Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is excited to announce our first solo exhibition with NYC-based artist Erika Ranee. Titled All Natural, the show will feature new paintings that exemplify the artist’s process-based studio practice, developing complex and deeply beautiful surfaces from myriad applications of paint, collage, and mark-making.
Ranee takes inspiration from the world all around her; a crosstown bus ride might reveal pops of color in a passenger’s bright blue IKEA bag seen against municipal orange plastic seats. A bucket of “Purple Dark” acrylic, discontinued by Guerra Paints but gifted to the artist, might bring to mind dahlias and peonies, her favorite flowers. All Natural refers to Ranee’s time spent between NYC and rural Western Massachusetts, and an ongoing fascination with both the fertile, natural world of the countryside and a – no-less fecund – urbanized terrain shaped by its human inhabitants. The title also obliquely refers to drawings Ranee made of her niece’s braided hair extensions, some of which have been collaged into her paintings’ surfaces, fomenting another set of layered meaning to the works.
Ranee employs a wide variety of painting techniques to create her abstractions. Image and surface are developed through wide-ranging and multitudinous applications and removals of material in dense layers. Wide swaths of color are poured, allowing multi-directional deltas that show the influence of gravity and entropy. Lustrous, glossy paints sit under or beside bubbling and crackled powdery pigments on the canvas. Elements are collaged from sources including blacklight posters, coloring book pages, found children’s drawings and spray-stenciled botanical matter. In places, cut scraps of other paintings are glued onto her raucous surfaces then painted over, cut up, torn out and painted again. Some layers include ink drawings on newsprint shellacked or encased in gel mediums, then incised and peeled to reveal hidden forms underneath. Patterns resembling electric Lichtenberg formations are made through spray paint expelled directly into wet shellac. The result is a body of work that invites us to look closely, examine details, and wonder at its making, all while reveling in the lush colors and forms that ebb and flow before us.