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Oona Ratcliffe, Deep Forgetting

Gallery Nine5
24 Spring Street, 212-965-9995
March 5 - March 24, 2009
Reception: Thursday, March 5, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Gallery nine 5 is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by New York painter Oona Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe’s paintings, seductive frenzies of color and neon line, are constructed in a framework of loose sensuality. Tending towards the acidic and artificial, saturated color is offset by impenetrable flatness, lyrical line deceived by careful manipulation, intricate image belied by an absence of modeling or brush-stroke. Ratcliffe’s work is a play of opposites—an endless search for frozen stillness in a world of constant movement and an inherent tension between outside and inside, transparency and opacity, nature and urbanism.

Anchored in the duality of Ratcliffe’s paintings are a keen understanding of landscape and a curiosity about words and language. What appears as the topography of a grand expanse of nature can as easily invert to the intimate study of a microcosm. The painting Crystal, 2008, may refer to frost on a windowpane or a lonely patch of arctic islands seen from the air. Ratcliffe also incorporates text into some of her compositions with hidden words that blur the boundaries of signification, suggesting both the transience of language and detritus of talk.

These masked words provide respite in the energetic surface of Ratcliffe’s work for a moment of the concrete, the recognizable attained in the midst of complexity. Ratcliffe was born in Bolinas, California and received her MFA from Hunter College in New York City. Ratc- liffe has participated in various exhibitions across the U.S., including a solo show at Susan Inglett Gallery, New York and recent group shows at the Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, the Bolinas Museum, California, Roberts & Tilton, California, and Geoffrey Young Gallery, Massachusetts. Ratcliffe received a Janet Sloane Residency Award at Yaddo in 2005. She lives and works in New York City.
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