Under the terms of the pandemic, many of our lives have gotten smaller: socially, physically, architecturally, geographically. But small can also be good. Think of jewels, short stories, bonsai, kittens, Indian miniatures. Forced to work from her living room in Columbia, MO, since the spring, Sarah Arriagada has painted a dozen-and-a-half 10 x 8-inch oil panels that alternately embrace micro looking and micro living. It isn’t the same thing. Where “Nike” bursts shards of turquoise, taupe and mauve from a central point, like a prism seen up close, “Femme Fenêtre” drapes sun-bleached curtains around a pale blue sky. Hands, clouds, curtains, diamond patterns, and vases recur, presumably because they do in Arriagada’s home. Paint is applied smooth and scumbled, in a few simple strokes or a complexity of layered ones, maybe with a surprise streak of lime or aqua. Reduced living can be expanded via intense looking.
—Lori Waxman 2020-11-16 2:08 PM