Berman’s Node and Port series focus on a central void, encircled with bands of monoprinted pigment that evoke the idea of a secure and protected space. Loosely concentric circles anchor and converse with the next, stacking and echoing in rhythm. In Berman’s Locus series she reapportions pre-existing monoprints to create organic shapes that float within a vacant space. These new component pieces are nestled beside each other, eliciting a sense of community, with each element built from and supported by its relationship with those that surround it.
Crawford’s newest works incorporate handwoven textiles in addition to the naturally-derived hand-dyed fabrics the artist is known for. Coupling the two creates visible connections between tension and slackness, stillness and looseness - elements intrinsic in both the physical and conceptual qualities of Crawford’s work. In these paintings, the layered compositions are both delicate and strong, the textures intimately commanding reflection. Through Crawford’s work we reflect on ourselves as intrinsically connected to and in reciprocity with the landscape we inhabit and the paramount role of nature in our lives.
In Tarantino’s paintings, nearly opaque swaths of ivory acrylic eclipse a layer of colorful marks that stand in stark contrast to the natural tone of the linen fabric. The series is a continuation of the artist’s investigation into language, and explores texture through paint, and also the addition of sewn elements that reinforce and accentuate different marks and layers. In these paintings, text and textures are obfuscated and revealed, the context coming together spontaneously, akin to a written letter emerging on the page.
In Contexture artists Berman, Crawford, and Tarantino explore fluidity, form, and language through works that seek to communicate and connect.
- Carrie CrawfordFairfax, CAArtist Page
Carrie Crawford (b. 1969) is a painter and textile artist working with indigo and other natural dyes. Her organic shapes result from a series of dips into various vats of wild-crafted and handmade dye. Inspired in part by raw landscape and felt experience, her work attempts to link land and body through earthen materials. She resides in Fairfax, CA with her family.
- Gail TarantinoEmeryville, CAArtist Page
Gail Tarantino (b. 1958) is a San Francisco Bay-area painter and photographer. Her works focus on thinking of ways to interpret language and its myriad meanings. Gail's work often begins with drafting short narratives or letters which she then translates into color and form. Though encoding and obfuscating her writing, Gail creates images that question the validity of interpretation.
- Laura BermanKansas City, MOArtist Page
Laura Berman (b. 1973) is a Kansas City, Missouri-based artist who creates images that layer time, space, form and color together. Inspired by the natural world, her work focuses on play, improvisation, and relational dynamics in her work. Laura Berman is a Professor at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she has taught in the Printmaking Department since 2002. She is a Founding Member of the Art Brand Alliance, author of the ongoing series of artist interviews, Reflections on Color and Printmaking, and together with her husband, she runs Prairieside Cottage and Outpost, a family-friendly artist’s retreat in the Flint Hills region of Matfield Green, Kansas.