Friday, September 2, 2016

Karen Roff Paintings on Display at Kent Library


The Cherry Tree Series, a group of paintings by Karen Roff, will be on display at the Kent Public Library through the month of September.

Ms. Roff started The Cherry Tree series in 1988, shortly after she had  moved to Dutchess County from the city. There is an ornamental  cherry tree in her front yard  along the road that attracted her, and  she began to draw and paint this tree under varying conditions and with an  assortment of mediums. 

She had always liked Mondrian’s tree pictures from the early 1900s, especially one entitled The Red Tree, an oil painting completed in 1909-10. There was energy expressed in the twisted branches that filled the space of the canvas, and she observed the same type of energy in her cherry tree.

 This series later evolved to include other trees and the untrammeled growth on her property, and was the inspiration for a group of abstractions that were informed by the textures and structure of  natural  forms, and the sensation of ambient light as it selectively illuminated swaths of the landscape at  post sunrise and pre-sunset.

This phenomenon was a fleeting occurrence that would suddenly materialize when the sun was low to the earth, and  its rays would send  shards of light across the vegetation, causing her to run for her cellphone to record the vision before conditions altered.

While working on these abstractions that were concerned with the interaction and quality of lines, luminosity, directional forces, and contrast of values, she also continued to work with more traditional realistic views of trees, some of which straddle a border between order and chaos, and the three dimensional hybrid sculptures which are a combination of cement and branches and function as tree reconstructions.