Jakki Kouffman's paintings are landscapes, but her focus is on something far more ephemeral than a single moment in the life of a place. You might guess that her true subject is friction, or shadow, or the howling New Mexico wind. In “Texture/Chroma (Rock & River)”, showing at — Pippin Contemporary from July 31 through August 14, her true subject becomes clear: these are portraits of time itself.
The Santa Fe artist's long-term series of acrylics is called “Rivers, Mountains and Sea”, and it speaks to the idea of resistance and change in the land through bold colors, striking textures and sweeping gestures.
“I'm enamored of the business of resistance,” Kouffman says. “It's all about change and the bearing of time on these wonderful geologic formations.” She manipulates paint in much the same way the harsh desert elements shape the land around her, imbuing her compositions with the swirling transience of an abstract painting.
Kouffman was born in Chicago and brought up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She attended Brandeis University for sculpture and worked for a year at an artist colony in Italy before moving to New York and switching to painting. It wasn't until she moved to Juneau, Alaska 18 years later that she became fascinated with the earth's slow but staggering shifts.
“Nature is the force that rules your life up North, just like culture does in New York,” she says. “In Alaska, if you're out of your house, you're walking with the bears.” Kouffman stayed in Juneau for 6 years before moving to Santa Fe, seeking a balance between the two lifestyles.
Now the artist primarily paints expressionistic Southwestern landscapes, but her technique harkens back to her time as a sculptor. Mostly using a palette knife, she pushes and pulls thick layers of paint across the canvas, a method that reflects her message.
“The aim of this effort is to explore the mingling and collision of water and air with sand and rock,” Kouffman says. “Mark-making moves beyond the verifying of facts to the cataloging of visual behaviors that correspond to shifts in temperament and the meanderings of a wandering artisan.”
Jakki Kouffman's “Texture/Chroma (Rock & River)” runs from July 31 through August 14, with an opening reception on Friday, August 2 from 5-7 pm. Pippin Contemporary is located at 200 Canyon Road in Santa Fe, NM.
Release ID: 15452