Purdy Eaton: Everything is Fine

October 31 — December 7, 2013

“Everything is Fine” explores the once great and still beloved American landscape and the re-imagined freedom of the open road. Building on prior work, “Everything is Fine” continues to probe humanity’s relationship to its physical and virtual environs.

In an attempt to root ourselves in the natural world, to hold on to an instant amid the perpetual frenzy, we obsessively snap and quip to capture and instantly share with all our “friends” the ephemeral beauty around us. Using cloud images posted on Facebook, Eaton revisits John Constable’s 19th century “Cloud Studies.” Constable directly observed the skies he painted and infused them with his emotional state. Today we often experience and perceive the world through a digital filter, the images captured and titled by others. Embracing this paradigm shift, Eaton’s “Cloud Studies” are presented and titled by the poster: “Cloudporn 2;” “#cabinfever, codeine edition;” “Traffic. Because everyone is staring at the moon. Hippie rage.”

Carving roads, bridges, homes and buildings through the vast, ever-evolving American landscape, we mold our world to meet our unending need to expand and progress, constantly creating new beauty and blight. While perpetually extinguishing and replacing the once cutting edge, we cling to the idealized nostalgia of the way things were, the uninterrupted open road, big sky country and vivid sunsets on expansive plains. In “White Rabbit” Eaton paints a highway rounding a bend with a rabbit at its edge, tender, hovering and pure; in “On the Road” a fawn steps gingerly onto the open road, an innocent creature on the unending grey tarmac. Both are poignant juxtapositions of the natural world and our progression into its expanse.

In her monumental photographic triptych entitled “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” Eaton captures a hummingbird in flight, suspended near a leaf-filled tree. From panel to panel, the bird restively vanishes and reappears. Eaton’s work captures moments of evanescent and shimmering beauty with reverence and admiration. Yet with disquieting anticipation one cannot escape the question: is everything fine?

“...when you are convinced that all the exits are blocked, either you take to believing in miracles or you stand still like the hummingbird. The miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose, only you were too busy searching elsewhere to realize it. The worst is not death, but being blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous.”

Henry Miller, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” 1962

The artist’s work has been shown at Arlington Center for the Arts, Massachusetts; Stamford Art Association, Connecticut; Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Indiana; Institute for Sustainable Cities, City University of New York, Governors Island; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, as well as many invitational exhibitions in New York. She received an Artist’s Grant, Vermont Studio Center in Johnson and Green People’s Choice Award, City University of New York; her work is included in the collection of 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.

She received an M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York; an M.P.H. from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut and a B.S. from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her studies include an Overseas Study Program, University of Kent Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom.

Purdy Eaton was born in Lafayette, Indiana. She lives and works in New York City.

For additional information and/or photographs, please call 212-966-6676 or email the gallery at info@nancyhoffmangallery.com

Yours sincerely,

Nancy Hoffman