Water Sky, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 11 high x 14 width inches
Water Sky is an 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas. Artist Elizabeth Keithline’s grandmother once lost a baby and afterward her husband bought her a painting of a dark, stormy sea to remind her of the child. As a consequence, Keithline has always kept this stormy, Prussian blue close in her mind. It’s interesting that something so grim could be the right gift for someone who is in mourning.
Elizabeth Keithline’s work focuses on human self-extension and its effects. In 1996, she invented a sculpture technique wherein wire is woven around an object and then burned out, leaving behind a wire ‘memory’. In 2019, she installed (The Air) As It Moves at Umass Dartmouth. Curated by Viera Levitt, the exhibit featured hanging woven-wire sculptures that cast shadows on the floor and walls of the gallery. Keithline installed 9’ sheets of paper on the walls and traced the wire shadows each weekend, creating a second abstraction of the exhibit within the first. She also invited the public to trace shadows and those works either became part of the show, or were taken home, extending the abstraction to a third and fourth layer.Keithline’s interest in how far an abstraction can go, how many iterations of a thought can be manifested, is ongoing. Her work at Jane Street Art Center in Saugerties, NY focused on extending the wire sculptures, which were once simply an idea in her mind, further on into cast shadows, through to drawings on paper, and even further on to canvas and paint. With Welcome Home/Shadow Home, viewers will once again be asked to trace shadows with Keithline and to carry their abstractions away. Keithline has curated exhibits and shown her own artwork at the Danforth Museum, Wheaton College, Real Art Ways, Craft Alliance St. Louis, the Newport Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, New York University, Mark Miller Gallery, Governors Island NY, Mobius Boston, and the Fuller Museum. She has worked on family-friendly public art projects for the Peabody Essex Museum, the Governors Island Art Fair, Boston’s Downtown Improvement District, ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan, & Art In The Park Worcester.Her work has been well-reviewed in the New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, WKZE-NY, the Boston Globe, the Hartford Courant and others.
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