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A recent exhibition by Jennifer Omaitz, Above Ground, Beneath the Surface, at 1point618 Gallery in Cleveland, demonstrates a unique understanding of space and depth.
Omaitz holds an MFA from Kent State University and a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Her work contains layers, not only in the literal sense but also in the many ideas behind it. She works with ideas from the histories of abstraction, architecture, landscapes, natural disasters and tactical responses to painting.
The accumulation of layers creates a strong architectural sense of depth. Previous sculptural work captured these ideas of depth and color relation. In this return to painting, she flawlessly combines these ideas in a two-dimensional form. She also expresses abstract ways of paint mixing in layers that, in some pieces, express differing senses of depth and space.
In the works Above and Beneath and Pandora’s Box, she uses perspective to express space, creating a spatial relationship through the utilization of contrasting sharp and flowing edges indicating inside and outside.
In Geode and Walking on the Moon, she expresses a sense of a figure ground relationship. ‘Geode’ displays a dimensionality to the figure with fracturing edges made by painterly techniques, while ‘Walking on the Moon’ possesses a stronger indication of the ground with the figure being more of an object floating in space.
Her show indicates ongoing exploration of her inspirations, fueled by a strong sense of depth and understanding of painting. Absent pre-planning, she simply begins and reacts to the paint when necessary.