In an ongoing series of landscape oil paintings on fallen logs, artist Alison Moritsugu explores the ‘juxtaposition and tension created by having an image of nature on a section or sample of real nature’. In a past interview, Moritsugu says most of her wood comes from the northeastern US and are gathered from fallen trees after storms or from people who have cut down trees and are going to chip.
To ensure her paintings are preserved for years to come, Alison will dry the wood for 5-10 years in her studio, also place the wood in an anaerobic chamber to prevent bug damage. In her artist statement on her website, Alison adds:
These landscapes appear as an homage to the idyllic art of the Hudson River School yet, by viewing the painting’s surface, the cross section of a tree, any sense of nostalgia or celebration of nature is countered by the evidence of its destruction…
Painters throughout art history from the Northern Song, Baroque, Rococo and Hudson River School tailored their depictions of nature to serve an artistic narrative. Today, photoshopped images of verdant forests and unspoiled beaches invite us to vacation and sightsee, providing a false sense of assurance that the wilderness will always exist. By exploring idealized views of nature, my work acknowledges our more complex and precarious relationship with the environment.
Alison is represented by Littlejohn Contemporary in New York City. To see more of her artworks be sure to check out her official website at alisonmoritsugu.com.