Further Than I Can See
An exhibition featuring paintings by Ariel Lee and sculpture by Maria Paz
August 10 – September 13, 2019
About the artists
Ariel Lee, based in Southern California, predominantly paints landscapes in gouache using bold color and layered brushwork reminiscent of artists such as David Hockney and Fairfield Porter. Lee’s color choices are arresting and soothing, yellow ochre’s and dusty blues pleasantly share space with one another, weaving together a patchwork landscape. An avid hiker, camper and climber, the works are direct reflections of her personal experience in nature. Many visitors familiar with Joshua Tree National Park will recognize the iconic locations she has selected to focus on for this exhibit.
The work of Oakland based, self-taught sculptor Maria Paz (b. 1989) explores a different path, specifically the bond broken with her home country of Chile and her experience of being raised as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. Paz states: “I am interested in the impact of being separated from one’s country and how that shapes immigrants and the dualities in their cultural identities.”
The five ceramic works featured in the show have the feeling of archaeological findings, brightly colored vessels in an homage to the palette of Latin America. The works are covered in figures, objects and words, stories to be told and passed down to future generations. In one arresting piece, “The Webs of our Past Lives”, knobby protrusions cover the melon shaped stoneware. Worn and shadowy figures, ocean waves, flowers and leaves have been glazed onto one side while a paragraph of bold text demanding action from her ancestors covers another. At a time of such turmoil and divisiveness, Paz’s voice is undeniably fitting. By painting visions of Chile, her ancestors and her past, Paz seeks to reconcile and pay dues to her experience as a Latinx immigrant feels endlessly drawn to her home country.