Victoria Lowe



Abstract painting can appear in many forms – as a visual phenomenon, perceptual conundrum, or personal testament. Victoria Lowe’s paintings encompass all of these modes, and go further to become deeply immersive experiences. In her work we are presented with fields of sprayed color that shift gradually or are inflected with directional lines. Applied in myriad layers, the spayed particles interact like pixels to create a spectrum of new, unnamable colors. These paintings deliver us into an indeterminate space that seems to expand, pulse, or glow.

In the earlier paintings, out of the atmospheres of color a covert geometry takes form – an overall grid, vertical or horizontal elements, and coronas of radiating hues. From a canvas’s sides or corners, small nodes of color arise, forming subliminal axes across the surface, and giving definition to the dominant field. All of this happens before our eyes so subtly that if we are not sure if what we are seeing is really there.

Lowe creates paintings free of specific imagery, and yet we find ourselves seeing in them a range of possibilities – sky, deep space, and the cosmos. Light is central to these works, as an animating presence that illuminates and colors their atmospheric expanses. The light in these works suggests a confluence of the natural and the spiritual in a unified field.

In the later paintings, line and form are inscribed in open space, creating a sense of physical action and implied movement. These are works composed of multiple panels and some are variable in their arrangement. They suggest linked sequences involving a contrail of sprayed color, a burst of energy, an aurora, a darkening sky. The effect is to slow us down even as we progress, to notice the incremental changes that transform everything that engages us. We are asked to witness impermanence as the only permanent state.

As in all of Lowe’s art, meaning does not exist independently of the sensual, and our experience of the work is poetic, taking us beyond language or process. In both the single and multiple panel works, their large scale gives us the opportunity to plunge into a place where knowing, in the ordinary sense, is not possible. In the vast space of these paintings, we are ultimately left with our own consciousness and with a feeling of unmoored freedom.
John Mendelsohn



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