The window opens the image
With light riding a blank flower
A blooming canvas.
The blueprints are filled with peak iris.
There’s a room with a door to a field
Straight to a field
Where the muscle car put to pasture
Where the violence gets overtook
The windshield cracking as you look.
We want to see in vertical
Heaven and earth
AND have an exit strategy for both.
We all want to go back to a time when we can’t conceive
of what was before
This picture was painted.
– Bill Callahan
Written after visiting the artist’s studio, Austin, TX May 2021
Broadway is pleased to present the New York solo debut of paintings and works on paper by Austin, Texas-based artist Claire Oswalt. The paintings are constructed from breezy swaths of pigmented canvas which are cut and sewn into recombinant forms and stretched onto asymmetrical supports. Referencing landscape and the more poetic neighborhoods of painterly abstraction, Oswalt melds romanticism with a refreshing technical precision. In particular, the artist’s unique treatment of the painting’s edges through a combination of wrapping and paint application, creates an inbuilt framing device that simultaneously abets illusionistic pictorial space and a tactile, sculptural presence.
As the show’s title suggests, these works operate at a nexus of nature and human intervention. Open-ended conditions are bent to Oswalt’s will, but retain a spirit of wildness at their core, and a suggestion of what hangs just outside of the painting’s frame.
The accompanying collages act both as studies for the paintings and a window into Oswalt’s process. Made from bits of cut and torn paper, watercolor and acrylic, these smaller works underscore the importance of improvisation and intuition in the early stages of creation, and point to the steady refinement and added gravity of scale and time.
A seventh-generation Texan, Oswalt has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions at Rebecca Camacho Presents in San Francisco, CA and Laura Reynolds Gallery in Austin, TX. Her work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Paper Magazine, and Artweek. Oswalt is a recipient of the Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant for Mixed Media.