Over the past decade, the landscape has been a consistent motif throughout my work. Rather than being a faithful representation of the natural world we inhabit, it becomes a manifestation of desire and memory imposed upon by the artifice of technology. The work I produce samples from the rich visual language of constructed reality that permeates the history of pictorial space, both in its analog and digital constructions.
My most recent paintings offer a contemplative space that invites the viewer to explore within. While there is lush beauty here, there is also a conspicuous human absence in these uninhabited, detached fragments that float in ambiguous, abstract spaces. Much in the way that memories exist in fragments with gaping voids of lost information, these landscapes hover in state of dreamy and melancholy suspension, as if these apparitions are all that is left of a world that no longer exists. This sense of uncertainty and detachment, or “solastalgia,” is a persistent symptom of our contemporary condition of facing an unknown future. Drastic changes such as urban expansion, forest fragmentation, strip-mining and fracking physically disrupt and alter the natural world and threaten its very existence. While the notion of a post-human world may have disturbing implications, I also find poetic beauty in the idea that life and consciousness may exist outside of human experience, and that some echo will persist, with or without our participation.
Cristi Rinklin received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1999, and her BFA in painting from Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1989. She has exhibited her work in galleries and museums throughout the United States, as well as venues in Rome, Florence, and Amsterdam. Rinklin is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Berkshire Taconic Artist’s Resource Trust and the Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and has been a Visiting Artist/Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. Her work is represented by Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston.