Glynnis Reed

Glynnis Reed has been working as a professional visual artist for nearly two decades. Born in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania where she attends Pennsylvania State University as a doctoral student in Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her artwork has moved from a search into the urban landscape to natural environments that become settings for figurative compositions and lyrical portraits. She composes narratives of love and loss, fulfillment and emptiness, and shadow and light through the mediums of photography, digital collage, drawing, and painting.

Reed has exhibited her work extensively at the local, national, and international levels. A solo exhibition of her work was featured at the Kunstraum Arcade Gallery in Moedling, Austria. Her work has been on view at the DePaul University Museum in “Double Exposure: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera,” which traveled across the United States. Her work has also been exhibited at the African American Museum of Philadelphia; the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles; Main Line Art Center, Haverford; Allens Lane Art Center, Philadelphia; Richard Stockton University Art Gallery, Galloway; Noyes Arts Garage, Atlantic City; and the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach. She is a recipient of the “Visions From the New California” award and was awarded artist residencies with AIR Krems in Austria and Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Northern California. She holds a MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine.

Nature Abstractions 

In the photographic series, Nature Abstractions, I explore the formal qualities of photography working in a simplified format zeroing in on the single, unique image. Capturing moments of beauty, the images communicate reflectiveness on an experience of the sublimity of nature. The reflective surface of water is a key motif in the work. The body of water becomes a mirror of the setting and an inverse that expresses an alternate view that only the artist sees.

I seek to convey a contemplative, intense mood through the exaggeration of the darker tones in the photos, heightening their contrast. I am often concerned in my body of work with the relationship of the photo image with the gestures and aesthetics of tactile mediums such as painting and drawing. In particular, I reveal the close relationship of my work to the aesthetics of oil painting when I layer multiple photographs in my digital collages. I explore the correspondence between traditions of image making that have been held in contradiction to one another since the medium of photography became popularized in the 19th century. The question of the verisimilitude of photography over painting and the painterliness of painting superseding photo processes continues to persist. 

My use of saturated hues and scenes cropped to focus on abstracted elements, contained within a square format, accents my references to abstract painting. Although we may recognize the subjects of the photos, this language of landscape is permeated by painterliness and a sense of observations of gestures of light. Being a painter in addition to a photo based artist, my intimacy with the fluidity of oil painting translates blurred light and the soft ripples of a scene seen in a pool of water into a poetic photo image. Acknowledging the long time tradition of landscape painting in Western art, I refer to the past while also situating myself in modern and contemporary modes of photographic representation.