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Claire Colette: Fire, Rain, Heat, Night

September 24 – October 24, 2020

Claire Colette: Fire, Rain, Heat, Night

Claire Colette: Fire, Rain, Night, Heat

September 24 – October 24, 2020

Harper’s is thrilled to present its first exhibition of paintings by Claire Colette and to announce the gallery’s representation of the artist. Fire, Rain, Heat, Night will bring together nine acrylic abstract paintings on canvas, coated with natural materials such as tree resin, rose water, and salt, that were produced over the last several months. Harper’s Apartment is open to the public from 12pm to 6pm Thursday through Saturday; no appointment is necessary to visit the exhibition.

Drawing upon the theories and visual motifs of mysticism, Colette contemplates the relationship between the individual and the broader world in densely textural canvases that push the boundaries of landscape painting. Built through a measured process of accumulation, in which washes of acrylic are air-brushed onto their surfaces and meticulously embedded with found materials, her work suggests the delicate interconnectedness of all things, from the ground below us to the cosmos above. Rolling, diaphanous panes of color simultaneously evoke the contours of the landscape and the human body, while their progressively rising or declining slopes hint at the gradual passage of time. With an artistic sensibility informed by the transcendentalism of Agnes Pelton and influenced by the abstraction of Georgia O’Keeffe and Joan Mitchell, Colette has developed a distinctive aesthetic that centers mysticism and adapts ancient belief systems for the specific afflictions of our current moment.

The works on view in this exhibition take up alchemy as both a conceptual theme and an artistic approach, offering a spiritual meditation on deep time and the nature of the material world. Inspired by the mountainous scenery of the western United States, their quiet, curvilinear forms at once convey hard earth and soft flesh, posing a formal ambiguity that intimates a primal link between the two. Single compositions nimbly shift between perspectives, while interspersed columns and clusters of crosses—an alchemical symbol representing the four natural elements—float dynamically across the canvases’ surfaces. The exhibition’s title, Fire, Rain, Heat, Night, fittingly updates the elements of fire, water, earth, and air for our dystopian present, amid the backdrop of the global pandemic, the intensified rhetoric of the presidential election, and Los Angeles’s raging wildfires. In this charged climate, Colette’s mesmerizing, incandescent paintings remind us of the greater continuums of time and space in which we, and all things, exist.

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Claire Colette

The Pleasure is All Mine, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense (frankincense, myrrh, copal, benzoin), flower essences, dried lavender on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

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Claire Colette

The Fruit of My Womb Was the Sun, 2020

Rose water, acrylic, ash, salt, myrrh, white copal, frankincense, essence of wild iris, foxglove, and elderflower on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

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Claire Colette

Awareness is the sky, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

60h x 96w in

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Claire Colette

The shape of your body, our utopia, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense (frankincense, myrrh, copal, benzoin), flower essences, dried lavender on canvas

72h x 60w in

Inquire

Claire Colette

A gift from a star to the sky, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

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Claire Colette

I feel your presence and it feels like love (for M), 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

72h x 65w in

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Claire Colette

States of Fire, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

Inquire

Claire Colette

Some Grab For Power, Some Gasp For Breath, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

Inquire

Claire Colette

Strange Fires, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

Inquire

Claire Colette

The Pleasure is All Mine, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense (frankincense, myrrh, copal, benzoin), flower essences, dried lavender on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

Claire Colette

The Fruit of My Womb Was the Sun, 2020

Rose water, acrylic, ash, salt, myrrh, white copal, frankincense, essence of wild iris, foxglove, and elderflower on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

Claire Colette

Awareness is the sky, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

60h x 96w in

Claire Colette

The shape of your body, our utopia, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense (frankincense, myrrh, copal, benzoin), flower essences, dried lavender on canvas

72h x 60w in

Claire Colette

A gift from a star to the sky, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

Claire Colette

I feel your presence and it feels like love (for M), 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas

72h x 65w in

Claire Colette

States of Fire, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense, dried flowers, on canvas over polyester

43.25h x 29w in

Claire Colette

Some Grab For Power, Some Gasp For Breath, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

Claire Colette

Strange Fires, 2020

Acrylic, ash, salt, rose water, resin incense on canvas

18.50h x 15w in

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"What is on my mind when I am painting is that we live in a dark and confusing time where many people are being failed by political structures and in which the ecosystem is suffering. I don’t think all art needs to reflect light but I do think the art that does is helpful as a reminder that better is possible, that the mystery of the dark can be beautiful, and that what we know is truly nothing in the face of the surrounding wildness. Sometimes realizing our smallness is the most liberating thing."

—Claire Colette, from her 2018 interview with VoyageLA

Review

Image courtesy of Ochi Projects

REVIEW
by Katie Kirk

Mountains, Time, and Other Devices
September 15–October 27, 2018

"The painting becomes the device for looking, creating a space to be looked into rather than upon. Ultimately, it becomes the portal through which the viewer can more immediately experience the landscape."

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VoyageLA Interview

Image courtesy of VoyageLA

INTERVIEW
by VoyageLA

"These days I am mostly a painter. The motifs in my work are constantly evolving, but thematically they reference my interest in darkness, light, internal and external realms, time, and mysticism. My recent body of work is inspired by pantheism and pagan culture’s relationship to the natural world, seasons and the solar system. I make paintings using translucent and opaque layers of acrylic and flashe paint, which often describe abstracted landscapes, suns and moons, and sacred architectures."

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Maake Interview

Image courtesy of Kirsten Brehmer

INTERVIEW
by Emily Burns

"At once deeply expressive and highly-technical, Colette’s meticulously-rendered compositions invite deep, meditative viewing. Operating at the nexus of spirituality and science fiction, the artist utilizes a refined geometric language to depict mental and emotional landscapes, liminal spaces and expanded states of consciousness."

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Claire Colette was born in France, grew up in California, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She completed her MFA at Mills College in 2013 and has been an artist-in-residence at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and Root Division, San Francisco. Most recently, Colette has presented her paintings in solo and two-person exhibitions at Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho (2020); Ochi Projects, Los Angeles (2018); Johansson Projects, Oakland (2017); and Hunter Shaw Fine Art, Los Angeles (2017). Her work is in the collection of the de Young Museum, San Francisco, and has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including 36 Paintings at Harper’s in East Hampton, which was on view from June 13 to July 14, 2020. In addition to her visual art practice, Colette is also a poet and has released two volumes of poetry.

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