Just Us Here
Through April 26, 2021
Gaa Gallery Provincetown
Gaa Gallery is pleased to present Just Us Here, a selection of new work from painter Erika Wastrom. Opening Friday, November 27, at 494 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA, this exhibition will be presented in the Gaa Gallery Provincetown Project Space through April 26, 2021.
Rendering the spaces in and around her daily life, Wastrom's newest paintings depict an altered social landscape defined by isolation and proximity. Motivated by finding newness in familiarity, Wastrom seeks to cultivate expansiveness within the edges of home. Produced during the summer and fall of 2020, the work in Just Us Here conveys the new arrangements and intricacies of everyday life in the COVID-era. Immediate, direct, and moving nimbly between narrative and stylistic considerations, Wastrom presents collage-like, two-dimensional portraits, interiors, and still lives.
Capturing and arranging the delicate, careful, sometimes chaotic, and haphazard placement of life-stuffs, Wastrom presents us with the detritus of a home turned singular universe. Floors are made into work and play spaces, children's toys strewn across the floor overlap with remote school lessons, plates carefully placed to dry next to the sink remind of the repetition of days, tenderly cared for plants create ecosystems for comfort and escape. There is a melancholic and meditative quality in this work, where domestic space takes on a new dimension and we are reminded of the preciousness and tenseness of time. Simultaneously expanding and contracting, people, objects, scenes, and narratives are presented as singular units, sometimes feeling as though they are floating solitary beings orbiting each other.
Deeply invested in mining the history of painting and abstraction, Wastrom’s recent work is inspired by a range of art historical figures who have offered new ways of seeing and depicting space and abstraction including the work of Italian Pre-Renaissance painters, Sassetta Duccio and Fra Angelico and the drawings of Klee and Picasso. Focusing on three central elements- space, line, and color Wastrom's work is cast in a warm sage green light and is composed of distinct elements seemingly pinned up on the page. These direct and generous images of people, objects, and spaces are animated and given dimension through the delicate layering of pattern, texture, water-based media, pastel, and colored pencil. Through perceived flatness, Wastrom reminds us how an object without moving- a book, a painting, a screen, can carry us into another space both within and outside of ourselves.
Erika Wastrom (b. 1984, Barnstable, MA) lives and works in Barnstable, MA. Wastrom received her MFA from Boston University in 2012, and recent solo exhibitions include Erika Wastrom and In Light of Nothing, Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA; and This Must Be the Place, Gaa Gallery, Wellfleet, MA. Wastrom's group exhibitions include Against Forgetting, Gaa Gallery Provincetown, MA; The Grass is Green, Gaa Projects, Cologne, Germany; Summertime, Gaa Gallery, Wellfleet, MA; New Talent, ArtSTRAND, Provincetown, MA; and Asterisk Projects, AAF, New York.