Greta Waller 'Ice Paintings' October 2011

Flank by Flank, 2011, Oil on canvas, 44 x 47 inches

Greta Waller
Ice Paintings

In easel-sized canvases, the artist continues her investigation of the still life as an exposition of painting’s temporal character; a struggle to harness the ceaseless motion or changing state of objects in the world. With a tightly-focused haste to the painterly surfaces, Waller’s figurative works are almost puritanical in their doubts and convictions about the experience of seeing as it is evoked in painting.
In a recent group of works, Waller’s stark palette defines hovering, closeup perspectives on large, irregular blocks of ice melting in unassuming, periwinkle-trimmed dishes; lit by artificial light. The ice, in the process of changing states (melting into water), evokes the artist’s iconographic practice:
“My goal in painting has evolved into the feat to solidify the changing object.

My ultimate goal in painting is to be able to give a different definition of what that solid object might stereotypically be in my viewer and to myself. I have yet to define what reality is, but I chose painting as a means to understand it. Reality is always moving in terms of light, our perception of it, and time. Painting is my constant struggle to harness that which is fleeting. When I say that I know my reality through painting I want it to be understood that it is a choice I have made in order to confront what is fleeting. When I look at a painting I completed many years ago it hs the incredible ability to transport me  back to that moment. I am able to smell the air, perhaps feel the sun, or remember my frustrations at the time. My painting are irreplaceable and brutally honest documents of my life, my time, and my desires. Although the paintings are reflections of the object before me, they are more than that. My paintings are a meditation on myself.”

The paintings carry out this Apollonian task; penetrating the stasis of the image on canvas by presenting objects that—in being seen—are experienced as having potential energy; that are for instance melting or burning; that are raw; that may spoil. The recurrence of subjects alluding to staples or necessities—blocks of ice or cuts of meat, with their ephemeral textural behaviors—are paid a perverse attention in the  sparsely populated paintings, as if they were luxuries in a context of scarcity.
Greta Waller has exhibited in group shows in Los Angeles and New York and is completing her MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

This is Waller’s first one-person show in Los Angeles.

Cracked, But Not Broken, 2011, Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches

Augustus, 2011, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

Struggle for Pleasure, 2011, Oil on canvas, 72 x 84 inches

25LB Ice, 2010, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Vuillard’s Ice, 2010, Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches