NEW YORK, NY.- Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery
is presenting their first solo exhibition with NYC-based artist Erika Ranee. Titled All Natural, the show features new paintings that exemplify the artists process-based studio practice, developing complex and deeply beautiful surfaces from myriad applications of paint, collage, and mark-making.
Ranee takes inspiration from the world all around her; a crosstown bus ride might reveal pops of color in a passengers bright blue IKEA bag seen against municipal orange plastic seats. A bucket of Purple Dark acrylic, discontinued by Guerra Paints but gifted to the artist, might bring to mind dahlias and peonies, her favorite flowers. All Natural refers to Ranees time spent between NYC and rural Western Massachusetts, and an ongoing fascination with both the fertile, natural world of the countryside and a no-less fecund urbanized terrain shaped by its human inhabitants. The title also obliquely refers to drawings Ranee made of her nieces braided hair extensions, some of which have been collaged into her paintings surfaces, fomenting another set of layered meaning to the works.
Ranee employs a wide variety of painting techniques to create her abstractions. Image and surface are developed through wide-ranging and multitudinous applications and removals of material in dense layers. Wide swaths of color are poured, allowing multi-directional deltas that show the influence of gravity and entropy. Lustrous, glossy paints sit under or beside bubbling and crackled powdery pigments on the canvas. Elements are collaged from sources including blacklight posters, coloring book pages, found childrens drawings and spray-stenciled botanical matter. In places, cut scraps of other paintings are glued onto her raucous surfaces then painted over, cut up, torn out and painted again. Some layers include ink drawings on newsprint shellacked or encased in gel mediums, then incised and peeled to reveal hidden forms underneath. Patterns resembling electric Lichtenberg formations are made through spray paint expelled directly into wet shellac. The result is a body of work that invites us to look closely, examine details, and wonder at its making, all while reveling in the lush colors and forms that ebb and flow before us.
Erika Ranee received her MFA in painting from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has recently participated in group shows including at the Rubin Museum of Art, NY, DC Moore Gallery, NY, the Landing Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Hollis Taggart Gallery, Southport, CT, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, NY, Platform Project Space, Brooklyn, BRIC Art Center, Brooklyn, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn, and Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA. She has held solo shows at Lesley Heller Gallery, NY and Freight and Volume, NY. She is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in Painting, and was awarded studio grants from The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, The Abrons Art Center, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work is in the collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, MI, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. Later this month, her work will be included in The Feminine in Abstract Painting at the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation in New York.