P·P·O·W is pleased to present a one-person exhibition of new paintings by Karen Arm. These paintings represent a new plateau in Arm's ongoing exploration of her highly individual visual language and painting technique. A full color catalogue is available.
Often Arm develops her paintings from photographs used for scientific observation of natural phenomena that the unaided eye might fail to detect. She builds up layers of glazes on canvas and then applies marks to that ground that are abstractions of these phenomena: plumes of smoke caught in ambient air currents, concentric ripples of water, rhythmic crests of ocean waves, or outer-space star clusters. She applies another layer of semi-transparent ground over these marks, obscuring them and pushing them into the color field. Arm continues to alternate luminous grounds and accretions of micro-marks to create a seemingly infinite macro-world. Natural phenomena are abstracted and sealed into the canvas's meditative illusionistic deep space.
Arm utilizes color to evoke specific moods and temperatures, like cool opalescent shades of blue, green and gray, warmer shades of burnt orange or light-absorbent black. In some paintings the profusion of lines and marks create turbulence-the viewer's eye is set into motion over the surface and into the elusive depths. Arm's delicate dramas are enhanced by the tension between structure and line, mark and object, abstraction and representation.
In 2002 Karen Arm was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Award for Painting. This is Arm's third exhibition at P·P·O·W. Her paintings have been exhibited in numerous galleries nationally since 1993.