Offramp Gallery = 1702 Lincoln Avenue = Pasadena, CA 91103 = 626.298.6931
Lisa Adams: Born this Way Review
ArtScene October, 2011
Lisa Adams’ astonishing series of small gouache-on-paper paintings merges hyperrealistic depictions of birds and flowers with surreal forms surrounded by shimmering atmospheres of layered color. In one, a hot pink Gerbera daisy, captured in a milky oval pod, hovers next to a quirky black abstraction that sheds thick tears of smoky gray. Between them hangs a tenuous curtain of passion fruit vines. And behind them cascade thin veils of pale blue sky. In another, two nut-brown pods float across a translucent sea, with miniature defoliated - and very precisely rendered - trees tottering on their surfaces. Under the water is a grove of finger-like growths sprouting crisp triangular leaves. In another of Adams’ gouaches, a tiny finch rests on the ragged branch of a denuded tree. Its gnarly trunk is bound by knotted ropes: a troubling human intrusion. The naturalistic representations are so precise as to recall watercolors by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) or John James Audubon (1785-1851). Adams contrasts the naturalism with alien plant growths and artistic tropes from splashes and washes to drips and splatters. Her juxtapositions create an evocative dialogue between nature and culture. This dialogue is poetic and evocative — it is the very essence of aesthetic production (Offramp Gallery, Pasadena).
Betty Ann Brown
Lisa Adams, 2011, gouache on paper.