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This Land, This Sea:
Joe Forkan, Lisa M. Robinson, Nancy Tokar Miller

Nancy Tokar-Miller Lisa M. Robinson Joe Forkan


March 20th – June 9, 2012
Reception: Saturday, March 24 from 7 pm to 10 pm

Location: Etherton Gallery
135 S. Sixth Avenue
Gallery Hours: 11 - 5 Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment
Contact: info@ethertongallery.com, 624-7370


… there is more of the really abstract in some 'representation' than in most of the dead representations of the so-called abstract so fashionable now.

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946)


Etherton Gallery is pleased to announce its final show of the 2011-12 season, This Land, This Sea featuring recent paintings by Joe Forkan and Nancy Tokar Miller and photographs by Lisa M. Robinson. The exhibition features three artists whose paintings and photographs evoke an intuitive and impressionistic experience of the lush vistas, dense jungles and foamy seas that inspired their work. This Land, This Sea opens March 24, 2012 with an artist reception from 7-10pm and runs through May 26, 2012.

Counting Robert Motherwell as the strongest influence on her work, Nancy Tokar Miller’s seductive paintings take us along on her travels to exotic destinations like Bali; and with each carefully mapped out brushstroke, they evoke the spiritual experience of being amongst dense tropical greenery and ancient temple ruins.  Works such as Tikal IV, come to life through a process of reduction and simplification. As she says, “… a finished piece should have nothing “extra” about it.  The sense of place I’m working toward is not primarily concerned with the outward look of a place.  It is more a matter of finding a personal equivalence through paint on canvas or paper for the feeling of the site or experience.”  

Lisa M. Robinson’s Oceana photographs insert the viewer into an image of an ocean in constant flux, in which neither time nor space can be determined.   Like the 17th century Dutch seascape painting, to which her work alludes, Robinson’s representations of the sea are metaphoric.  Images of a tumultuous ocean such as Surge, suggest new beginnings, and the inevitability of sweeping personal change. In Robinson’s photographs, neither her place, nor ours is evident, but we share in her personal journey. Robinson describes Oceana as an effort to, “invoke these concepts of shifting time and space while evoking a more intuitive response to the sea.” These ideas ground her work in the tradition of photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who believed that photographs could symbolize one’s innermost thoughts and feelings, and articulated his ideas in a series of photographs of clouds, known as Equivalents.

This Land, This Sea features landscapes and seascapes painted in Ballycastle, Ireland, a small village on the North Atlantic surrounded by working farms and pastures, where Joe Forkan spent the summer in 2010. Forkan captures ephemeral moments unique to the bucolic Irish countryside, like clouds darting across a lavender sky in Sunset, Downpatrick I with quick, impressionist daubs of paint creating a brilliant synthesis of color and light. Another painting, Ceide Fields, reduces the magnificent Irish coastline to an intimate scale in the lyrical, painterly style that situates him at the cross roads of California Impressionism and post-war modernism, and distinguishes Forkan from his contemporaries.  

Together in Etherton Gallery’s upcoming show, This Land, This Sea, Joe Forkan, Nancy Tokar Miller and Lisa M. Robinson evoke a metaphorical sense of place with gorgeous land and seascapes that transport the viewer to faraway lands.

This Land, This Sea: featuring paintings by Joe Forkan and Nancy Tokar Miller and photographs by Lisa M. Robinson, opens at Etherton Gallery on March 24, 2012 with an artist reception from 7-10 pm. Etherton Gallery is located in SoCo (the recently designated cultural district South of Congress) at 135 South 6th Avenue in downtown Tucson, above Downtown Kitchen+Cocktails. Regular hours are Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm and by appointment. For more information, call the gallery at (520) 624-7370 or email us info@ethertongallery.com