Paradise Notwithstanding 2011
207 W. 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
December 11, 2011-January 15, 2012
by Sandra Vista
Lisa Adams current paintings of her personal paradise are like a bullet proof vest. There are signs of protection in the beauty of flora, fauna, and fluffy clouds. There is serenity in flat areas of color. But as the title, Paradise Notwithstanding, suggests we have to be prepared for the inevitable. The individual worlds in each painting are devoid of shadows even though there are objects being illuminated. Shadows serve as locators and indicators of objects and things. Without them the artist is not constrained by time or place. As Adams stated in her artist's statement for the exhibition: "My paradise is broke, melancholic, maybe, but beautiful nevertheless. It's a place that makes me feel comfortable."
The titles of the paintings are clues for Adams' interpretation of her paradise. By definition, a "generic" paradise consists of a landscape filled with orchards of flowers, exotic birds, and various species of animals communing under the shade of amorous trees. Adams' paintings limit the imageries to solitary figures such as solemn bird portraits or pairs of objects, as seen in the thistle blooming flowers in Paradise Notwithstanding and the vandalized cottonwood trees in Made in the USA. These images appear portentous in terms of ecology and the future of our planet. The Bellwether Exchange characterizes a warning to preserve plots of land. The land is exalted and the grasses partially protected by a dome reminiscent of a "bio-dome" and hot house.
Adams' paintings are "melancholic" and they also continue to engage in abstraction with monochromatic colors and patterns. The montage style of the paintings stresses Adams' cerebral process of creating the work. Each color, object, texture are methodically retrieved and placed. What is inside Adams' head is projected on the canvases.
Made in the USA
The Bellwether Exchange