Covering Ground, first held in 2011 at The University of La Verne Harris Art Gallery, California, is a collaboration between six mid-career abstract painters from Los Angeles and Melbourne.
‘Barbara Kerwin, Marion Lane, and Ruth Trotter are three Los Angeles based artists who utilize non-objective painting as a mode of pictorial representation and draw conceptual references from landscape, architecture, psychology, and telecast media. Katherine Boland, Terri Brooks and Dawn Csutoros, are three Melbourne based artists who construct abstract paintings based on nature and derive content from materials and process.
Boland’s and Brooks’ work is influenced by the harsh environmental conditions of Australia’s early post-settlement heritage as well as the Process Art and Arte Povera movements. Boland’s use of organic materials such as wood, beeswax, asphaltum and graphite, combined with a process involving the use of ﬁre and hand tools is symbolic, informed by Buddhist thought and observation. By favoring the common materials of house paint and pencils and employing techniques focused on weathering and found marks, Brooks creates rich, physical surfaces that address contemporary landscape abstraction. With a Minimalist approach Csutoros draws parallels between eastern philosophy and quantum mechanics. The use of symbolic matter, such as tea and coal, and the spatial exploration of color, are central to her practice.
Kerwin, whose background is in architecture and sculpture, paints geometric abstractions inspired by the structural urban harmony of Los Angeles. Her layered application of color in acrylic or oil, activates the painting surface unifying form and content. Trotter’s paintings start from drawings based on Rorschach inkblot contours, abstract expressionist patterns and references to modernist history. Her oil on linen paintings, are constructed with luscious impasto smears of color, which evoke organic transitions and structural migrations. Lane creates biomorphic forms and caricatured flora with poured and pushed areas of color and pattern that recall nineteen-ﬁfties suburbia with a hallucinogenic spin. With television as an influence the paintings poke at the charm of Kitsch, while maintaining formal rigor and complexity.’