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artist profile

Rachel Popowcer

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Rachel Popowcer lives and works in Albuquerque, where she received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of New Mexico. She also holds a BFA in painting from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and is originally from New Jersey and Atlanta.

In addition to being a dedicated painter, Rachel is also an accomplished instructor, teaching university level classes in both painting and drawing. She also participates in various youth art programs, most recently as a mural instructor for the Mayor's Arts Summer Institute in Albuquerque. This past February, she completed an extremely productive (and fun!) artist's residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. and is currently represented by galleries in both New Mexico and California.

Artist's Statement

Since moving to New Mexico from the east coast my work has undergone many changes. My use of graphic symbols has lessened and the spaces in the paintings have deepened. In many ways, these paintings have represented a shift in my own artmaking process towards a more deliberate, structured and personal outcome. The more open and vast my spaces have become, the more solid are my intentions for the viewer. They reference landscape (or mindscape, as I like to call itÖ) as well as objects in nature. The colours shift as the light changes, appearing sometimes impenetrable, sometimes transparent. They offer an invitation to explore, to look, to think, and to inhabit the spaces in and between them. They are a visual record of my own thought development.

Many of my pieces function both as landscape and mindscape, referencing the tides and erosions of nature, as well as the steady pulse that drives us to work, to create, to desire and to change. Women artists, in particular, are challenged daily with multiple roles. It is important, as artists, to find the time to think and create. My recent paintings have evolved out of a need for a thinking space. I want people to enter the work and yet have space enough to react to its presence. Ultimately, my main desire is to evoke thought. I donít mean to imply that my paintings function as background noise, rather that the strong personalities of each painting serve to mimic our own varied thought processes.

My own thought process generally involves a lot of organization together with a good amount of intuition. This duality is constantly present in my work, creating an active tension (and sometimes an active harmony) across the surface of each painting. I have a need to create ordered surfaces through an imperfect and often time-consuming process. I apply the lines in my paintings by hand instead of through mechanical implements. I draw and tear my geometric shapes freehand, and I often spend hours woodburning on an individual painting.

I see my work as a sort of visual topography; a recording of internal and external experiences within a carefully constructed space.

It is in these carefully constructed spaces - between the active and the still, between constraint and freedom, between logic and instinct - where I take my viewer to new landscapes by way of a personal adventure.

Select a thumbnail of a given piece to see it at a fuller size:

Match Flare Trickle

View the artist's page.

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