Andrea Bartine Caldarise is a contemporary landscape painter drawing inspiration from both natural and built environments; her studio practice investigates the psychological connection between landscape and people through visual storytelling. Caldarise received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and art history at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, where she spent a semester abroad living and learning in Rome, Italy. Caldarise also holds a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. From 2010-13 she collaborated with a Philadelphia dance company to create unique artwork centered on personal timelines and first-person accounts, which were used to engage audiences through interactive modern dance. Upon moving to New York, Caldarise became an artistic collaborator with the theatre group, Exquisite Corpse Company, from 2014-2019. During this time, she worked on props and sets for their immersive plays, produced on Governors Island. The plays engaged with themes varying from feminist artist identities, memories around physical places, relationships, and climate change.Caldarise has been awarded residencies at Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2018), Post Contemporary, Troy, NY (2010 and 2013), and the Ellen Batell Stoekel Fellowship, Yale School of Art, Norfolk, CT (2009). In 2019, she was awarded a grant from the FST Studio Projects Fund to support her studio practice. She exhibits her artwork nationally and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
What inspired you to create the work you showcased in the 'Chroma' exhibition?
"Warm Sunset with Fossils" was inspired by Death Valley National Park. It is part of a series called "Desert Views," which emerged from my research into the geological history of desert land formations. I find it fascinating that many areas we perceive as arid environments today were underwater millions of years ago. Our world harbors many strange phenomena, including the presence of shell fossils in the desert.
Can you share some insights into your creative process? Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your color choices?
Drawing constitutes a substantial part of my studio practice. I appreciate the meticulous planning process that oil painting entails, where one needs to consider how the solvents and paint will interact and strategize the compositions accordingly. This process of layering mirrors the dominant theme in my art practice: unveiling new perspectives within a landscape. My color inspirations are drawn from both natural and built environments, often correlating colors with emotions to evoke certain feelings in the viewers.
How did your medium of choice enhance your ability to convey the color in your artwork?
I predominantly utilize oil paint in my practice, valuing its unmatched potential for rich color, texture, and luminosity. Working with oils offers an immersive experience – there is the distinct smell and the delightful way colors glide across the glass palette, akin to rainbow icing. My initial guidance came from my high school art teacher, who advocated for a limited palette. This technique revealed the magic of creating a myriad of hues with just seven basic colors. Over time, I expanded my color library slightly but largely adhered to using a restrained palette. This approach allows me to delve deep into exploring tones and hues, always seeking color interactions that resonate both visually and sensorially, offering the viewer a joyous color experience.
What do you want viewers and collectors to know when interacting with your art?
Each painting endeavors to narrate a story, aspiring to foster enduring conversations long after exiting my studio. I envision the paintings evolving over time, possessing a mutable yet distinct character — akin to the changing impressions one gets when revisiting a favorite book. The experience alters with each encounter, enriched by previous engagements.
What are you currently working on and looking forward to this season?
This spring, I embarked on a cross-country drive from Brooklyn, NY, to San Francisco, CA, fulfilling a long-held childhood dream. The journey afforded a golden opportunity to conduct art research in various national parks and public lands, significantly influencing my perception of light and color, especially the distinct clarity of desert light. The voyage presented numerous breathtaking vistas and picturesque spots, inspiring my current project centered on painting "snapshots" of significant moments from the trip. These artworks, typically no larger than 12 inches, aim to encapsulate the ephemeral sensations of different locales. The forthcoming phase, commencing this month, involves leveraging the imagery from these snapshots to craft compositions for larger narrative landscape paintings, each revolving around particular viewpoints documented during my road trip.