by Mark Jenkins
March 1, 2019
“Hiking on the Root Glacier in Alaska’s Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Jowita Wyszomirska was in a world of white, framed by the blue of water and sky. Then the Baltimore artist returned home to make the drawing-paintings of “The Distance of Blue.” Mixed in media and technique, the artworks both document and stylize natural vistas.
As in Wyszomirska’s previous show at Gallery Neptune & Brown, the centerpiece is an installation in which paintings achieve a sculptural presence. “Water Memory” is partly overlapping plastic sheets, some clear and the others milky. The pen and brushstrokes on the ones that hit the floor evoke glaciers; the markings on the ones that hang higher suggest clouds.
The artist works mostly in shades of ice and water, with some touches of brownish red. She draws areas of tightly parallel black-ink lines set off by drips of blue and gray pigment. The watery gestures refer to the liquidity of memory, but also to the retreat of ice throughout the world. Some titles include geographic coordinates, to remind us that the glacier is real, for now. Wyszomirska’s pictures appear fluid and fragile, but they might outlast their inspiration.”
Jowita Wyszomirska: The Distance of Blue Through March 9 at Gallery Neptune & Brown, 1530 14th St. NW.