Harper’s is pleased to present Derealization, a new group of paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Claire Colette. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Slipping between representation and abstraction, Colette’s paintings build spaces where psychic mystery mingles with physical experience. The perspective of their landscapes offers a suggestion of vast space. Rolling slopes and layered horizon lines appear without any grounding points of human scale, further intensifying a decentered objecthood. On the surfaces of the canvases, layers of paint are infused with natural elements such as incense resin, petals, flower essences, salt, and ash, which provide material connections to moments of ritual and agency. At times, an illegible script appears in a three-dimensional scrawl across the plane, evoking an urgent appeal to, or perhaps from, the sky.
The exhibition’s title, Derealization, refers to the psychological phenomenon of emotional or perceptual distortions more commonly understood as an out-of-body experience. This experience of disembodiment can be unsettling and unpleasant, but can also operate as an informative state, which invites comparisons to open-ended dream spaces, expanded views on the human sense of time, and the space sought by the Buddhist goal of stepping back from the trappings of the self.
Inspired by artists, poets, and ecofeminists such as Joan Mitchell, Etel Adnan, Donna Haraway, and Clarice Lispector, Colette probes permutations of language and the human fantasy of renewal and eternal return through the divine, the natural, and the technological. Colette’s tightly-edited palette of colors has expanded subtly in new directions, with hues such as a spring green or a dusty rose, suggesting room for moments of exuberance and rejuvenation. The works brush up against the individualistic undercurrents of Southern California and the climatic haze of the Golden State while looking towards the unconscious tugs of sacred presences amongst a vast cosmos.
Visual artist and poet Claire Colette (b. 1980, Reims, France) participated in artist residencies at School of Visual Arts, New York, and Southern Exposure, San Francisco prior to receiving an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA in 2013. Most recently, her work has been featured in solo and two-person presentations at Harper’s, Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY (2021 and 2020); Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, ID (2020); Ochi Projects, Los Angeles, CA (2018); Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA (2017); and Hunter Shaw Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (2017). Her work is in the collection of the de Young Museum, San Francisco, and has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including Melrose, Harper's, Los Angeles (2021); My Secret Garden, Asia Art Center, Taipei (2021); Hot Tropics, La Loma Projects, Pasadena (2021); and 36 Paintings, Harper’s, East Hampton (2020). Colette is represented by Harper’s and she currently lives and works in Los Angeles.