Competition: US & Canada
Rosalyn Bodycomb’s evidentia paintings, three large-scale works remarkably lush in shades of black, white, and gray, stand as both a respite from and a space in which to contemplate the chaotic world around us. The evidentia paintings were exhibited from 29 April to 24 May 2008 at the Nohra Haime Gallery in New York City.
“Art needn’t be graphically explicit to act as a catalyst for activism,” says Ms. Bodycomb, who used her 2007 grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to create evidentia. “Art can act as conduit to a common reality where cause and effect are understood, where there is no chaos, where one can effect real change. Evidentia is intended to provide such a conduit. Water is a natural metaphor, simple and uncomplicated.”
Large in scale and intimate in detail, these paintings of water reflecting light contain at once a moment in time and a whole world. At first view, the works appear painterly and abstract, graceful and swirling in the eddies of imagination. But as they compel a viewer to spend more time looking, one comes to realize that the paintings are instead hyper-realistic images of place carefully observed. Working from her own photographs of the Marion River in the Adirondacks, Rosalyn Bodycomb grids the photos as well as her eight-foot-by-six-foot canvasses, then translates scenic data in oils and alkyds, to capture reality in its highest resolution.
The works play off the tension that is water itself, both a surface and a medium. There is life and light below water, and life and light above water. The paintings thrive on that tension, capturing light reflected in surface, fractured and reshaped by what lies beneath that surface.
Born in Hawaii in 1958 and launching her painting career in Texas, Ms. Bodycomb’s work is part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection and was included in the 2005 Texas Biennial in Austin. She received a 2005 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant Award, has held a number of solo shows at the Mulcahy Modern Gallery in Dallas, and has been featured in exhibitions at University of Dallas Gallery in Irving, Texas, and the Arlington (Texas) Museum of Art, among other venues. Ms. Bodycomb, who currently lives and works in Long Island City, debuted at the Nohra Haime Gallery in the Peopled People exhibit, which ran from 22 January to 9 February 2008.
The evidentia paintings represent an important evolution of Ms. Bodycomb’s work, which is always strongly rooted in place. While her previous paintings over the last two decades often contemplate man’s place in the world around him, these paintings capture the deep intricacies of the natural world around us—and beckon us to imagine our way in.