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Beth Ganz

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It is possible to characterize my work as an investigation of the relationship between abstraction and landscape. My practice seeks to reveal a profound interconnection within the types of beauty, orderliness and harmony that emerge in each form, as I see both visual traditions as reflections of a single aesthetic principle. This intuition of unity affects my approach to materials as well as genre, leading me to abandon the conventional categorizations of media in favor of an approach that moves fluidly between painting, photography and drawing.

In pursuit of this overall project, I have been using digital satellite maps – contemporary images that are at once landscape and abstraction. Specifically, I have looked to the varied land configurations of North India using Google Earth; from high mountainous areas to densely populated city grids, from terraced farmlands to river deltas. I captured and printed large maps that are at once reminiscent of Asian scroll painting, 15th century European engravings and Modernist abstraction. These are the source material for an iterative process that has included freehand painting, tracing, digital printing and collage. Northern India is rich in historical associations that are particularly meaningful and urgent in our increasingly cosmopolitan world. It is the point of contact and conflict of civilizations from the Vedic, to Buddhist, to Hindu, to Muslim, up to the colonial British, and now the forces of contemporary globalization. This history of cultural interweaving and interpenetration is perhaps mirrored in my approach of combining formal and material techniques.

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