Minneapolis artist Jodi Reeb is well known for her mixed-media paintings and engaging encaustic (molten beeswax) artworks that incorporate patterns and images from nature, music, home, and family. But don’t expect to see Reeb’s usual patterns and images in her new painting exhibit, Surface Alchemy, at the Kolman & Pryor Gallery. Rather, Reeb explores what happens when she creates compositions where the surface becomes the most important thing. Surface Alchemy begins at Kolman & Pryor on Saturday, April 19, 2014 and runs through Saturday, June 7, 2014, with a free public reception on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7-10 p.m.
Alchemy is defined as a magical power or process that transmutes a common, everyday or vernacular substance into something considered of greater value. In Reeb’s case, the materials are beeswax, acrylic paint, and metallic pigments. “By focusing on the surface, I’ve come to understand more about the dynamics of painting with molten beeswax and acrylic paint,” she says. “My most recent work focuses on the singular beauty of the surface.”
“In the past, my focus has been on content, creating work that’s nature-based and contemporary,” Reeb explains. “Recently, however, I’ve developed an interest in creating rich surfaces that are pure in form and free of content. With the new works in this show, I’ve used common materials in the layers of encaustic paint to create beautiful, rich surfaces that explore the opacity and translucency of each painting.”
“Inspiration comes from experimentation and the nature of the materials I use,” she adds. “I am also intrigued with how light accentuates the height and depth of the surface, creating light and shadow on and between the layers.” In addition to beeswax, Reeb is also using iron oxide, acrylic paint, bronze and copper pigments, graphite and shellac, which she sets on fire to get controlled yet spontaneous surface affects.
Kolman & Pryor co-owner Anita Sue Kolman says, “I’m honored and excited that Jodi’s using the show to stretch herself and move in a new direction. I know her fans will be pleased.”
Reeb’s prior artworks and commissions can be found in the collections of law firms, healthcare facilities, financial institutions, hotels, and other diverse corporate and private clients. Much of this work, she says, “is about collaborating and placing my work in existing spaces.” A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Reeb teaches encaustic painting and actively exhibits throughout Minnesota and the U.S. One of her works was selected as the 2004 Metris Uptown Art Fair’s commemorative print.