Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to announce City by the Sea, featuring oil paintings by Melinda Hackett. This is the first solo exhibition for the artist at Octavia Art Gallery.
Hackett’s paintings defy popular convention. They are not figurative, decorative, representative, or even completely abstract. While it is hard to tie them to any one style or movement, they manage to be a part of all of them. Hackett’s work is influenced by pattern, midcentury design, art of indigenous peoples, and the art and craft movement, combined with a loose examination of the natural world. She creates a visual environment that is both recognizable yet strangely mysterious. While steeped in art history and influenced by a range of artists from Miro to Arthur Dove, Charles Burchfield, Agnes Pelton, Florine Stettheimer Sonia Delaunay and Hilma af Klint, among many others, these drawings and paintings are pure inventions of a world as seen in her mind’s eye, full of natural possibilities and visual playgrounds.
In Hackett’s paintings, color investigation is used as a vehicle to illustrate the biomorphic forms that populate the picture plane. The colors speak for themselves while the forms explore their own societies where they can be seen as stand ins for the human condition. Each painting begins with a purely spontaneous wash of color and slowly comes into focus as forms intuitively make their way into and onto the surface. As the forms develop, a push and pull of the near and far is established, like the view through a microscope or through a telescope. Hackett’s work makes us question whether we are looking at a micro world or a greater world outside of our universe…or perhaps they are the same thing?
Melinda Hackett was born in and currently resides in New York. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Parsons/The New School, NY, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hobart William Smith Collage, NY. Her work has been included in solo exhibitions at Charles Cowles, NY; John Molloy Gallery, NY; MM Fine Art, NY; Julie Keyes Gallery, NY; Hidell Brooks Gallery, NC, among others. Her paintings are in the collections of the Parrish Art Museum, NY; Fidelity Bank, MA; the Mill Reef Club, Barbuda, as well as numerous private collections. Hackett attended a printmaking residency at the Vermont Studio Center from 2008-2010 and has been an artist in residence at Emergency Arts, NY since 2006.