As an abstract, mixed media artist Walter’s practice has been rooted in observation, research, and translation of science topics as a response to her experience as a science illustrator for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other astrophysics-centered institutions.
Her studio practice began with drawing, but over time those explorations demanded a variety of methods in order to be effective. However, abstraction has been the common thread throughout that evolution as it relates to humanity’s place in the cosmos. All the while, she has adopted a meticulous attention to detail and repetitive action to create work that leads the viewer to reexamine materiality, space, and labor.
Visually the works are situated within the spectrum of minimalism. They are restrictive, but do not obscure the hand of the artist, alluding to larger ideas without eliminating the object in favor of those ideas. Walter builds the work by layering form, cuts, punctures, or marks, most often with paper, which accumulate to create repetitive imagery that often demands intimacy. It is within the reduction of form and the accessibility of material that she attempts to convey personal connection to a larger conversation.
The artist’s palette is subdued with the goal of expressing expansive ideas within the structure of abstraction and geometry.
Walter’s experience of working as a science illustrator for NASA has greatly impacted her fine art work. It has allowed her to take complicated theories and distill them into their visual essence in order to allow for a new accessibility. Recently, it has also led her to explore other science topics such as neurology, and DNA analysis in relation to forensic science while using more visceral and intuitive gestures.
Works by Melissa Walter
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