Throughout the history of art, artists have adopted different forms of abstraction, demonstrating them through ways that would define a few avant-gardes. The notion of narrowing everything down to pure primary color and a web of straight and horizontal lines was the guiding idea of the Dutch movement De Stijl, while a handful of creators at the beginning of the 20th century also developed Geometric abstraction and Suprematism, starting with Malevich and Mondrian. Today, inspired by science and the chromatic interactions, Seattle-based artist Jaq Chartier gives birth to colorful abstract paintings, that are much more than just visually appealing.
Although there is, of course, the urge to express herself through art, the works of Jaq Chartier are primarily the results of science and its tests and investigations of natural matters and color. Her paintings consist of organic forms and a white background, calling to mind the illuminated microscope slides. A series titled Testing features arrays of dots enveloped by horizontal bands of colors and it is a direct illustration of cell divisions or rippling wavelets on sunlit water. Her pieces are always inspired by natural processes, and in them, Jaq Chartier puts the materials she uses to scientific tests. Instead of paint, there are complex formulas of deeply saturated inks, stains and dyes, whose physical characteristics change depending on the conditions they’re in - due to time, UV light, gravity or humidity, these components shift, migrate. merge and overlay each other, creating a whole new composition of the artwork - something regular paint isn’t able to do.
SubOptic, another series by Jaq Chartier, is based on the X-rays of coral reef colonies, which reveal their delicate internal structure. combining both microscopic and macroscopic visions is Ultra Marine, another series that explores the marine life in brilliant colors and basic shapes. These paintings capture the blue polyps and rippling water, as well as Antarctica, as if seen from the sky, looking like a sort of coral atoll surrounded by green organisms. Also on the paintings, the viewers can see the artist’s notations, showing the progress of the tests she undertook for her individual pieces. The three series to be shown at Dolby Chadwick Gallery represent a summary of the creativity behind Jaq Chartier’s poetic, vibrant and metaphorically scientific art.
Jaq Chartier received her BFA in Painting at the University of Massachusetts in 1984, and ten years later her MFA from the University of Washington. Since 1997, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and more than twenty solo shows across the US, including the country’s major state museums. A Fever in Matter will be her first solo at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, USA, and it is most definitely worth visiting. It is to be shown from April 2nd until May 2nd, 2015.
Another artist who incorporates geometric abstraction into his work - of traditional tapestry - is Aniwar, currently on view at Pékin Fine Arts in Beijing.
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Featured image: Jaq Chartier - Large Chart (triptych), 2015. Acrylic, stains & spray paint on wood panel, 65 x 100
All images courtesy of Dolby Chadwick Gallery
San Francisco, United States of America