Although I am an artist in California, my aesthetic concerns are paralleled in the extreme conditions of the volcanic Icelandic landscape. Its spare beauty, colors and powerful geothermal effects have inspired my paintings, drawings and video work for over a decade. My perceptions of the landscape are documented through photography which I use later as reference for my paintings and large works on paper. Current paintings and works on Yupo focus on Iceland’s glacial rivers and explore the changing light, colors and energy patterns created by these powerful waters as they intersect with the land. In the studio, I take that sense of transformative flow and interpret it with a range of applications (pouring, squeegees, drips) using acrylic paint, graphite, enamel and other media on wood, canvas and duralar. The flow of paint is manipulated so that it is similar to the natural flow of water and layered with glazes to create luminous surfaces of texture and depth. The paintings are an investigation of the visual and geological life of the rivers, vibrant symbols of metamorphosis and vulnerability in ourselves and in the natural world. I begin with perceptual experience but it is the essence of place – what is felt as well as seen – that compels my work. I am interested in how natural forces shape matter and space in both visible and hidden ways.
Artist Bio / CV
Joan Perlman was born in New York and lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the California College of the Arts and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited widely, with recent shows in Iceland (Skriðuklaustur Museum); Virginia (University of Virginia, Charlottesville); Los Angeles (Long Beach Museum of Art; Kristi Engle Gallery; POST Gallery), New York (Wave Hill), San Francisco (David Cunningham Projects) and Europe (Hafnarborg, Iceland). Her awards include fellowships from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, NY; Durfee Foundation, Los Angeles; the National Endowment for the Arts; and cultural grants from the American Embassy. Perlman is the recipient of residency grants from the Ucross Foundation; Santa Fe Art Institute; Djerassi Resident Artists Program; MacDowell Colony; and the Reykjavík Art Museum/SÍM, Iceland. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Achenbach Foundation); Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, France/Terra Foundation for the Arts; and Hafnarborg Institute of Culture and Fine Art, Iceland and has been written about in numerous publications and essays. It has been featured on NPR in the US and Icelandic National Radio. For complete bio information please visit www.joanperlman.com.