Natural Synergy: Carol Bouyoucos and Antoinette WysockiMay 9 - June 26, 2022
Natural Synergy brings together Carol Bouyoucos and Antoinette Wysocki, two artists whose layered imagery balances chance and control, representation and abstraction, all the while inviting a myriad of interpretations. Their collaborative installation amplifies both their shared aesthetic sensibility and close attention to materiality.
Carol Bouyoucos’ painterly photomontages begin in nature. While walking through the nature preserve where she lives and works, Bouyoucos takes iPhone pictures of the surrounding forest. She then digitally alters and combines these photographs with historical images. The resulting works, created with distinctly 21st century tools, evoke the romanticism and nostalgia of nineteenth-century landscape painting. They compel viewers to see nature anew—and to consider their own role in both its destruction and preservation.
For Antoinette Wysocki, painting is as much about serendipity as it is about intentionality. She begins by laying a groundwork of gestural marks and washes of paint. From these brushstrokes—made spontaneously and instinctually—emerge abstract elements, more detailed imagery drawn from the natural world, and snippets of text, all of which Wysocki builds up slowly, through layer upon layer of paint. Through this additive process, she creates a dialogue between organic and abstract forms.
I shoot with an iPhone then manipulate my photographs using various in-phone apps. The final retouching and composition happens in Photoshop. I work with various materials like archival rag paper, acrylic, silk, wax, and reclaimed wood as a device to remove the work from a solely photographic conversation.
Much of my work is inspired by early landscape, portraiture, and botanical art. Weaving historical imagery into the narrative embeds a feeling of nostalgia, whereas working within a digital platform invites my viewer to consider a new perception of the story. I live on a Sanctuary property, and observing nature every day through the lens, I have begun to notice the cumulative changes in the landscape. There is almost a prehistoric feeling to the geography - vines out of control choking great trees; invasive plants that spill over paths and highways. Trees with weakened root masses are ripped from the ground during storms and left in the aftermath. The natural world is ferocious, rebellious and fascinating.
I am influenced by artists like Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church, and Robert John Thornton whose work illustrates an America that inspired awe in a time when expansionism was taking over the west. Environmental and social borderlines are as conflicted today, but history has taught us that contemplating nature can compel humanity to work toward change.
My intention is to create abstract paintings that indulge in materials and focus on the expressive process itself. Balanced with details of organic imagery, evocative symbols and text, to address overall subjective translation and perception while addressing impediments of memory association.
I've worked to develop a process combining various materials, chance, control and analysis. Part of my focus is the balance of media and absorption rate so that the various materials interact, binding or refracting from each other or the canvas itself. Each work begins with action painting, with focus around gestures and washes, balancing chance and consciousness. The second stage of control defines the abstracted imagery pulling out elements, while balancing the raw with saturated. The mixed media can alter the pieces beyond repair or become the focus of the piece itself. The process is concluded in the analysis stage where the preponderance of symbols are defined through detailed drawings and brush strokes, insertion of dialog and deciphering of imagery.
These paintings are an active engagement with the viewers sense of process, their perception of media and ground, as well as layers of allegory and abstraction. They seek to balance the subjective with the concrete, the abstracted with the detailed and the sign with the signified.