Into Nothing: New paintings in Ash and Oil

February 15 to March 23, 2017

 

Into Nothing is a momentary foray into the darker side. The darker side is to be understood not as something necessarily evil for its own sake, but ‘the’ something as an obverse of light.  In the truest sense of the nature of humans and nature itself, one cannot have light without the dark, positive without its negative aspects.  The potential in fire as the ultimate destructive force hides within it its polar opposite – that of the regenerative potential of what is left behind.  In creating a void, fire nonetheless immediately fills the space upon which it acted.  As Gaston Bachelard observed, “It shines in Paradise. It burns in Hell.” Fire is therefore ‘the’ conflicting force about which, to this day, we know very little. It is both good and evil.  Pazderka negotiates the subject of fire via depictions of local wildfire smoke, clouds and portraits of in/famous philosophers, artists and cabin dwellers, painted and drawn into burned wooden substrates treated with ashes and charcoal.  Ghostly images emerge, subtle and soft, yet quietly disturbing at the same time.

Tom Pazderka is an interdisciplinary installation artist, painter, sculptor, teacher and writer. He holds an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara where he was a Regents Fellow and is currently the Artist in Residence for the 2016/2017 academic year. He is a lecturer of art at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, CA. Half Czech and half American, the son of working class immigrants, he moved to the US at the age of 12 shortly after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. His works have been exhibited at UCSB’s AD&A Museum, Asheville Art Museum and Cameron Art Museum in NC, Parasol Projects, NYC, Trafo Gallery in Prague, and Pink Dog Creative and the Push Gallery in Asheville, NC.  The recipient of numerous awards including the Howard Fenton Award for Painting, residencies, his works have been reviewed and profiled in many publications including New American Paintings and Daily Serving.