Blending abstraction with familiar natural elements, Isabel Bigelow emphasizes color
and tone in her paintings as communicators of inherent natural qualities. Seemingly
minimal outlines of trees, horizons, and geometric forms emerge from matte
backgrounds, creating an airy yet structured atmosphere. Looking deeper, the laborintensive
process of each work emanates from rich pigments bleeding from fore- to
background. Bigelow builds vibrant surfaces through a slow and additive process:
painting layers of gesso and oil and burnishing them in between applications. She
conveys a similar textural quality in her prints in which a single form becomes
enlarged and emblem-like. Overall, her work communicates a peacefulness alongside
the hum of nature’s energy.
Bigelow grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and now lives and works in upstate New York.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion from Harvard University
(1989) and went on to study painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where
she received her Master of Fine Arts (1998). She has exhibited at Sears-Peyton Gallery,
New York, NY; Etsuko Shibata Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Hemphill Fine Arts, The Corcoran
Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore; Ulsan
Cultural Art Center, Ulsan, South Korea; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; DeCordova
Museum, Lincoln, MA. Her work is in the collections of the New York Public Library, New
York Presbyterian Hospital, Fidelity Investments in Tokyo, the Martin Agency, and the
Yale University Art Gallery.