In their two-person exhibition at Uprise Art, artists Devon Reina and Arielle Zamora utilize the conceit of the grid as a flexible framework, a guiding principle that is ultimately abandoned in favor of materiality and expressive mark-making.
Zamora’s works are created by smoothing gypsum-based joint compound and oil paint over wooden panels. After meticulously preparing the substrate, Zamora carves into the surface with an etching tool, creating recessed channels that reveal the layers below. The surface is then flooded with cold wax medium, imbuing the pigment with a matte luster. Working with the x and y axes, Zamora deftly carves patterns and forms that reach near-symmetry, giving the impression that each curve could be neatly folded into one another or repeated with geometric harmony. In Zamora’s paintings, it is the subtle dissonance created by the waver in each line, the undulation of each channel, and the texture of the paint application that reveals the artist’s hand and adds specificity and idiosyncrasy to the experience of the work.
Reina’s works begin with a set of rules relative to the square format of his canvases. Dividing the surface into a precise pencil grid, he begins demarcating the surface with wax pastel, following a pattern dictated by self-directed prompts. The wax pastel is then manipulated with water, causing the finite drawn lines to bleed and merge with one another, staining the canvas and disrupting his systematic line work. This painterly unpredictability foregrounds the importance of Reina’s material-guided practice, where form and composition are established by the innate qualities of the materials themselves. Boundaries are constructed, collapsed, and then built again, with the interrelation of color and line creating new relationships.
In Abscissa, both Reina and Zamora contrast the painterly with the mechanical, in service of creating works that nod to order while ultimately serving as reflections of each artist’s unique perspective and material sensibility.
- Devon ReinaBrooklyn, NYArtist Page
Devon Reina (b. 1996) is a Brooklyn, New York-based artist and designer. Devon's cross-disciplinary background inspires his curiosity for materiality and process. His paintings celebrate a range of versatile media, from thick paint impastos, to expressive ink washes and delicate wax pastel line-work. Across his various bodies of work, Devon is interested in how marks of color can interact with each other to suggest the illusion of depth, movement, or direction.
- Arielle ZamoraPortland, ORArtist Page
Arielle Zamora (b.1990) is Portland Oregon-based painter and printmaker who creates paintings through a labor-intensive process of layering joint compound and paint. Reacting to the geometry of their substrate, Arielle carves a variety of lines into the surface to reveal subtle shifts in color and line weight, while repeating and manipulating shapes and forms that recur throughout all of their work. Chance imperfections humanize their abstractions and invite a scavenger hunt-like engagement with the work.