Produce: Paintings by Eva Struble
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Now through July 22, 2014
Article written by Cathy Breslaw
Eva Struble’s paintings are chock full of jewel-toned colors, shapes and patterns, all sitting within and upon the familiar structure of the landscape. The title of the exhibition “Produce” hints at Struble’s focus – the abundance of food yielded from the farming areas of southern California highlighting the folks who work to sustain its’ agricultural industry. Each painting presents a stylized version of both urban and natural environments held together with a broad range of vibrant acrylic paint, paper collage, silkscreen printing, and a host of painting techniques. These abstracted landscapes often contain traditional artisan textile patterns within the shapes of hills, rocks and other organic material. There is an accompanying short video of an interview with Struble which further explains the socio-political and environmental issues she is grappling with alongside the creation of her paintings. In preparation for this series of works, Struble delved into historical photo archives, visited farms in San Diego County and interviewed migrant workers who came from Oaxaca, Mexico to obtain temporary labor. She wishes to address the intersection between labor, immigration and the burgeoning agricultural industry in California. Struble’s acrylic, paper and screen prints on wood panels present some disquieting, clashing and discordant imagery and color that belie our notions of the bucolic California landscape. Perhaps that is Struble’s point – to re-imagine and bring awareness to the contradictions of the beauty that surrounds us.