Phoebe Adams Memorializes the Ephemeral 

Phoebe Adams is a painter and sculptor who exhibited recurrently in New York for a decade (1985–95). Three years in the past, I wrote a brief essay, “Response to Place: Shade,” on her work and Teresa Sales space Brown’s collages for a brochure printed by the Ucross Basis accompanying an exhibition on the Ucross Artwork Gallery in Wyoming (February 15–Might 17, 2019). At present, she divides her time between New Mexico and Maine, two very completely different landscapes and climates, each of which inform her work. The ten work, measuring 30 by 40 inches, in her exhibition Phoebe Adams: Nomad Strolling at David Richard Gallery (October 2–November 11, 2022) are executed in acrylic and acrylic gouache on paper, linen, and wooden panels. The paper, linen, and canvas are mounted on unframed panels that reach out from the partitions and appear to be floating in air. 

Describing Adams as “an avid walker in Maine, New Mexico, and Iceland” by Debra Barlow in her catalogue essay, the artist’s work are impressed by her recollections of walks she’s taken and materials she’s learn on the pure sciences. The patterns and clusters of summary traces evoke motion and the unseen forces animating the pure world. Attuned to what she calls “small particulars”(which I take to imply issues apt to go unnoticed), the imagery hovers between summary marks and recognizable pure types, resembling tree trunks, rocks, and operating water. Her use of coloration sits between the lifelike and unreal, contributing a hallucinatory impact to lots of the works. 

Set up view of Phoebe Adams: Nomad Strolling at David Richard Gallery. Left: “What’s Carried Away” (2021), acrylic gouache on paper mounted on wooden panel, 30 x 40 inches; proper: “We Are the Asteroid” (2022), acrylic gouache on wooden panel, 30 x 40 inches 

In “Treasured Timber” (2021), yellows and celadon inexperienced, with traces of earth-red and grey violet, infuse the tree-like presences she conjures with an unearthly gentle. Her imaginative recreation of our on a regular basis environment is a reminder of how fleeting and transmutable the fabric world might be. The truth that timber seem branchless, suggesting deforestation, with their tops minimize away, and we see a sky above them, provides a way of urgency to the work.

On the similar time, in “What We Carry to the Forest” (2021), one thing jarring occurs. The work depicts two tree trunks in opposition to a black floor. Vertical traces and streaks articulate the bark, with clusters of greenish-yellow circles between and past the trunks. Extending in from the correct edge, she has painted the define of three French curve-like shapes, with brilliant bubble-gum pink flaring out from the types’ outer edges. This visible disruption allows the portray to withstand rationalization. What are the types? What does the pink symbolize? Opposite to what viewers may count on, the pink takes on a sinister aura.

Adams, whose work has lengthy been knowledgeable by an ecological consciousness of abrasion and our despoiling of the panorama, desires to memorialize change and the ephemeral: a second of pale yellow morning gentle, deep blue flowing water, rivulets of melting ice, or the uneven floor underfoot. Fairly than strolling down paths, she ventures into undomesticated landscapes which might be each open and closed. She celebrates a world threatened by our greed. As she wrote in a shifting piece printed within the Maine Arts Journal (Fall, 2022), “Let me give dissonance its sprawl.” 

Phoebe Adams, “Treasured Timber” (2021), acrylic gouache on wooden panel, 30 x 40 inches

Phoebe Adams: Nomad Strolling continues at David Richard Gallery (526 West twenty sixth Avenue, Suite 9E, Chelsea, Manhattan) via November 11. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.

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