The Common Cold Paintings by Ohlone Professor Elizabeth Blau - Louie-Meager Art Gallery

Glacial Pour.Glacial Pour, 48 x 60 Acrylic on canvas.
  • On view through March 12, 2018
  • Artist talk and reception March 6th 1-2:30
  • Free and open to the public Gallery
  • Art Gallery Hours

Elizabeth Blau is a painter whose work reflects different notions of memory and impermanence through imagery of icebergs, foreclosed houses, and other natural and constructed phenomena. Her work has been exhibited in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Philadelphia. She completed her MFA degree at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (Painting & Drawing 2012) and her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from CalArts, California Institute of the Arts, (2004). She has been awarded grants and fellowships from The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts in New York, the Nevada Arts Council, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, and has recently been awarded a fellowship with The Arctic Circle Residency program. Elizabeth teaches drawing, painting and online Art Appreciation courses for Ohlone College.

Artist Statement: The studio work with which I am engaged explores different ways in which our landscapes transform and how they are remembered. I situate my work in the landscape painting tradition, a history that still remains limitless with representational possibility and critique. The imagery in my work is inspired by my research, which involves documenting disappearing landscapes as they happen. For example, I spent the summer in 2014 in the Arctic documenting the receding glaciers with a group of scientists and artists. I brought this information into the studio where I expanded upon the imagery by layering images, painting, drawing, making prints and mixing media until arriving at a visual conclusion. My intention in my work is to depict the rapid changes occurring in our natural and cultural landscapes. In the end, I hope that the work sparks dialogue and action towards preservation efforts.

My paintings are as influenced by Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting, as they are by the fields of photography and design. However, a dominant aesthetic drives the work, one that comes from being born and raised in Las Vegas; a controversial city in the Mojave Desert. My work is deeply affected by the visual austerity of my native landscape where the ruthless sun, drought, crisp contours of jagged mountains and infinite vistas drive the spaces depicted in my paintings. No matter where I am in the world, this aesthetic appears in my work.

Painting provides me a space to process the complexity of the world around us. I am interested in creating paintings that cohesively converge imagination and reality, the graphic and atmospheric, figurative and abstract, scientific and random, in other words creating a forum where opposing forces can co-exist.

You can view her work on her website at