Paige Twyman

Postindustrial imagination

<em>Windy Periphery</em>, 2020, 52” x 68”, oil on canvas.
Windy Periphery, 2020, 52” x 68”, oil on canvas.

Paige Twyman, a painter from Los Angeles, creates landscapes that are inspired by place but enhanced by memory and imagination. Although her canvases are not explicitly about climate change, neither do they ignore its profound effects on the landscape. “When I am investigating the ecological themes behind my work, I wonder, how can I still find joy and presence in the disappearing peripheries that might not be here five, 10, 20 years from now?” says Twyman. “I hope that viewers can find beauty in colors and forms inspired by nature, while also joining me in the exercise of appreciating the overlooked natural fringes of a postindustrial landscape.”

Twyman studied textile and fashion design at the Maryland Institute College of Art but soon took to painting for its immediacy: the speed with which she could translate an idea onto the canvas. Her palette and the textured patterns of her work reflect her background in fashion — bright colors and discernible brushstrokes. One such work, Moon Card, she reconstructed from her memory of time spent in Ireland studying abroad. The result is a lush, green landscape rendered in long, fast brushstrokes, with fire-orange droplets of rain falling from the sky. “The history of looking at nature through the lens of human exceptionalism is reconsidered in my approach to the medium,” she says, “by presenting inanimate forms as animate subjects that possess their own autonomy.”

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Noelani Kirschner is a former assistant editor for the Scholar.


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