Rachael Wren: The Edge of Place
The Edge of Place
Wave Hill House | April 5–December 4
Pictured above: Mirage, 2015, oil on linen, 48” x 48”
Specific moments observed in nature are catalysts for Rachael Wren’s abstract oil paintings. The body of work currently on display in Wave Hill House traces her exploration into the ephemeral qualities of atmospheric space. Using a modulated palette and repeated brush strokes, Wren juxtaposes contrasting or complementary hues to create a sense of dense, layered space. Her carefully constructed compositions allow hints of landscape to emerge and then dissolve into accumulations of color and mark. For the artist, the grid functions as an underlying structure that anchors the work, enabling subtle moments of painterly application to portray a hazy atmosphere. Wren’s images focus as much on negative space as positive space, rendering the former as a subject in itself. Painted gestures conjure fragments of light streaming through trees, reflections in water, or a flickering mirage, inviting viewers to enter into the illusionistic space of the painting. Through dense mark-making and a rich palette, Wren’s work evokes a still, liminal place, a transitional realm between
earth and somewhere otherworldly.
Wren received an MFA from the University of Washington and a BA from
the University of Pennsylvania. She has had solo shows at The Painting Center, New York, NY; Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY; the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA; Providence College, Providence, RI. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; the National Academy Museum, New York, NY; Garis & Hahn, New York, NY; and Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, among many others. Wren is the recipient of the Julius Hallgarten Prize from the National Academy Museum and an Aljira Fellowship from Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ.
Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.