6/2/13 3:04 PM
Panoramic painting fell out of fashion with the close of the 19th century, but Eleanor Bleksley may have figured out a way to both revive and innovate the genre. Working from photographs taken on a round-trip train journey between Milwaukee and Los Angeles, Bleksley has fashioned a contiguous series of seventeen obsessive, richly detailed oil pastels that condense and illuminate the landscape in between. Her tremendously inventive style joins psychedelic Hundertwasser to precisely calibrated Mughal miniatures to glorious medieval icon painting. The results mesmerize with their incessant density, ingenious patterning, roaming viewpoints, strange flattening, and unusual verticality. They bear up to gazes far away and close by, glancing and resting, general and focused. The American landscape has never felt like this before, and it can count itself lucky to have found such an extraordinary celebrant as Eleanor Bleksley.