Joan Backes

July 12 - August 12, 2012

"Backes's near encyclopedic foray into the aesthetic... and poetic experience of trees adds up to a meditation on symbiosis." Constance Mallinson, Art in America, March 2009.

The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present Joan Backes: Home, a conceptual reflection on themes of nature, shelter, forest and home. Backes is a multi-talented artist exhibiting oil paintings, drawings, sculptures and large-scale installations.

Backes carefully examines the tree, looking at every physical and conceptual aspect. She creates carpets of laminated leaves, paints detailed and accurate images of bark, takes crayon and graphite bark rubbings, and builds installations and sculptures out of limbs and branches. Because the tree is a recurring symbol across cultures and generations, the resulting work touches a primal part of human imagination, and recalls a broad spectrum of literature, folklore, and art.

A featured installation of this exhibit is Bamboo House, a three-story structure made of bamboo and roofed with thatch. Bamboo House was originally built in Thailand, and this exhibit is its first showing in the United States.

Joan Backes is an internationally renowned artist and has shown in Scotland, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Chile. A concurrent exhibition is on view at the Newport Art Museum through September 3, 2012.

note: this photo gallery is still being updated, please check back or email dedeeshattuckgallery@gmail.com for additional photos and information.

"loaded with meaning and memory and expectation." - Don Wilkinson, Standard Times, August 4, 2012Read the full review here.

"As Thoreau did, [Joan Backes] 'drives life into a corner,' quite literally, and finds there the geometry of where we belong." - Stephen Vincent Kobasa, Art New England Magazine, July/August 2012. Read the full review here.

"Backes approaches trees from every angle, from the smallest detail of bark to over-arching conceptual possibilities" Boston Globe, Critics Picks, July 11, 2012. Read the full article here.

"Viewers are invited to contemplate the meaning of home." - Brian Goslow, artscope magazine, capsule previews. Read the article here.

"For Joan Backes, her love of nature is much more than a passion" - Michaela Johnson, The Rhode Show, July 30, 2012. Read the full story and watch the TV spot here.


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