Artist Profile: Karen Fitzgerald
For 20 years I have been working exclusively in the tondo form. Roundness is fundamental to my visual thinking. The form is not only nature’s most efficient, it is also uniquely able to convey a subtle essence of interconnection, wholeness and metaphysical purpose. I believe the energies within our physical world are interconnected; I am interested in the process of elucidating those interconnections.
I thin oil paint until it is in a very fluid form. Gravity and the physical differences of each pigment – some are heavy and settle quickly, some light, settling slowly – create flow patterns. I build up these flow forms over many layers, producing a luminous, subtle, rich surface. This way of working incorporates chance. I value this process because there is a great deal I cannot willfully control; surprise is a constant.
Several years ago I created a small group of paintings called “Entropy Undone.” They were ruminations on transformation: what happens at a point of transformation? What does physical transformation look and feel like? The title refers to our world – our entropic, physical plane. Things tend to degenerate in our world, yet there are moments when degeneration stops or is reversed, when something transforms. All these works imagine and visualize the point when entropy becomes undone. I use a gilded ground as a cue; just as the artists of the Renaissance used gold leaf to signify spiritual aspects, my use of gold does not hold a decorative intention. I intend that the precious metal indicates something beyond our physical world, something metaphysical.