Mark England

The American landscape is cloaked in cultural opacities and cluttered with human debris. I contend that no one with a twentieth-century eye can see through the layers of artificial meaning and histories we have imposed onto this finally impenetrable continent. So, rather than trying for that ever-elusive glimpse of a landscape or history in its purity, I choose to paint the perceptions and impositions between us and a place we cannot know.   These paintings of the United States are a dialogue between my personal perceptions, experiences, and imagination and the many public ones about different people, places, and entire nations. 

In these paintings I am far more concerned with representing and questioning cultural and visual expectations than with illustrating a scene. In a sense, my paintings and drawings are anthropological; in them, I often dwell on the values, activities, and events of ancient and contemporary cultures, “tracing” the traces they left behind. 

In the past two years  I have been working through the challenges of introducing figures in to the landscapes. This poses new questions and creates a dialogue and tension which invites the viewer to resolve. How does the figure interact with their surroundings? Why is it there? How does it exaggerate or compliment the scale of everything else? How does it create a more personal narrative?

These are paintings are maps of time, culture, dreams, perceptions, the future, and how we wish to see ourselves and our history I twist perspective, visually and historically.  All things, time, history, memory, and perceptions are present in these paintings. your paragraph here.

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