Janet Read’s Reading the Wave


The Arno River rolled in ebullient cusps half a millennium in the past. Lubricious bubbles continue to gurgle on the banks of Florence. It was in that place, in another time, that Da Vinci delineated his sophisticated studies in hydrodynamics. He felt the eternal spiral that cycles through time and space. These same feelings flow from Janet Read’s large, aqueous works.

Read’s Reading the Wave features the latest body of acrylic works painted on both canvas and Tyvek (a highly breathable, yet moisture-resistant support). With these works, the artist articulates the ineffability of water in all its terrestrial dynamics. In Read’s paintings we see the wave frozen or maybe flowing, scintillating and lugubrious, rising even falling.

The painter’s gestures, colouration and forms seize liquidity, crystallizing moments in and out of time. Something else surfaces in Read’s latest work—a fissure. Here’s an interstitial domain: the littoral, the riparian. Terrain meets fluid. One could conceive of collecting H2O from all these banks—from the Arno to the Ucayali and beyond. Through glass jars, would it all look the same?

Olexander Wlasenko
Station Gallery

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