It’s that time of the year when we Southerners are prey to chilly, gray days. But Katherine Sandoz’s exhibition “Tahoe Hybrids” offers us a hopeful view of the winter landscape. On view at the SCAD Atlanta’s Gallery See through January 23, the show includes studies, a series of small paintings, and an imposing 8-by-20-foot panel painting that draws the viewer into a land of surging wave, rock, and sky.
Born of Sandoz’s trip from her home in Savannah to Lake Tahoe, the paintings are ethereal yet anchored by hulking dark shapes. Layers give way to layers, evoking the veiling of snow and the emergence of green trees and balding rock faces. It gives a sense of seeking and finding.
Hues of gold, red, and soft browns warm up the otherwise alpine palette. The paintings seem to move as you scan their surfaces, and a deeper look is rewarded with delicate textures, disappearing shapes, surprises of color. The work is representational, yet swims the surface of abstract minimalism without diving in. The sketches are more recognizable, while the paintings strip away an element of orientation, inviting the viewer to tumble through the work. Viewed as a whole, the show is a mini-vacation, without the packing.
Bunny Byrne is a writer and painter who is currently procrastinating on a novel and restoring a home in downtown Charleston.