In advance of Natalie Bieser's upcoming pop-up exhibition, "Sierra Mountain Time", museum curator, author and essayist, Cara Montgomery, reviews Bieser's newest body of work:
"A Fresh Look at a Familiar World"
Natalie Bieser creates colorful and nuanced watercolor paintings that focus on the world of nature in it's beauty and complexity.
In her recent series "Square One: Grasses", Bieser animates what is commonly viewed as dull grey weed matter into sparkling forms of colorful energy. The varied palette of the series illustrates how diverse tones can impact the subject matter - a beautiful selection of red shades in "Ruby", a range of yellows, violets, chartreuse in "Dead Grass" and "Day Break on Grasses" then a stunning mix of rose, terra cotta, blue, violet, yellow and greens in "Disturbance" and "Storm Tracks". This long neglected subject matter contains a world of life and energy, requiring a fresh and careful eye to regard an underplayed part of the environment. The Square One watercolors hold not only biologic and geographic markers, but inspiration for abstracting their essence in joyful illustrations of their primacy and energy. This art has transformed a subject otherwise little noticed by viewers into a whole new world of possible significance - paralleling their true importance as grounding matter in the everyday world we know. This portrayal offers an imaginative fresh look at the ordinary; hidden within may be the extrordinary. Bieser's comments on this series, on her website, nataliebieser.com, emphasize their function in connecting and firming everyday ground. Color and expressive shape give the theme new life and we, the viewer, think of grasses in a fresh way. - Cara Montgomery
Cara Montgomery is an art historian and former curator of exhibitions at The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL and The Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL. She is the author of "Looking at Flowers", a survey of botanical illustration and flower paintings from 1600 to present.