Sandy Litchfield

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Artist’s Statement

My recent work explores evolutionary cycles of cities. My paintings are informed by a diverse collection of imagery including old distorted maps, pictures of ancient and mythic cities, utopian blueprints and early renaissance landscapes. These are typically combined with my own photographs in studies using collage and paint. I look for compositions that emphasize our positional relationships to place- like being over, under, around, or inside. I also pay attention to the flows of traffic and the ways that transportation and infrastructure are formed over and around the existing environment. As living systems, cities share an uncanny resemblance to forests– both grow upwards and outwards on vertical and lateral frameworks; both can appear as glittering spectacles of light with variable contrast; and both harbor diversity and sustenance. The – the ways that urban infrastructure grows over (and out of) an old collapsed edifice- is also comparable to forests. Just as a dead tree provides nourishment for new under-growth, so do the old structures of a city enrich the cultural heritage of the metropolis. My approach to making art is initially research driven. Once an artwork has begun to take form, my process shifts away from the research towards a more intuitive approach, responding to formal elements, materials and surface. I use a range of painterly mediums along with collage and digital media. This method- of layering, cutting, drawing, tearing, painting, scanning, printing and gluing- obscures the distinctions between the mechanical image and the handmade.

Born in New York City, Sandy Litchfield lives in Amherst, Massachusetts where she is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts. She received her BFA from the University of Colorado and her MFA from UMass Amherst. In 2007 Litchfield attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been recognized with grants from the New Britain Museum, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Puffin Foundation. Litchfield has exhibited in museums including the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, and Hunterdon Museum. Her work has been selected for review by the Brooklyn Rail, New American Paintings and the Boston Globe.

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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.