Karina Hean’s Complexities In Focus

Nothing is ordinary in the world of artist Karina Hean; her works are deceptive in size, both colossal and small, enthralling and all encompassing. They are at once a microscopic examination and a cosmic adventure set into motion.  In the work entitled,  “Field Notes XIX” her use of multiple points of perspective gives the viewer the feeling that they could be taken anywhere.  You’re on a rollercoaster, being pulled into a hundred different landscapes, each more incredible than the last. You are at a crossroad, amid a wilderness of color and form.  The viewer need not only consider the path, but also examine the details along the way.


What is below the surface? What can be gained by examining the world in its infinite complexity? In Hean’s work entitled “Field Notes XVI” you’re presented a world just coming into focus. Immediately drawing the viewer into a tangled web of opaque and transparent surfaces, the work challenges you to perceive the artist’s vision in its entirety. Hean’s work makes you ask yourself,  “What have I been missing?” In a world where everything seems to be at our fingertips, have we become out of touch with the beauty that is right in front of our eyes?  Hean offers us insight into incredible realms of surface and transparency, portals into an alternative consciousness into infinite worlds of microcosms and macrocosms.


Karina says of her work: “The drawings revel in the visual pleasure of moments in the landscape and a connection with particular places.  Selecting, recombining, and embellishing specimens from nature’s complexity interests me as a means to present fantastical visual metaphors for the human condition while exploring the beauty of line and value, natural forms, and land.”

Field Notes XIX, acrylic, ink, watercolor, graphite, gouache, and colored pencil with elements of collaged monotypes and etchings and Field Notes XVI -acrylic, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, colored pencil and ink- can be seen at ZIA|Gallery.

By: Kevin Schnell

The Concerns Of Richard Laurent

As with many of our other artists Richard Laurent is deeply concerned about man’s impact on the world around him.  Through his precise renderings Laurent has lovingly composed images both fanciful and at the same time very poignant. His paintings are at first glance expressive in application, but examined further the viewer cannot help but be captivated by his highly adept technique. It is this duality Laurent possesses that is so intriguing.

ZIA Gallery is proud to showcase paintings by artist Richard Laurent. Laurent grew up on the edge of American wilderness in Denver, Colorado.  He came to Chicago to study printmaking and soon began to work as a designer.  After years of working as the creative director for Encyclopedia Britannica Films he decided to pursue his true passion, painting.  Laurent then set out to study the paintings of great masters such as: Turner, Van Eyck, and Courbet.  From these great masters he extracted a language of brushstrokes and a love for technique. 

Laurent seems to ask much from the viewer.  What is man’s place in nature? Has man removed himself so far that he now has no place in it? To Laurent the chair is a metaphor for our attitude towards nature. The chair represents both our distance and our refuge from nature. It has become our temple and our marketplace. It is from our chairs that we impact the world and from our chairs that we make the decisions that will change it for better or worst.

Richard Laurent has shown his paintings at Oil Painters of America national exhibitions since 2004. He mounted a solo show at the Fine Arts Building Gallery in Chicago under the title, “Heavy Petting– The Painted Animal.” That same year at the National “Animal in Art” Exhibition, juror Ed Paschke awarded his painting “Best of Show in Oil Media.” In 2006, he mounted another solo exhibition at FAB Gallery entitled “Beauty & Beast.” Artscope.net reviewed the exhibition in a visual essay exploring definitions of classical beauty. His painting “Swimming” is in the permanent collection of Illinois Institute of Art. Recently, he was commissioned to paint a large, two-panel painting for Wachovia’s corporate office. In addition he was commissioned for two large oil paintings for the Schaumburg Convention Center.

The Recontextualized Art Of Tim Liddy

Who says art can’t be fun?  Tim Liddy whose artistic roots can be traced back to the Midwest, has presented us with a unique take of our childhood pasts.  His current artistic endeavors are based on the illustrated box lids of vintage board games.  Painted on copper or steel in the precise dimensions of the original, the metal is then manipulated to demonstrate the exact rips, stain and tears, even the scotch tape that might be holding the cardboard box together, all accumulated from years of usage.  Even the tactile feel of each piece resembles one of the original game boards we use to or still play with.  Down to the feel of the tape one would use to keep these box lids together is an exemplary attribute of these amazing artistic pieces.  Is it real tape, or layers of medium to make it look like tape? It is Tim’s pain staking efforts that make the “tape” look real.  Each piece looks like an original box lid, yet closely inspected one is in awe of the artistic endeavor that went into creating each painting.  ZIA currently has several pieces of Tim’s work at the gallery.  They need to be seen in person to fully appreciate these exceptional creations.