Nuances of Landscape: Paintings by Mary Porterfield and Nina Weiss, an exhibition featuring two local painters with very differing styles of capturing scenery on canvas, continues through Friday, Jan. 25, at Oakton's Koehnline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines.
Porterfield's works question what makes an act heroic in the midst of circumstances beyond our control -- symbolized in her pieces by natural phenomena such as geysers, storm clouds, and volcanoes. Her paintings, which often suggest the supernatural, are comprised of hundreds of small figures. Some depict religious individuals and saints whose brave acts involved giving unconditionally. Others represent the struggle to balance such ideals with the need to nurture oneself.
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Inspired by the open spaces and far-off horizons of the Midwest, Weiss creates powerful, expressionistic paintings. Going beyond the traditional "green landscape," she presents a heightened vision of the natural world, using colors that are intense, lush, and dramatic. Weiss' paintings capture her travels through the "everyday" vistas of the Midwest and beyond -- teasing out the complexity of nature and creating layers of contrast, line, and form.
The Koehnline Museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (847) 635-2633, or visit www.oakton.edu/museum.