Karen Azarnia explores time through the lens of memory, home, and natural life cycles. Inspired by an archive of personal photographs and videos, along with drawings and sketches, the canvas surfaces are poured, wiped, scraped and layered. At once embracing and pushing against art historical tradition, the work operates in the slippage between abstraction and representation, focusing on the play between description of form and gesture of mark. Evoking a dream-like quality, they are a reminder of the basic human emotions that connect us all – love, loss, intimacy, vulnerability and tenderness – and the fluidity of human perception.
Karen Azarnia is an artist, educator, and curator. Born in Miami, FL, she currently lives and works in Chicago. She received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. A grant recipient from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, she has exhibited nationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her work has been included in The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, and Newcity Art, among others. She currently teaches in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Image courtesy of Michael Sullivan.