Pearlbrook Drive Ellen Miller Gallery 6/15/12-8/10/12
In December 2010, two good friends went on a road trip to Clifton, New Jersey. Jacki Lyden of National Public Radio (NPR) recalls how Linda Gottesfeld became inspired during their shared visit to the artist's hometown.
Linda's invitation was: let's go to my old hometown in NJ! My former neighbor's in her 90s and she's giving her old designer clothes away! Honestly, that's all it takes to hook me -- that and a chance to spend the day with my friend. But under those December skies, Route 9 as we left the city was absolutely cheerless: bollards this way and that, broken tarmac, orange barrier netting, big spews of mud. Gosh, I said. America looks more and more like a border outpost in Kazahkstan. There's nothing out here. Linda kept snapping her camera at the industrial sprawl, smitten. The aging ex-urb of Clifton. Smitten. The unprepossessing streets of old American '60s dream. Smitten. I thought she got nothing in her camera, but what she "got" is the world you see rendered before you here: a city laid bare to the bone. And me? Not even a frock!
In Linda Gottesfeld's words:
The New Jersey suburb paintings address the slippage between memories of a place, the place itself, and its photographic image. My work in landscape explores beauty in the mundane; in this series I am mining my reactions to revisiting a neighborhood that I had not seen in more than ten years. I begin by digitally altering my photographs with color and light filters, creating several versions. My color palettes recall M&M's, Necco Wafers, wet-Necco Wafers and Kodachrome, traversing familiar to extreme re-representation. The paintings range across my many 'takes' on this subject, from a candy-land pastel light to an off-register red-green washy surface. In my life I often turn thoughts and problems over in my head, obsessively looking at them every which way; my painting of these places is a lot like that. In this play of remembering, examining and altering, I excavate a range of perceptions, addressing each from slightly different points of view.
My earliest landscape paintings are molded across
mangled pieces of industrial steel creating a three-dimensional painted hybrid
surface. Later, satellite images as a personal take on my neighborhood were
skewed from public images in Google Earth as a source for paintings, drawings,
and digital prints.
This work addresses a meeting ground between
scenery and artifice, mediating between bucolic nature and a manufactured
environment. They are about nature, once removed. Suburban
nature preserves, city parks, nature experiences for family pumpkin picking,
and summer campgrounds outside of the city have been subjects.
The suburbs and cemeteries (2010-2012) originate from the landscape of my childhood, they address the complexities of place and time, constancy and change. The vantage is from that of visiting, slowly driving by; they describe specific places, outside of specific time. The latest works are pushing at boundaries, my direct response to the sites, the color and light, speed and stillness.