Erik Benson • Jon Elliott • Frank Webster
September 16 – October 16, 2016
Opening Reception: September 16, 6–9pm
Gallery Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 1-6pm, and by appointment.
With water covering 71% of our planet’s surface, the accelerated processes caused by global
warming resulting in rising sea levels, thawing permafrost, diminishing ice shelves, changes in
migratory patterns, increasingly devastating forest fires due to loss of precipitation, all pose an
existential threat to our future being. Failing utopian architectural ideas combined with post
industrial structural changes in global regulations on trade, commerce and migration caused
previously functioning cities to fall into disrepair and decay, creating a dychotomic relationship
between inner city and suburban interests.
The three artists in Waterlogged present works made with water based mediums, showing an
astute awareness and urgency towards the challenges in their surrounding’s current
environmental and urban realities, while approaching the processing of these challenges in
their own individual ways.
Erik Benson’s poured and collaged acrylic constructions create a certain mimetic relationship
between the visual information depicted and the processes in which they are made. The still life
compositions within his landscape paintings are depictions of mundane found objects collaged
together to create a kind of totem to the Everyday. these makeshift totems serve as the actors
portraying the subplots within the larger landscapes. The impermanence of these structures
echo the idea of the architecture and theories of edge cities poetics and politics as they too are
temporally and shifting.
Throughout human history, from its earliest religions, there have been incongruences between
daily life experience and what we know of as the truth of reality. In Jon Elliott’s work the
combined sense of reality is partially reduced to flows and patterns of individual units of
experience in a fluid dynamic system. Water based media plays an important role in this
process as they allow for complex fluid dynamic conditions that inform the patterning that is
the dominant motif in much of his work.
Frank Webster’s strong concern for contemporary environmental issues permeate his recent
work on Iceland. After spending time at the Nes Artist Residency, Webster commenced a
series of watercolors about the strange and ethereal landscape of northern Iceland. Although at
first glance these paintings harken back to the tradition of the sublime and of grand tour travel
paintings, on further examination they belie an urgency and wistfulness for things passing that
is indicative of the period of rapid climatic change that we are experiencing.