2008 Exhibition/Nohra Haime Gallery "SUMMIT MELTING"/2008
New York, NY - An exhibition of powerful landscape paintings by Adam Straus will be on view at Nohra Haime Gallery from February 12 through March 12, 2008.
The 11 paintings in TICK TOCK, DRIP DROP reference the sublime in nature and the extinction of the landscape as we know it. As the clock ticks, global warming becomes more present - as a dismal future for the world approaches.
Straus's recent paintings on the theme of nature depict our current relationship with the environment. Mountains, volcanoes, trees and water - painted in the most awe-inspiring way - cry to the viewer, reminding him not to be too complacent and help salvage the planet. Straus's quiet panoramas with their lead frames surround a representation of the hopefully non-toxic with the toxic.
In The Next to the Last Iceberg, 2007, an isolated iceberg stands proud on the ocean surrounded by a pink mist. In Summit Melting, 2007, water drips into the lower part of the frame. In Summit Melting: Totem Version, (diptych) 2007, the drips - larger than the summit - extend through the bottom panel which is double the size of the top one. The drips become the subject matter overpowering the melting summit.
The dangers that are inherent in nature appear in Volcano, 2007, and Shark: After Sunset, 2007. Nature's destruction versus human destruction plays a role here. More menacing still is Straus's new series of paintings Cold Mountain Artifact #4 and #5. In these paintings the mountains are depicted like artifacts from times past that need to be remembered: prophetic images of a world to come. Or is it the medium of painting that needs to be remembered? Like puns, Straus's paintings have hidden meanings in which humor can mask criticism or commentary.
Straus leads us from the universally sublime to a more intimate and day-to-day world: that of the disappearing landscape of the North Fork of Long Island. He chooses Long Island as that is where he resides, but the landscapes can be of many places facing the same problems. The title itself in Moonrise Over Country Road with Trees and Open Field, 2007, portrays the views which will soon exist no more if suburbia reaches the countryside. Long Island Beach with Tiretracks in the Sand, 2007, gives us a panoramic view of the dunes touched by civilization, in this case the tire tracks.
An analyzer, Straus is concerned with the preservation of nature. A vital and resurgent topic in his work is his crying out for the environment in a timeless manner. He calls into question man's lack of respect for his surroundings. But there is also a sense of hope that we will do something about it. His works can have a soothing and idyllic feel even though they relate to darker ideas.
A selection of work by Adam Straus will be on view in Straus & Straus at Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee from February 15 through March 23, 2008.
Straus lives in
Also visit ADAM STRAUS On-line 2006 ECOARTNET Exhibition celebrating EARTH DAY 2006 AT: