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Karen Dow: The Third Reconstruction


  • SILK ROAD ART GALLERY 83 Audubon Street New Haven, CT, 06510 United States (map)
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An exhibition that showcases the paintings of a Yale School of Art alumnae working in abstract art. The concept of the Third Reconstruction presented in this exhibition demonstrates how Karen Dow’s abstract painting can be viewed through Reconstructions of their constituted meaning. The first reconstruction is rooted in shape, the second in color. The Third Reconstruction will form the central focus of our show. In this Third Reconstruction, there exists a dialogue among essences of composition and texture that emerge from these forms. Where the first two Reconstructions focus on visible structures, shapes, colors and compositions, which can either embody meanings or be meaningless. The Third Reconstruction instead focuses on the expressions left behind in the traces of prior actions. By shifting emphasis away from impulsive emotions or actions, this Third Reconstruction illuminates the subject by highlighting the spiritual significance found in individual brushstrokes and invites the audience the freedom to experience these subjects anew. In the work of our featured artist, the questions recur, ‘What are the connections between shape,color, and human emotion?

Karen Dow is an award-winning painter and printmaker based in New Haven. Her works examine the relationships and possibilities of balance between the materials at hand and the constraints of the square frame. She works toward a unity — though never a uniformity — of purpose among her colors and shapes. Each piece is a palimpsest of sorts. When a canvas becomes too crowded, she paints over and reconstructs, freeing things up for a new iteration. In her drive toward balance, Dow homes in on tension, precariousness, and the relative dependence necessary for the components of her community to coexist. While any given piece might appear to hinge on one of its parts, all aspects display a tender give-and-take that transforms disparate objects into a body at peace. The result is composition that delves into the harmony and discord of both interpersonal relationships and the relationships between people and the world we inhabit.

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm