“Terra Incognita” at Sangria FRI, July 27th to SAT, August 18

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“Terra Incognita” | Paintings by Gina Stepaniuk

Reception: Friday, July 27th from 8-11 in the evening

Closing reception: Saturday, August 18th, from 1-4pm.

LAKE BALBOA | Sangria is pleased to present “Terra Incognita,” a solo exhibition of Gina Stepaniuk’s most recent paintings. Educated at “Ontario College of Art and Design” in Toronto, Canada and “Claremont Graduate University” in Southern California, Stepaniuk shows internationally. In photo below: Gina in her creative habitat, as photographed by art world documentarian and indie filmmaker Eric Swenson.

“Terra Incognita” is a Latin word used by cartographers used to indicate uncharted territory since “The Age of Discovery” in Ptolemy’s time. “Terra Incognita” has primarily fell out of use, as distant boundaries were reached through global mapping and exploration. In the context of Gina Stepaniuk’s solo show, the concept of “unknown land” metaphorically refers to her intuitive painting process as well as environmental peril of the Earth.

Stepaniuk say’s about her work “By employing various paint processes I’m attempting to emphasize a view of the landscape that includes concurrent perspectives – micro/macro, up/down, inner/outer and of course, the ever-present human hand. Many stories leveled onto one picture plane. I think we’re at a time and place where we have to regard the whole picture all at once. Our survival may depend on knowing inter connectivity.“

In “Terra Incognita,” Stepaniuk expresses landscape ambiguity by painting aerial atmospheric effects. A patternicity emerges of earthy greenery and water, peppered with atmospheric strata. Like a cooler ancient climate, the placid colors give a feeling of medicinal vapor or oxygen.

Stepaniuk’s paintings do not illustrate scientific mapping based in observation but explore an intuitive process as if it were her source and compass. Her deeply felt concern for climatological cycles accelerated by human created emissions fuels her work. Vibrant brushstrokes spark sporadically like ambient electrical fields in the air converging and diverging. One can imagine soaring through these aerial blends, a white, green, or blue vista. The artist coalesces elements of the natural environment into one: the graphic reductiveness is emblematic of the sum total of earth, oceanic, atmospheric conditions. Stepaniuk, trained in the western traditions of abstract painting, does not want the viewer to cognitively distinguish the canopy of the heavens from that of the forest or vegetation upon which they depend.

For “Terra Incognita” Stepaniuk chooses a holistic approach, wanting the viewer to acquire a new world view of a spiritual interconnectivity. It’s a good place to start when overcoming apathy to rising greenhouse gas emissions, corporate pollution, and a population of seven billion. In America 90% of the population lives on average within 3 miles of a super fund site, with almost 100 major hazardous waste disasters in California alone. The fear induced ‘catastrophic mind-set’ has infiltrated our culture since 9/11 and is used to distract us from the real environmental threats for corrupt political and economic power. Gina Stepaniuk’s abstract mark making and traditional landscape palette carry us into a timeless world of the unknown were we want to breathe in the air and to live in harmony with the Earth. Artists graphing out world-views in search for a new order has a rich tradition throughout the ages from the ancient world to current times.

Paintings in “Terra Incognita” will be on view at “Sangria Fine Arts” in the micro-gallery which opens up to the backyard garden. Opening house party is Friday, July 27, 2012, from 8pm-11pm. RSVP for you and a guest. Bring wine or non-alcoholic beverages for admittance. Street parking, but please carpool if you can. Enjoy acoustical performances by composers active in the LA club scene. Ends Saturday, August 18. Book an appointment via email to see the show after the opening party sangriafinearts@gmail.com.


Address will be emailed to guests the week of the event.

From Long Beach, Santa Monica
Take the 405 north to the San Fernando Valley. Pass the 101. Exit Burbank Boulevard. Left on Burbank Boulevard. Turn right on Balboa Boulevard. Cross Victory. At Haynes, turn right. On Forbes Avenue turn left. Street Parking.

From the Pasadena
Take the 134 north to the 101. So toward Ventura on the 101. Pass the 405. Exit Balboa Boulevard. Turn right on Balboa Boulevard. Cross Victory. At Haynes, turn right. On Forbes Avenue turn left. Street Parking. ###


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