Today we’d like to introduce you to Meredith Pardue.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Born in Monroe, Louisiana and based in Austin, Texas Meredith Pardue is an acclaimed contemporary artist whose work is widely recognized for its dynamic, large-scale compositions featuring abstract botanical forms and scenes derived from nature.
Pardue holds an M.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York and a B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Following her studies, Pardue traveled extensively, finding inspiration from the varied flora and
landscapes of the American South, the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean, and Central America.
Today Pardue’s work continues to gain critical acclaim and is prominently displayed in several notable private and corporate collections including Exxon Mobile Corporate Headquarters, J. Crew Corporate Headquarters, Genstar Capital, BBVA Compass, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, University of Texas at Austin, UT Southwestern Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Lamar Corporate Headquarters, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, SCAD Fash Museum, the Savannah College of Art & Design, and Baylor Scott and White Children’s Hospital. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and published in Architectural Digest, Modern Luxury Interiors Texas, Luxe Magazine, Traditional Home, Elle Decoration South Africa, Dwell, and New American Paintings.
Please tell us about your art.
I combine the random actions of painting with controlled, deliberate mark-making to describe each form in my work, which often appears floral or plantlike in structure. The canvases are composed of organic forms that derive from those found in nature, but ultimately the paintings are a visual record of an unplanned dialogue between myself and a blank canvas. Together the marks and forms create a visual language that reads as something unique to each viewer. I position these forms against a pale ground that at first glance appears to be an expanse of negative space, but is actually a built-up surface that, upon closer inspection, reveals the history of the layers of paint, which are more elevated from the surface of the canvas than the forms themselves. It is neither the form nor the ground that I explore in my work, but the relationship between these two. The space is pushed and pulled through the tension of positive and negative spaces and through the dynamic of the compositions, which generally tend to rotate or undulate within the framework of the canvas.
I could say that I intimate a certain relationship between physical and psychological space in my work, because in a sense that is true. But my approach to making a painting is more comfortable, intuitive, and personal than cerebral. And the result of this visual investigation—the painting—reflects that process. I am most interested in extracting singular experiences—snapshots—from life’s endless cycles of growth and decay, and in transforming the public, universal worlds of nature and human dynamics into sites of private knowledge.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
The internet has opened up a whole universe for professional artists. We now have so many options for sharing and selling our work. There are the obvious platforms of social media and artist websites as a means of sharing our work, but there are countless other ways to implement technology into broadening our audiences and selling our work. I use technology to help the commercial galleries who represent my work sell my pieces more effectively by sharing links to available gallery inventory in emails, helping to promote my own solo exhibitions, photographing each new painting immediately upon completion and uploading it to my website, keeping my artist website current with available inventory, exploring the new mediums and options for editions that are now accessible to artists, and many more.
I would absolutely say that life has become easier for artists in recent years, as we now have the capability to reach a vastly broader audience than ever before, and our careers are no longer limited by curators, art dealers, museums, or print publications. One of the negatives of reaching the broader audiences is the gross proliferation of visual plagiarism and artists copying other artists work, however, the benefits of internet technology far outweigh the negatives. In fact, I do not believe it is possible to have a successful career as a professional artist today without having a presence in the online world.
Cities can host open studio tours for the public that are specific to certain neighborhoods or areas of town, art galleries can schedule opening events for exhibitions on the same dates, cities can designate certain weekends for artists and craftspeople to display their work in a certain outdoor location–for example “First Saturdays” of each month, cities can host art festivals in public spaces, and so much more!