Nathan DiPietro

The Structure of Things

About the Exhibition


June 24, 2015 - August 22, 2015

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“In this new series of egg tempera paintings the landscape is deconstructed, parsing out the elements which are in conflict. Blackberry thickets, swaths of concrete, landscaped hill sides, the low hanging darkness before a rain storm, all these are pieces of a symbolic retinue brought together as stage set.

This landscape is in constant flux; in a major battle with many divided antagonists, between the natural vs. manmade environment, where it is being pushed and pulled between developer and preservationist and indigenous versus invasive species. The verdant growth encroaches on manicured lawns and landscaped shrubberies, only held at bay by heavily armed work crews and the occasional goat herd.

Complementing these dramas are compositional dualities; sweeping vistas contrasted with blatant symmetry and an endless horizon of monotony composed of seductively elegant details. These complexities are enhanced by the exacting details given both to a vacant lot and an ancient stand of old growth forest, neither is given a stylistic advantage in terms of beauty or status. An attempt is made at neutrality towards all elements. Through this plethora of thematic and compositional dualities a subtle aggression plays out beneath the surface.

Recently these landscapes have begun to reveal their artificial nature with the introduction of stage sets and props. The sky becomes a painted canvas backdrop. The trees and bushes flatten into plywood veneers. Spotlights appear in the foreground ready to illuminate a sparse cast of eagles, bunnies, and surveyor tripods.

This in turn has led to the construction of paper craft dioramas depicting my past paintings, distant memories, and sacred spaces. In turn, these constructions are edited and recycled, combined with tilted views from Google Earth or a Minecraft cloudscape to form a truly manufactured landscape.” – Nathan DiPietro