Barbara Rae
New Paintings
17 September - 16 October 2002



Barbara Rae is a celebrated Scottish landscape painter who travels extensively for the creation of her work. The dramatic coastline of Ireland's County Mayo has been a source of inspired painting by Rae this year after her residency at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation where she is amongst a group of international artists invited to experience working in this wild, imperious coastal landscape. Jagged, striated headlands that plunge vertically into the sea and man-made patterns of interlacing fences and walls that divide the landscape absorbed Rae's attention, and to these she applied her unmistakable palette. The sheer energy and wild light in the works lifts them to new, at times startling, levels of expression.

Incantatory colour, richly painted surfaces and bold compositional strategies are distinguishing features of Rae's work. For years her adventurous spirit drew her to Arizona's Painted Desert, different in every way to the saturated, wind-driven coastlines of the Irish painting. The visual drama of the Painted Desert provided her with the change to work close up to the earth. She explored the mysterious narrative of archaic man in the form of ancient pictograms and petroglyphs etched onto rocks, while simultaneously standing back to convey the intensities of light and colour in the landscape as a whole. This Irish/American landscape tangent is the subject of Barbara Rae's first exhibition in New York.