In Eric LoPresti’s new series, Blooms, large-format watercolors explore the aesthetic and intimate yet vicarious relationship between beauty and destruction. LoPresti’s artworks depict the physical damage only human conflict can produce as well as the potential for produced beauty.
A contemporary visualization of the Apocalyptic Sublime, The Blooms series features two juxtaposed subjects, landscapes littered with man-made craters at the Nevada Test Site, an expansive salt flat and previous nuclear weapon testing site; and the Lewisia Rediviva, commonly known as the flower bitterroot, which is one of the few flowers that continue to grow in this scarred desert landscape. Inspired by the complex duality in Gerhard Richter’s work, both subjects find a common point in their observable qualities and display of manipulation. The craters are carefully engineered tactics of communication, a power play to one’s enemies; and the flowers, which manipulate nature through their color in order to reproduce and attract insects.
Creating a color field gradient that envelops the viewer, LoPresti utilizes the bitterroot’s color and semiotics by transferring it upon the vast desert landscapes. Exploring the personal connection to creation, destruction, and beauty, the vibrant colors fill the craters and drip from the blooms convey a sense of hope in the future and life after death.
Eric LoPresti holds a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at the University or Rochester, Kunsthalle Galapagos (NYC), and the National Atomic Test Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution (Las Vegas), as well as group exhibitions such as the Atomic Landscapes exhibition at the IDEA Space at Colorado College. A winner of the Faber Birren Foundation Award and the Miami Young Painters Award, his work has received mentions in numerous prestigious art publications including The New York Times, Art in America, and Artforum.com.