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In Angela Perko’s new exhibition Just Another Pretty Picture, the artist continues her journey into territory that is both real and imagined as well as unabashedly feminine. It will be the gallery’s eighth solo exhibition for the artist and the second more or less devoted to allegorical or even mytho-historical painting. The canvases here have exploded with abundance. Brightly colored flowers, vines, fruits, and vegetables can barely be contained. Hidden within all the abundance are feminine icons that the artist admires. Ancient faces peak out of the garden. Fertility figures hide in the shadows. A variety of dolls take center stage. As in many of her earlier works, shells and stones appear on display, but in these works, birds, butterflies and other insects also proliferate. Indeed, they are “pretty pictures,” but something deeper runs through them and each pretty picture tells a story.
Fished out from the artist’s stream of consciousness, random scraps of history, mythology, religion, and literature are woven into each work, a fabric stretched across time and place. The events of centuries can then be considered in a single painting as icons from different cultures and different periods are joined together and take on new significance.
To take an example, Guadalupe Estremadura explores an Old World and New World exchange in an almost straightforward – though somewhat dubious – historical manner. In Matthew 6:24, a humble and charming image of community also contends with the contradictions that are inherent to the clash of old values and new values.
Angela Perko has been represented by Sullivan Goss since 2005. Although she took plein air painting lessons from Michael Drury and continues to do figurative drawing in a classroom setting, she is essentially self-taught.
3:05 | Susan Bush