This week we welcome Elisabeth Condon. Condon is known for paintings that overlap natural and built environments. Linking scroll painting with the decorative wallpapers of her childhood home, she incorporates their motifs in paintings and permanent public art works such as Urban Idyll, commissioned by the Metropolitan Transit Authority for the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. Station in Queens.
Condon’s paintings are held in the collections of the Tampa Museum of Art, Perez Art Museum Miami, Hudson River Museum, United States Embassy Beijing, and numerous private collections throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation painters and sculptors grant, the Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and a Florida individual artist fellowship.
Condon earned a master’s in fine arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago and bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles. For 11 years she was a tenured professor of painting at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Born in Los Angeles, she lives and works in New York.
“Lately I’ve been painting flowers two-dimensionally, reminiscent of wallpaper, using dispersion ink, gouache, and acrylic on paper. Painting from imagination, I overlap nature, décor, and abstraction within the flowers’ central, synthetic forms. The imagery derives from calligraphy practice, recalling the Asian-inspired wallpaper and textiles I grew up with.”
“As civil rights and women’s liberation movements swept 1970s America, I stared into the wallpaper patterns until they formed imaginary landscapes through which to escape the conservatism they represented. Now I free the patterns in flows of color, losing hierarchies such as figure and ground or single point perspective in favor of a calligraphic approach, in which image becomes gesture and paper and mark are reciprocal. In this way, pattern and flower co-exist in living, breathing presence.”