Annell Livingston on Joanne Mattera
Joanne’s work is about color first, “color beyond color,” color that resonates somewhere deep within me, somewhere beyond the eye. For me, it is to see color from the heart. Usually we see color with our eyes, but with Joanne’s work I think I “see” it, and “feel” it in a deeper place. It is color that reaches down into my core; my response is a resonance I look for in art.
When Joanne visually says “red” she does not stutter—it is loud clear, and deep. It is that resonance that makes her work personal for me, gives it meaning. She examines color in an isolated way, one canvas at a time. One color at a time, yet they work together, and create a visual dialogue.
She has titled this series of work, “Silk Road,” which encourages the viewer’s imagination to get involved. For me the title suggests exotic bazaars and camel trains, a world other than my own. The luminosity of the work also suggests the light, sunshine, and shadows of a faraway exotic place, a world that exists in my mind alone. The vibrations her work produces create similar vibrations within me.
Annell Livingston studied in Houston in the 1960s and moved to the high desert country of Taos in 1994. That landscape, she says has been the inspiration for her paintings, which have alternated between still life and her more recent pure abstractions. “These works are not about what the desert looks like, but what it feels like as actual place or metaphor,” she says.