Jake Longstreth

Gallery Affiliations: Gregory Lind Gallery

Region: Pacific Coast

These paintings emerge, in part, from thinking about and looking at nineteenth-century Hudson River School landscape painting. I’m trying to reconcile the reverence those artists expressed toward the North American landscape, along with America’s potential when it was created, and our current conditions. The Hudson River School painters worked at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Now, 150+ years on, it is impossible to look at even the most remote and spectacular landscape without an implicit awareness of a sprawling, highly technological and extractive global economy. Does Nature still look the same to us as it did to them? I don’t know.

The series Particulate Matter refers to the suspended particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, some natural (volcanoes, forest fires), some manmade (Co2 emissions, cow shit), that when in high concentrations constitute air pollution and discoloration. The paintings explore a range of those conditions visually—from the dour to the lovely. They are not based on photographs or any source material. They are like improvised abstractions.