Artist of the Month (March 2019): E. Massa-MacLeod, the Nebula and Floral Abstracts series

E. Massa-MacLeod

The Preslar Gallery is delighted to welcome Elizabeth Massa-MacLeod, a longtime Northeast Portland resident. She has worked as a curator, conservator and painter in the area since earning her Master of Art degree in art history from the University of York, and Bachelor of Art in fine arts from Lewis & Clark College. Elizabeth has 13 years of history as an exhibiting artist, making her one of the most professionally-experienced artists ever to show at the Preslar since its founding.

Artist’s Statement

The Nebula series began with the desire to create paintings that were abstract while still invoking organic imagery. As the name implies, I took a lot of inspiration from the Hubble telescope’s deep-space photography. One thing I find fascinating about deep space is the unknowability of it. While we look at crisp images from the Hubble, we are still seeing something that has been color-corrected, that is only seen from one direction. The deeper we go into the unknown — for instance at the singularity of a black hole — the less we can rely on what we think we know to be true, such as our understanding of the laws of physics. Working within our own terrestrial experience and limited understanding of the universe, the deepest reaches remain essentially unknowable. It’s an exciting idea to play with visually- to start with something tangible, and pull at it and play with it, abstract in, in an attempt to understand it.

The Floral Abstracts series shown here grew out of the Nebula series, from purely abstract painting that began to take more concrete shapes. It celebrates the beauty and luxury of the everyday. It takes the traditional still life subject and abstracts and loosens it into explosions of color, energy and shape. The imagery is drawn from everything from Dutch Baroque masterpieces to Impressionism to cake decorating, combined into bursts of modern colors.

Exhibit opens on Saturday, March 2, 2019, noon, and continues through Sunday, March 31 at 5 p.m.

First Saturday reception, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 2. Other hours by appointment only. Email the gallery for more information or to arrange your visit.