It is a great pleasure to present Effulgence, Elisabeth Condon’s show of new paintings. Elisabeth’s focus, intensity, joy and painterly prowess are on a full view in these pieces. The show features four related groups of paintings. The opening reception will be Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 6 to 9 pm at Emerson Dorsch, 5900 NW 2nd Ave in Miami. The show will be on view through November 16, 2019.
She paints flowers and other details of landscapes, but for Condon depicting flowers are pretexts for painting details as satisfying as elemental human pleasures, or maybe more so, since such activities aren’t always as fun as they’re supposed to be. Lose yourself in luscious details like when acid yellow just intertwines with ink black and mostly doesn’t mix, like when that same yellow does mix with the ink black and turns a strange green, slightly off, and much stranger than the sherbet green lattice that forms the composition’s support. All this happens in yellow puff poms-poms loosely resembling inflorescence. Condon has orchestrated these moments; she relishes them.
In his essay for the catalog accompanying the show, Jason Stopa situates Condon’s new work in relation to modernists like Georgia O’Keefe and Charles Burchfield, late modernist Lee Krasner, all of whom painted flowers and landscape. Stopa also maps her paintings’ relation to pattern and decoration painters, like Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff and Miriam Schapiro, who did not engage with (mostly male) Minimalism and pre-dated Post-Modern discourse. They, like Condon, challenged high modernism because they refused to dwell in abstraction without representation. Instead, they, like Condon, represent a pattern or decoration not only for the look of it, but also for its symbolism, its history and the way it can be represented.
The show’s title is Effulgence or joy and like so-called simple pleasures, these paintings aren’t straightforward. She uses brash colors, mixes them with Chinese black ink, interrupting their allure. She less depicts the flowers than lays down paint and then haphazardly-on-purpose adds a lazy outline. In the large paintings, Sidewalk and The Greenhouse Effect, she weaves moments of pour, splatter, flat illustration and drip in and out and on top of each other. For Stopa, Sidewalk “reveals an artist with a range of painterly tools at her disposal, knowingly discerning when each is ready to play its role.” Reconstructing her process, her gestures and traces, requires long looking.