This Must Be the Place / April 20 - May 26, 2019
Rooted in the tradition of landscape painting, Heidi McDowell’s work explores our contemporary relationship to the natural world through the process of documenting memory.
“I start with travel, collecting images and impressions on road trips, and bring the experience back to the studio for examination. My process relies on a fluid dialogue between loose drawing, sketchy monotypes, and photorealistic painting. Because each medium has its own limitations and moments of surprise, struggling with the imperfections of any given process becomes a way for me to play with the image and excavate more information with each iteration. I will repeatedly attempt to draw a cloud in graphite, then oil, then ink, then oil again looking for a common thread but also noting the changes. Difficulty, accident, and misinterpretation drive discovery, and the resulting works become memories of both the places they describe and the process of describing them. In the end the work depends on a balance between specificity and suggestion that rewards multiple viewings to build a narrative over time. I want you to feel like you could look behind a tree, imagine what’s under a rock, or watch the clouds slide past and feel that the boundaries of the painting are not the boundaries of the place.” – Heidi McDowell, April 2019