Constance Mallinson

Constance Mallinson,  Mountain (detail) , oil on canvas, 53 x 164 inches

Constance Mallinson, Mountain (detail), oil on canvas, 53 x 164 inches


For over 25 years my paintings have explored the collision between humans and nature. As climate change and environmental devastation occur at increasingly dramatic levels, my epically scaled landscapes and monumental still lifes invoke the sublime with its notions of disorder, precarity, destabilization, and excess. While the imagery is rendered in rich detail recalling Old Master aesthetics, the intent is to unsettle the viewer in the face of media overstimulation and saturation, and the threat inherent in hyper consumerism. Using a painted collage technique to interweave conflicting viewpoints, I collapse the traditional borders and binaries between nature and culture, causing diverse spatial, temporal, and cultural associations to collide and multiply. In my wall-sized landscapes, fragmentary images are unified in an endlessly replicating visual web with no fixed-point perspective. Passages of unspoiled nature are juxtaposed with the artificial and ecologically disastrous, exposing the constructs and tropes of landscape representation with its utopian myths, fantasies, and illusions of control over the non-human environment. These paintings express the loss of direct experience of nature and its replacement with cultural conceptions of nature as mere matter to be manipulated and consumed. Similarly, the hybridizations of still life and landscape composed from decaying natural materials and accumulated fragments of consumer culture obsessively collected on my daily walks through the city implicate cultural practices in the eco-crisis. Terrifyingly beautiful, post-apocalyptic, allegorical, critical and celebratory, my paintings visualize the ongoing tensions between civilization and nature. As we redefine our relationship with nature in this globalized techno-consumerist age, they prompt questions and debates concerning the complexities and moral dilemmas about living in a disposable world as well as our mutual vulnerability and destruction.  


Constance Mallinson has exhibited widely throughout California and is included in many private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the San Jose Museum. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Pomona College, University of California Riverside; The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; The Armory, Pasadena; and Jason Vass Gallery, Los Angeles (2017). She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, as well as a City of Los Angeles Artist Grant. Mallinson has been awarded Artist-In-Residence fellowships from such institutions as the Santa Fe Art Institute and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Her commission of twenty four permanent artworks for the EXPO Line MTA Bergamot Station opened in 2016. In addition to her studio practice, she is a critic and curator whose writing has appeared in art publications such as Art In America and Xtra, the Times Quotidian, and many exhibition catalogues for university art galleries. She has curated exhibitions for the Los Angeles Fellows of Contemporary Art, ArtCenter College of Design, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. She has served on the faculty of UCLA, Otis College of Art and Design, California State Long Beach, and Claremont Graduate University.

Experience the art of Constance Mallinson in Peripheral Vision No. 8

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