This series of paintings by Beau Carey are based on the artist’s 2013 winter artist-in-residence at Denali National Park. The paintings represent the artist’s continued explorations and focus on vast open spaces with passages of jagged, exacting mountains. Carey utilizes the formal element of the compositions such as the horizon line, not only as a construct that establishes background, middle ground and foreground, but acts equally as a boundary between surfaces, exposing imagined/hidden geologic processes. These same structures provided clues to 14th-17th century explorers engaged in coastal profiling that eventually defined how modern landscape was spatially structured. This structure while fully absorbed into the cliché of modern landscape painting is not innocuous. It is rooted in a history of globalism and environmental dominance. Carey enjoys the challenges of working in the field where variables exist that cannot be created in the studio. Painting with mittens on in minus fifteen-degree temperature, mixing paints, adding walnut oil to prevent them from freezing, create as he describes, marks that are reflective of the situation in a way that a photograph cannot possibly convey. These on-site paintings are later developed in the studio reflecting the ideas obtained in the field and are evidenced by the three paintings on display at the Colorado Convention Center.
(Photo courtesy of NINE dot ARTS)