writer, Silver Stanfill expresses the profundity of this art on the artists website at maggieremington.com: “Remington’s earth paintings celebrate patterns of nature: river beds or mountain ranges seen from ten miles up, a canyon’s geology, anatomy of a trout, an amoeba extending a pseudopod, DNA structure. But rather than aiming for recognition, Remington’s work provokes reflection. Instead of showing what any sojourner could see, her paintings invite viewers to experience a response to a place. Think of Rothko (spiritual majesty) meets O’Keefe (commitment to locality).”
About the author. Caole Lowry is an artist and gallery owner. Learn more about her on her Facebook Page or visit the gallery at 524 Colorado Avenue, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501 (970) 256-9630