The vibrancy of color and surface in Lisa Tubach’s Interference are an enticing invitation to visit Anderson O’Brien Fine Art in the Old Market in June. This current exhibit’s title contains multiple references which yield a satisfying blend of form and content.  

“As a painter my work has a lot of ambiguity,” Tubach said. “The compositions have a level of complexity addressing the hidden dynamic in the beauty of the world.”

The palpable sensation of motion and color, bright at first glance, slowly reveals the compilation of forces operating beneath the surface of decorative appearance. “Bounty, Deadly Bounty (From the Table to the Sea)” is a complex interweaving of drawing and painting. The paint surface and depiction of forms combine to build a narrative of beauty and its potential extinction. The bowl in the lower right hand corner appears to hold the sea’s bounty, while the whole composition begs the question, “What is the bounty composed of?”

The painting’s abstraction as well as its representation of identifiable forms each provides clues. Is the sea anemone hovering next to the molecular model of pesticides cohabitating in friendly waters? Are those little white dots delightful decoration or deadly disease?

“I end up writing a lot and doing lots of research,” Tubach stated. “It is the hidden dynamic in the beauty of the world that goes into my compositions. A lot of the pieces have letters from formulas of pesticides or molecular equations. I’m fascinated by that world of language, whether it’s related to chemistry or foreign languages.”

“That’s the challenge” Tubach continued, “working the layers to create entry points for the viewer; how to say something without it being too literal, how to combine the malleability of space with things which are graspable.”

 “Torrent (The Heart)” appears to do just that. The iridescent jeweled tones glisten in the swirling light and dark balance. The spatial ambiguity presents an image open to interpretation. Could this be an anatomical close-up, or a deep water discovery? The pulsating rhythm of paint stroke speaks to either possibility. Tubach clearly seeks to engage the viewer’s imagination. “It references the heart of the core and layers of earth” she said. “Hydraulic fracturing is a process which involves lots of water. (There are parallels) in digging into the depths, the inner sanctum of the earth and the human heart.

The magnitude of human desire for control over nature is an issue that resonates with me. I was an activist in college about these issues. I love the experience of being out in Nature, It is important to spirituality. Ecology is how we are all connected. Pesticides are cycled through weather patterns. The interconnection of everything is mind boggling.”

 “The Slow Creep” juxtaposes color and shape presenting a dichotomy between beauty and threat. “Thick As Thieves (Atrazine)” simultaneously reveals the dark underbelly of a light appearance. What you see might be more than you know. The sensory overload works to full effect in much of this exhibition. While an image such as “And Rest Can Never Dwell” doesn’t seem fully resolved, the color, space, and movement in “Drift” teem with life. This painting’s interlinked, quasi-geometric, jewel toned shapes illuminates Tubach’s thesis. There is an intensity of vision here, concisely held within interconnected references.

“Painting is very much alive for me,” the artist said. “I love the sensory riot and smell of paint. I need to paint in order to process these issues and complexities. The herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides are a billion dollar industry. Working with this content is my way of making a difference, and hopefully opening a larger continued conversation. Whether it’s endocrine disruption or Atrazine in the water, it all comes down to issues of public health.”

The seductive beauty in this body of work is deliberate in its intention to highlight dynamic forces at play in our lives today. Whether considering personal health or planetary health, the immediacy and tactility in these paintings urges the viewer’s gaze. This is an invitation to look deeper, consider wider, and see larger.

Lisa Tubach Interference continues through June 24, 2012 at Anderson O’Brien Fine Art in the Old Market, 1108 Jackson Street, Mon-Fri 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sat 10 am – 5 pm, (402) 884-0911,

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