Inspired by the long lingering sunsets of humid mid-atlantic summers and the soft greens of New Hampshire and Vermont, Tamara Gonda’s artwork is uniquely American abstraction. With an MFA from Cornell University and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Tamara produces vibrant Color Field and Abstract Expressionist works. Her art reflects an appreciation of the many different American places she has experienced, as reinterpreted experiences for the viewer.
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About The Artist
My life, my art, my work - it is uniquely American abstract. Like me it is colored by sunsets on the front porch. The long lingering sunsets of humid mid-Atlantic summers. It is infused by the shades of the ocean and the soft greens of New Hampshire and Vermont. More recently it is reminiscent of high mountain ranges of the Wyoming Rockies and the Northwest Cascades. I feel those settings - the feelings and colors never fade or die. The soft conversations on August nights looking Westward inhabit my memories. And the colors we shared, like fireworks in July - well, they show themselves on my canvas. In sunsets I see layers. In ocean waves layers of color form from seafoam green and morph to swell to windsor blue to dawn's first hint of pink on the horizon. My layers are often nature born, yet sometimes heart and home blend with vistas and morph memories of patchwork country quilts that layered a bed - visual evidence of a mother's love.
If we are to have any success in painting (abstract, or otherwise) our viewers must feel our experiences. Walk the corridors of an unexplored museum, and in starting around a corner imagine first seeing only the edge of a yet unexposed Gauguin. We know we are about to feel Polynesia as only Gauguin has seen. We feel his experiences in an untamed paradise. We know this from the gut, by the colors he used to simultaneously convey restful bliss and cultural awe. In Georgia O'Keefe we feel the thin air of the the high New Mexican deserts in her choices. And, looking outside our American experiences, in Kandinsky we feel a rigidity and a cultural singularity that is not American - yet, evokes a German culture that has often prided itself on mechanization, clean lines and an adherence to plan. For me, I have been influenced by Mark Rothko and Robert Rauchenburg. Many years ago their methods and techniques moved me to work in color and forms. Mine reveal my rural roots.
As Americans we are generally not accepting of singular plans, views, or cultures. We embrace differences, and it shows in our work. Drop us in central Pennsylvania, or the lowcountry of South Carolina and we would almost immediately process the place by the choices in color and materials. And, we would almost surely embrace the beauty of these places - just as much, or more, than we accepted the differences.
My work reflects an appreciation of my many different American places - places I have experienced, as reinterpreted experiences for the viewer. There are no choices or contrivances in this for me. My art, like most art, is a personal and passionate reflection of me. I am proud to be able to share it, as an American abstractionist.
Master of Fine Arts, 1987
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityBachelor of Fine Arts, 1985