Digital Landscape

Debra Ramsay at Pocket Utopia is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: Debra Ramsay records nature as a series of computer-mixed stripes.

(Courtesy Pocket Utopia)

A second day of stripes, in a painting on paper called "Yellow Trail Spring with Gray", made this year by the young artist Debra Ramsay and now in a group show at Pocket Utopia in New York. The piece is clearly meant to recall the stripe-works of Gene Davis (as per yesterday's Daily Pic), and to add new meaning by changing the process that gets Ramsay there.

The piece has roots in photos shot during nature walks she took while on a residency in upstate New York. She says she chose a salient color from each image, then mixed a paint to match it using the Virtual Paint Mixer application from Golden Artist Colors, then applied those new hues in the stripey "landscape" painting she produced. The result, Ramsay says, is "a direct experience of color in nature [filtered] through a rules-based and technological approach to the collection of color data" – but it's also a clear mash-up of traditional landscape painting, Color Field formalism and conceptual, process-based work. You could say it's a grand experiment in deliberate pseudomorphism, pillaging art history to produce something that looks old but is new.

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