Beneath the sinuous linework, layered jewel tones, and energetic compositions, Nedret Andre’s work has always relied on structure, albeit a fluid one. In her abstractions of eelgrass beds, she conjures a sense of order (or, in the case of darker works, disorder) acted upon by natural forces, such as shifting tides and sunlight.
In this grouping of recent work, Andre continues her exploration of the natural word, yet this time also takes inspiration from 14th-century Sienese frescoes by the painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The juxtaposition of another artist—his browns, reds and blues, his proto-Renaissance blend of the Byzantine and Classical, his twisting perspectives and moralistic personifications of governance—are at first incongruous against Andre’s bright lyricism and forward-thinking. Yet they are deeply in tune with her demonstrated sense of curiosity and stewardship as an artist-activist—and with her longstanding, underlying focus on composition as a balancing act.
Superimposing Lorenzetti’s ideals for civic life upon Andre’s crusade for flourishing seagrass meadows is a surprising move, but one that ends up propelling Andre’s art through a progression of form, color, and content that looks seamless within the greater context of her oeuvre. Sometimes, it is just as important to look back as it is to look ahead.
—Olivia J. Kiers
Curatorial Assistant, Worcester Art Museum
More details about the exhibition can be found at Beacon Gallery.