My city is prettier than yours

District painter Yolanda Frederikse’s testimony to the American landscape opens at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Dupont Circle this weekend. A mix of both lithographs and watercolors, her work is a multi-sensory experience.

The exhibit, “Points of View: The American Landscape,” focuses on vantage points – putting the viewer somewhere not necessarily shown in the painting.

“I hope to convey a sense of place through the points of view chosen to give an idea of what the land is like, or, sometimes, what it was like in days past,” Frederikse said. “I hope to convey my own sense of reality, thus giving the artwork a life of its own, set in place and time.”

Frederikse plays upon different senses in her paintings to give them each a life apart from their mimetic models. Certain landscapes focus on specific sensory themes. A look into “Riverbed” shows the interplay between mirrored light reflected from the river’s surface and the cool crisp fall that sets in around it.

“Annapolis Dock” gives full reign to the golden hour of sundown as the world is permeated with the sense of warmth and oncoming tranquility.

Pause and absorb the site of the ocean in “After the Storm.” The waves crashing against the shoreline are almost audible, as a refreshing sea mist settles from the air.

“Somewhat like a visual historian, I interpret the man-made and the natural American landscape by translating multi-sensory experiences on location,” Frederikse said.

Distance between works is an important aspect in the exhibit, giving mammoth structures room enough to show themselves in their entirety. These structures range from the bowels of the Grand Canyon to the aerial high angles of Dupont Circle and Pennsylvania Avenue. Frederikse always makes a definite sense of place available, a place from which the audience can view her scene.

The paintings do not end with what is seen but with what is felt beyond the depicted images. Here the paintings are not the only reality, but also a window into a reality greater than the landscapes themselves. They are a small glimpse into a world too difficult to capture with one image alone.

The images capture one moment of the subject through the organization of color, perspective and the implications of motion in the area surrounding the subject. In her work Frederikse pays homage to the plethora of landscapes around her and the feelings that go along with them.

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