Offramp Gallery = 1702 Lincoln Avenue = Pasadena, CA 91103 = 626.298.6931 
Lisa Adams: Born this Way Preview
Artweek.LA 9/5/11

September 5, 2011, Features
Lisa Adams: Born This Way

By Sandra Vista   Thu, Sep 01, 2011

This current series of small scale gouaches emphasize recent lessons the artist has learned about the resilience of mankind. Opens September 11 at Offramp Gallery in Pasadena.

Lisa Adams: Born This Way

Lisa Adams’ current personal experiences have made her aware of how people cope with unexpected adversities.  Adams talked about living life in the gray areas where happiness and tragedy are sublimated.  The random splashes and drips of color, along with uprooted trees and plants, define the destructive elements of nature.  The regenerative aspects are portrayed through images of flowers and birds.  Gouache #19 exemplifies her perspective with two spheres of earth floating above water. They miraculously produce individual tree sprouts shooting into the sky. Beneath the water are fragile and significant symbiotic threads that reflect how humans are often bound by mutual experiences and fears.

Adams’ bird images are an equal presence of beauty and contradiction. In some of the gouaches the birds serve as witnesses to tortured, tormented and uprooted trees.  In gouache #13 a diminutive finch observes and participates in the tragedy of a tree that is pulled out from the earth.  The tear-like drips emanating from the mammoth tree are complemented by a single tear drop below the perched finch.  The single tear drop is not necessarily shed by the finch; instead it exaggerates the buoyancy of nature.   Adams commented on her own personal experiences with finches that liked to visit her patio.  She said that “birds are not as sweet as you think”. The finches she watched were very territorial and aggressive when it came to sharing their bird seed.  They would segregate themselves from other birds.  Adams translates the birds’ need to isolate by portraying them as solitary images on paper. Most of their expressions are solemn, serious and tenacious.  They are here to stay under any crisis.

The flower images are equally as somber and solitary. Their beauty survives under torrential drips of paint which symbolize the hazards of unpredictable weather.  They remain stalwart-growing in pots that look like man-made road signs. Also, the flowers endeavor to balance Adams’ world view by exuding sensuality and the possibility of future propagation.  


By Sandra Vista