Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to open the 2019 exhibition season with a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn artist Jackie Battenfield.
Battenfield’s meditative painting process begins with the artist’s close attention to the graceful forms of unfolding leaves and blossoms, and to the twisted boughs and branches of trees. This series was inspired by time the artist spent at a rural meditation retreat where spring was slowly awakening the landscape from its winter bareness. Sitting by a window, in meditative silence, the artist was transfixed as tender buds and leaves daily transformed a gnarly elm tree. Battenfield’s paintings evoke the immediacy and beauty of that experience.
The images of branches, leaves and blooms are first recorded as photographs then meticulously drawn onto large sheets of translucent Mylar. Paying close attention to the true form of each natural element, the artist builds her graceful compositions. Battenfield’s paintings draw upon two natural but disparate processes: the gestural unfolding and leafing of a branching tree limb and the physical properties and behaviors of pigments. Battenfield mixes her pigments to an ink-like consistency and generously brushes the acrylic paint onto the smooth mylar where it forms a puddle of paint. As the paint mixture dries, the pigments reassert themselves, separating and forming unexpected and distinct abstract patterns. An expert colorist, Battenfield creates hundreds of color studies to investigate and consider the different levels of color saturation and the separation affected by the various pigments’ origin and weight. To accentuate the contrast between image and ground, Battenfield leaves the background of her paintings untreated, allowing her botanical forms to float against the pristine white Mylar. Each painting is then mounted on a clear acrylic panel that allows light to play behind the translucent painted surface.
Jackie Battenfield was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned an MFA in Visual Art from Syracuse University and a BS from Pennsylvania State University. She is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Award (1991) and the Warren Tanner Award (1996). Her work is widely exhibited throughout the United States and is in more than 1000 collections worldwide including the New York Public Library, NY; The Zimmerli Art Museum, Montclair Art Museum, NJ; Palmer Museum, University Park, PA; Museum of Art at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and the United States Embassy Collections, Brazil, Cambodia, Croatia, Jamaica, and Peru. She recently completed public art commissions for New York University, Langone Medical Center, Radiation Treatment Suite and The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design, Avenue P elevated subway station, F line, Brooklyn, NY. Jackie Battenfield lives in and works in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.