The Nature of LA

Samantha Fields, Portia Hein, Stas Orlovski, Andre Yi
April 13 – June 28, 2008

Traywick Contemporary is pleased to present The Nature of LA, an exhibition featuring four Los Angeles-based painters whose work is brimming with social and environmental awareness. As a group, the work reflects an enchantment with the life of the natural world while addressing the paradoxical experience of the contemporary American landscape.

Samantha Fields paints “environmental dramas of Shakespearean proportions,” as described by Joe Lewis in a recent Art In America review. Fields chases storms and disasters (such as the recent LA fires), taking photographs that later become the source imagery for her “unrestrained atmospheric landscapes.” Her awe-inspiring paintings raise awareness of a responsibility to our shared landscape.

Bay area native Portia Hein is also interested in human interaction with the natural world. Her heavily painted surfaces are built up from layers of scraped and palette-knifed paint. By abstracting and flattening out the landscape she focuses our attention on singular elements of nature (tree trunks, sun rays) embuing them with a life-force and power that reaches beyond the canvas.

Moldovian-born Stas Orlovski shows intricately drawn, painted and collaged scenes reflecting his diverse inspirations, which range from Russian children’s books to Victorian engravings, and from Japanese prints to Dutch botanical illustrations. He re-imagines these historical sources to create secluded landscapes where human, animal and botanical life intersect in unexpected ways.

Texas native Andre Yi explores the precarious relationship between architecture and the landscape. His delicate renderings of crumbling, solitary buildings float ghost-like, in monochromatic color fields. The spare landscapes create beauty out of something wasted and remind us of nature’s awesome ability to reclaim the land after civilization’s departure.

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