19 January 2013

Single large or several small

Big Sloss Iron Furnaces, Birmingham

Big Sloss… Didn't know what Sloss meant before I clicked SLOSS debate @ Wikipedia. Oh I see, Sloss is an acronym. SLOSS.

The SLOSS Debate was a debate in ecology and conservation biology during the 1970s and 1980s as to whether a single large or several small (SLOSS) reserves were a superior means of conserving biodiversity in a fragmented habitat.

Oops, I am lost now. So let's click Sloss furnaces @ Wikipedia instead.

Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States. It operated as a pig iron-producing blast furnace from 1882 to 1971. After closing it became one of the first industrial sites (and the only blast furnace) in the US to be preserved for public use.

Paintings of abandoned machinery and industrial ruins by Anna Held Audette

Leave the Slosses alone and let's hear about the American painter who created the atmospheric iron painting above, Anna Held Audette, how she sees her art.

My paintings comment on the melancholy beauty found in relics of our industrial past. 

 Factory (2005)

 Factory (1999)

Old New Haven, CT (2007)

Both the literal and evocative meanings of these subjects strike a responsive chord in me and provide variations on a theme that has been central to my paintings for a long time.

The relics remind us that, in our rapidly changing world, the triumphs of technology are just a moment away from obsolescence. Yet these remains of collapsed power have a strength, grace and sadness that is both eloquent and impenetrable.

Transfigured by time and light, which render the ordinary extraordinary, they form a visual requiem for the industrial age.
–Anna Held Audette

 Mingo Junction, OH (2006)

 Fog (1994)

 Helicopter 1 - Blue (1984)

Artists who have shaped my vision are as diverse as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Piet Mondrian, Walter Murch and Franz Kline.

While my paintings are representational, their formal relationships are of equal concern to me.

 Sloss 1 (2002)

 Sloss Exterior (2002)

Snowplow at Scranton, PA (2006)

The ways in which the solids and spaces interact, the visual complexities of the shadows, and the changing surface qualities are all important considerations in each composition. 

 Suisun Bay XII (1996)

Weirton, West Virginia (2007)

I share the duality of this outlook with Charles Sheeler, another artist I admire, who also felt "that a picture should have incorporated in it the structural design implied in abstraction and be presented in a wholly realistic manner". –Anna Held Audette

American Landscape (1930) by Charles Sheeler