Wednesday Art: Spotlight on Karen Steen

I saw Karen's paintings for the first time at the Contemporary Art fair two weeks ago here in NYC, and they immediately drew me in.  Maybe it's the organic forms that she uses as her subject or the transparency of her paintings.

Here's what she says about her art:

Thanks to science, we can see, what according to nature’s design, is invisible to us. There in the microscopic realm, just beneath the surface, it is possible to observe a myriad of intricate forms and systems, interconnected in a sort of glorious dance. We can watch as cells and organisms reach out, touch, separate, cluster, and spread. For me, this small-scale world represents that which is omnipresent, yet overlooked. The feeling that civilization is bearing down and damaging the balance of nature’s elaborate systems, fuels my continued interest in organic forms and their relationships.

My work consists of drawings, collages and relief sculptures. These approaches blend precise drawing or cutting with random changes to papers produced by drips, contact with rust, or immersion in liquid. The small drawings are delicate and meticulously rendered, and call for close examination by the viewer. The collages and reliefs involve the creation and arrangement of shapes in response to my study of all sorts of microscopic and botanical forms. These works are larger, abstract, and more playful than the drawings. I integrate numerous materials into the collages and reliefs, including string, colored mesh, aluminum screen, wood, and plexiglass. The shallow relief of my sculptures suggests the multiple layers that exist beneath the surface. Scale and choice of materials in the sculptures fluctuates, and is the part of my practice which is undergoing the most change.

What do you think?

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