Laura Rathe Fine Art (LRFA) Houston, TX is proud to announce Mother Earth, a reflective dual-exhibition of renowned artists Meredith Pardue and Lucrecia Waggoner. The opening reception will be held Sunday, April 7th from 12-4pm at our River Oaks District gallery (4444 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027). Meredith Pardue and Lucrecia Waggoner will be in attendance.

 

Mother Nature Exhibition Overview

 

With nature at the root of Pardue’s oeuvre, Mother Earth showcases a selection of paintings that embody our intrinsic relationship with nature and the desire to mirror and harmonize with the beauty of the natural world. Through her stylized language of abstraction, she captures an ethereal understanding of the rhythmic patterns and movements that are constantly occurring around us and extends her artistic exploration to the interaction each has with one another. 

 

In anticipation of the April 7th exhibit, and the unveiling of new works from both artists, LRFA has interviewed Meredith Pardue to give our collectors some insight into her creative process and a glimpse of her new works.

 

Meredith Pardue Studio

 

 

How do you typically title your paintings? Do you have a notion of a title that inspires the painting, is it something that comes to you during the creative process, or is it something you wait to assess until the work is completed?

 

My titles just come to me and usually emerge as a piece nears completion.

 


After nearly 20 years of painting full-time in your studio, and as a former professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, what kernel of wisdom would you now impart on fine art students?

 

Be authentic. Make the work for yourself, not for an audience. You show people what they want, not the other way around. Get obsessed. Get dirty. Feel it, don’t think it. Be consistent. Be disciplined. Create a true practice. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. You have more power inside of you than you can possibly imagine—use it and use it for good. Keep your ego in check. Do not compare yourself to anyone else—this is your unique journey. Do not copy other artist’s work—borrow, don’t steal.

 


With your library of knowledge on art history, what one artist's work would you want for your own dream collection?

 

I have learned so much from so many very different visual artists—Cy Twombly, Peter Paul Reubens, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Caravaggio, Robert Motherwell, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Rauschenberg to name a few.

 

But if I had to choose just one, I would have to choose Twombly. It’s deeply personal to me. His work feels so much like a part of my own story because when I first encountered it in 1997, I felt like I fell in love with it. And I do mean that in the literal sense—it made me want to soar. I felt so thrilled to be alive. His mark-making was so primal, raw, childlike—it spoke to my very core. I sat for hours and hours devouring his books, and I have spent many hours in the Menil collection just sitting before Untitled (Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor). This piece feels very much like the passage of time to me, especially in the form of a human life. I’ve spoken about this in my own work, and I reference this often in terms of my work being a snapshot of a moment in time that continues beyond the borders of the canvas and in speaking about the natural cycles of growth, decay, and rebirth.

 


 

What life lessons have you learned through painting that you've been able to apply in other non-creative aspects of your life?

 

Chaos can't always be controlled, so letting life take the lead can result in some of the most beautiful of things. Be the river not the rock.

 


 

As an acclaimed contemporary artist whose work is widely recognized for its sinuous compositions of abstract forms evocative of botanical and geological elements, what new elements or evolution did you find within your work for the Mother Earth exhibition?

 

Well, Lucrecia and I did a two-person exhibition in the fall 2023 at LRFA Dallas called Flow States, so I feel like this body of work is a continuation of that. Almost all my exhibitions have been solo ones, so what feels new to me is showing alongside Lucreica, who is not only an artist I admire, but also a dear friend. She and I had a single conversation last fall about the exhibition, and that was all we needed to create the work. Our aesthetics really speak to one other. I cannot tell you how many collectors acquire our work together for the same space, and we have created pieces specifically for each other’s personal collections. So, we have this very symbiotic relationship that is seeded in the aesthetic of our work, but has grown into a friendship over the years.

 

 

Meredith Pardue Biography

 

Born in Monroe, LA in 1975, Meredith Pardue is an acclaimed contemporary artist whose work is widely recognized for its sinuous compositions of abstract forms evocative of botanical and geological elements.

 

Upon earning a B.F.A. in Painting with an Art History minor from the Savannah College of Art + Design in 1998, Pardue traveled extensively across the U.S., drawing inspiration from the varied regions and coasts of the South, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Northeast, as well as France and the Caribbean.

 

After completing her M.F.A. in Painting in 2003 at Parsons School of Design in New York City, Pardue accepted a full-time faculty position at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she taught both studio and art history courses in the Department of Fine Arts. In 2006 she left the university to devote herself entirely to the cultivation of her work and the advancement of her fine art career, soon establishing representation in galleries throughout the U.S., London, Paris, and Singapore.

 

Pardue lives and works in Austin, TX.

 

Meredith Pardue Artist Statement

 

The forms in my work evoke botanical or geological elements, but these elements serve merely as a point of departure for the viewer to experience what is ultimately a visual record of an improvisational dialogue between a blank canvas and myself.

 

Disturbing a perfect, intact space—effectively creating conflict, and subsequently a need for resolution—I cycle through the opposing forces of chaos and order, alternating random actions of painting with controlled, deliberate mark-making. Repeating the processes of construction and destruction, an internal structure emerges and becomes an energetic framework of form and ground. Organic shapes positioned against pale or dark grounds that initially appear to be expanses of negative space, but these textured expanses are elevated layers of paint that reveal the history of the piece.  It is neither form nor ground that I address in my work, rather the tensions and dynamism between the two.

 

The specific simplicities and complexities of the painting—the dispersion of light and dark pigments, covert and overt marks, delicate lines and bold shapes—comprise a visual language that characterizes the painting’s unique nuanced energetic expression.


I could say that I intimate a certain relationship between physical and spiritual space in my work, because in a sense that is true. Yet my approach to making a painting is not cerebral—it is intuitive and energetically fluid. My mind and body serve as a vehicle for transmuting universal creative energy into three-dimensional objects. Ultimately, I am most interested in extracting singular experiences—snapshots—from life’s infinite cycles of growth and decay, and in transforming the public, universal worlds of nature and human existence into sites of private knowledge.


Meredith Pardue's Art in Collections Worldwide

 

Today, Pardue’s work continues to gain critical acclaim and is collected globally in notable private and corporate collections including Baylor, Scott + White Children’s Hospital, BBVA Compass Bank, ExxonMobil Headquarters, Genstar Capital, J. Crew Corporate Headquarters, Marina Bay Sands Hotel + Casino, The Michael + Susan Dell Foundation, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruise Lines, Ritz Carlton, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Savannah College of Art + Design, SCAD FASH Museum, and SCAD Hong Kong. Her work has been published in periodicals including Architectural Digest, Dwell, Modern Luxury Interiors, New American Paintings, and The Southern Review, and featured in productions of CBS Studios, CBS News Productions, DreamWorks, Echo Films, and FilmNation.

 

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