By Betty Milonas
Carol Brown Goldberg explores the relationship between art, science, and nature in her latest exhibition "Tangled Nature," on view at Florida International University's Frost Art Museum.
"Tangled Nature" presents a series of paintings and drawings exploring human relationships, the evolution of memory, and the natural world.
Developed from pen and ink meanderings on sketch paper in the style of automatic drawing, Goldberg interpreted these images into the large scale works seen in exhibition. Speaking on her process, Goldberg told SciArt Magazine:
“Once I discovered black paint markers, I applied them to canvas. Feeling liberated from decades of mixing paints and washing brushes, time became condensed….time is now used for a different purpose. I am not thinking of the texture of the brush stroke, or which brush will be needed next, or ‘where is my palette knife’. Therefore, my hand is free to wander and diverge of its own accord.”
For instance in PM 28 the linear vine-like drawing provides a continual flow of lines, creating an overall unity while building depth through layering. The black and grey tones are delicate yet energetic as the vines, foliage, flowers, and plant hedges become entangled through visual order and chaos.
Another detailed and captivating piece is Maggie on my Mind, one of the few bold multicolored works in exhibition, depicting the interconnection of science, art, and the natural world. Unlike PM 28 this image is set against a black background, highlighting a colorful biological landscape. The lively, contrasting colors prompts the viewer to explore the landscape, evoking questions of our own relationship with the natural world.
Discussing her inspiration, Goldberg writes:
“....that everything is interconnected; the cosmos, ancient civilizations, Bell’s Theorem, and ‘quantum entanglement’. Everything we know and everything we have yet to discover. I believe that time is fluid as each moment contains the past, the present, and the future.nWe walk with the DNA of our ancestors dreaming futures for people we will never meet.”
Miami Blush, one of the most striking works in the exhibition, is infused with an intense dark red, depicting a tangled web of nature with growing foliage and plant hedges. A mysterious quality manifests as a beam of light shines down, allowing the viewer to follow their own subconscious associations to analyze the organic lines. In contrast, Passive Resistance, a moody blue painting with a series of black vine-like lines, evokes a personal emotional journey of serenity and contemplation.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Goldberg created a collaborative mural project at the museum, inviting the viewers to become active participants by drawing their own organic lines. Goldberg explains:
“It is a never-ending creation without boundaries, without ego. The goal of the finished piece is that it becomes an integrated ‘entanglement’ with no appearance of interruption or discords among the foliage.”
"Tangled Nature" at the Frost Art Museum is open through May 21, 2017.