Pelican Bomb, 2013
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present new work by Anastasia Pelias. This will be the first exhibition for the artist with the gallery.
Anastasia Pelias’ large-scale abstract works reflect a seriousness and dedication to the traditional principles of painting. Using the materials of oil, gesso, turpentine, and gravity, Pelias builds each work intuitively; layering paint and gestural marks to achieve dense, richly colored paintings that are at once enveloping yet also recede into indeterminate depths. The artist’s application of many thinned washes of oil results in elongated drips, irregular striations, and loosely patterned grids that show us the artist’s hand and hint and her process of rotating the canvas, allowing gravity and time to pull the paint across the surface. Primarily, Pelias’ paintings are about color - its elusiveness, response to light, and impressionability from surrounding tones and hues. Her color choices originate from moments and places that she’s experienced, such as the light and space of her immediate environment or the landscapes of both her native New Orleans and her ancestral home of Greece. Reminiscent of Whistler’s nocturnes and Rothko’s color diaphanes, Pelias’ most recent paintings, which will be on view, are quietly intense. The almost monochromatic surfaces yield gradually to reveal a complexity of color and a tension that occurs where each layer of contrasting color meets. The results are paintings that inhabit a space between the purely abstract and the allusive while also possessing a palpable energy. Moreover, Pelias’ handling of surface, texture and chromatic relationships strives to elicit perceptiveness and an experiential moment for the viewer.
Anastasia Pelias was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and continues to live and work in New Orleans. Pelias received her BFA from the Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1981 and her MFA from the Unviersity of New Orleans in 1996. She has exhibited nationally and her work is included in several private and public collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Mobile Museum of Art.