Carl Holman, Assistant Director (904) 620-1921
Carl Holman, Assistant Director
The vibrant and extravagant landscapes of Lilian Garcia-Roig, a Florida State University art professor, are the focus of two upcoming exhibitions, “Hyberbolic Nature,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of UNF, and “More Than a Brush with Nature” on campus at the UNF Art Gallery. Both exhibits are running simultaneously beginning Thursday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011.
Carrying on the tradition of painting outdoors like Impressionist masters such as Monet and Cezanne, Garcia-Roig uses a century-old technique known as en plein air—French for “in the open air" and often used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1870s, when the introduction of paints in tubes made them more portable and compact. Previously, each painter made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil.
“Lilian is a gifted artist and a tremendous art educator,” said Debra Murphy, art history professor and chair of UNF’s Department of Art and Design. “Her work is truly beautiful and serene, but it also carries with it a rich history of tradition and a bold vision for the future of contemporary art.”
Instead of picturesque vistas, Garcia-Roig prefers the complexity of densely wooded areas. Instead of capturing an “Impressionist” moment of time, Garcia-Roig prefers the challenge of incorporating how light changes in a single location through the course of the day, similar to time-lapse photography. Her technique of wet-on-wet application allows her to paint quickly and intensely, sometimes all day.
“My landscape paintings are very accessible for people not familiar with contemporary art—rivers outside Seattle, New England forests and Florida palmettos,” she said. “Up close, however, the images break down; the lush, gestural paint marks, squeezed-out paint patches and areas of raw canvas help, instead, to reinforce the 2-D character of abstract painting as both an activity and an end-product.”
Born in Cuba in 1966, Garcia-Roig grew up in Houston and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1988. She completed her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. She began painting landscapes in 1990 during the first of two residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, a nine-week residency program for emerging visual artists.
Garcia-Roig was a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Texas in Austin for nine years and has been a professor at Florida State University since 2001. She has received numerous major awards and residencies including a State of Florida Individual Artist Grant in 2008, a 2006 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painting, and a 2006 Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, the oldest artists’ colony in the U.S.
For additional information about either exhibition, contact Debra Murphy, UNF Department of Art and Design, at (904) 620-4037.
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