When Shawn Marshall was inspired to paint the view from an airplane window, we might assume that it was a rainy flight, with hopefully not too much turbulence, because Marshall’s balance between abstract and representational might suggest an overhead perspective on landscape through a rain-smeared pane of glass: the details are blurred, and the contours defining the roads and fields below are elusive, hard to pin down.
Abstraction makes you look harder at things. The central question in the viewer’s mind becomes - what do I see? The more cynical might phrase the question differently: what am I looking at? Yet one might offer that to be demand that art explain itself to you is actually the lazy approach. Marshall challenges the viewer, enticing them with just enough discernible representation, but layering a veneer of abstract expressionism between them and her subject, built with a heavily textured impasto that forces an immediate visceral relationship with the surface. Paint is always seductive.
“I create a three-dimensional surface on the canvas; always striving for balance between the layers of impasto and the underlying landscape beyond.” – Shawn Marshall
The bisected compositional structure, normally recognizing the natural horizon line encountered in the open, rural landscape, remains in these airborne point-of-view, Marshall’s eye always finding a road or river that cuts through the quadrants of fields and developments below.
Marshall was awarded First Place in the 2017 MAZIN Juried Art Exhibition that just closed at The Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and she is about to open a solo show at Craft(s) Gallery & Mercantile in Louisville that will run from March 2 through 31, with an Opening Reception March 2 from 6:00-10:00pm.
Her work is in numerous private collections including PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, PA, Commonwealth Bank, Louisville, KY, and the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: 1992, Bachelor of Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; 1996, Master of Architecture, Minor Fine Arts, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; 2009, Master of Art in Teaching, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY
Gallery Representation: Pyro Gallery (Louisville), New Editions Gallery (Lexington), Yust Gallery (Cincinnati)
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.