Above: “Unknown Species #201”
Laura Gurton, born in Brooklyn, NY, into a family of artists, has always been working in one medium or another. After studying Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, she exhibited and sold her glass art in galleries in New York City and New Hope, Pennsylvania. Later she returned to school to study Art Education and became the Art Specialist at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and then taught high school at a specialized program for the arts. She rose to become Assistant Principal of Fine Arts, Edward R. Murrow High School in
Brooklyn, NY. Although Laura loved her students and found Art Education a worthwhile pursuit, she missed concentrating on her own work. In 2004 Laura was determined to get back to her painting. She left her supervisory position to focus on her own development. Moving to the Hudson Valley, inspired by its natural beauty and artist communities, her art has flourished. Within this time she has developed her own style and shows her paintings regularly in a variety of different venues throughout the Hudson Valley, New England, New York City, New Jersey and California. Laura has been recognized on the worldwide stage by being chosen to participate in Personal Structures, an official part of the 55th Venice Biennale di Venezia 2013, Art Southampton, The LA Art Fair, Miami Context, and The Shanghai Art Fair.
My Unknown Species Series consists of paintings that contain concentric circular lines and colors that mimic pieces of agate, rings inside of trees, mold, other patterns in nature and most importantly microscopic cells. For many years I have painted landscapes, wanting to represent the beauty of our world. By accident, I had dripped some opaque paint onto a landscape panel that was covered with a wet transparent glaze. I was delighted to see how the opaque paint spread into the glaze. The circular shapes reminded me of shapes I had seen through a microscope or scientists’ photographs of molecular images. Since that initial accident, I continued experimenting with various formulas of paint using these circular images.
In nature, fundamental processes produce forms that are similar, but never identical. Think of the seemingly infinite variety of leaves, for example, or the fact that there are billions of human beings on the earth at this time, no two exactly alike. My way of applying paint remains constant from painting to painting, and yet, as in nature, great variety is found in my paintings. This variety can be seen in a choice of colors, the relative density of my signature circular forms in different areas of the compositions, and the overall flow of imagery; some paintings seeming tranquil, others highly energized. Some are centered, others a field of imagery edge to edge.
I see the shapes with their concentric circles as a representative for time itself, displaying their growth like the rings in a tree which comes with age. When they overlap each other, they display the passage of time in layers. The cellular shapes in all my paintings, echoing naturally occurring shapes, provide the rhythms of life and existence. Ultimately, I strive for my work to be a highly expressive representation of nature’s beauty in its primary elements.
Within my lifetime scientists have come to realize that our world in in jeopardy. Species are dying out, global warming is a real threat. The issues we are facing on land and on water are always on my mind. As an artist, I have chosen to rejoice in nature to remind myself and others of the beauty of life on earth and the importance to support all sustainable developmental goals.