Nature, science, and mythology weave together to evoke balance, symmetry and growth.
Mystic Geometry is Katerina Lanfranco’s fourth solo exhibition at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, and her first exploring the narrative and symbolic content of abstraction through geometry derived from nature, science, and spirituality.
Lanfranco appropriates the cool visual vocabulary of analytical abstraction and charges it with feminine energy through her use of color and complex compositional strategies that champion the decorative by including techniques once relegated to the “female” world of craft.
The artist creates an immersive installation with large-scale paintings that layer historical references and deep illusionistic landscape space, and small-scale artworks with detailed, highly textured surfaces. Cross-cultural research and intuition drive Lanfranco’s curiosity to discover forms that evoke spiritual resonance in the tradition of Theosophist artists Hilma af Klint, František Kupka, and Wassily Kandinsky.
The first of three rooms in the gallery is an installation of seven large-scale (from 6 x 6 feet – 6 x 8 feet) paintings centered around an octagonal floor mandala and interactive sculpture. Each painting is composed on a grid that anchors an overarching Platonic Solid connected to one element of nature. The artist interweaves allegorical narratives, associative color, and spiritual iconography, including alchemical signs, I Ching hexagrams, Tarot icons, the secret language of flowers, and Viking runes.
The next two rooms feature smaller Vision Quest paintings, cutouts, mixed media sculptures, ceramic pendants, and mandalas on lake stones. The paintings explore naturally occurring geometric forms and radial symmetry through traditional oil painting as well as more unconventional media – beads, glitter, and other embellishments – that add three-dimensionality and offer a tangible space for private meditation.
The painterly and ethereal qualities of the work contrast with the structure underlying the compositions, opening a window into Lanfranco’s web-like visual thinking. Throughout the work, recurring circular patterns invoke sacred design as well as forms and cycles of organic growth; from solar systems to the smallest particle. This show represents an orbital return to the artist’s first solo show at Nancy Hoffman Gallery in 2006, which also explored themes of nature, science, and religion through a futuristic lens, while Mystic Geometry extends its roots into the primordial past.
Katerina M. Lanfranco was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1978. She received a B.A. in Art, a B.A. in Visual Theory and Museum Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from Hunter College, City University of New York.
The artist’s work is included in Cleveland Clinic Art Program, Ohio; Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Special Collections Library, University of Santa Cruz, California and Kupferstichkabinet Museum of Prints and Drawings, Berlin, Germany.
She was a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Residency in Japan with US-Japan Friendship Commission, Washington, D.C.; Krasner-Pollock Foundation Fellow at Byrdcliffe Artist in Residence Program, Woodstock, New York; Artist-in-Residence, University of California Santa Cruz; Tony Smith Award, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York and was Exchange Scholar, Universitat der Kunst, Berlin, Germany.