Intoxicating Plants Crop up in Dallas-based Artist Elaine Pawlowicz’s New Solo Show ‘Altered States’

click to enlarge ELAINE PAWLOWICZ
Elaine Pawlowicz
While it might bring to mind the sensory deprivation, isolation tanks and psychoactive drugs that made director Ken Russell’s 1980 film Altered States so haunting and bizarre, Dallas-based artist Elaine Pawlowicz’s new solo show actually employs “portraits of intoxicating plants” to explore “abnormal states of tension.” Influenced by outsider art, surrealism and the Chicago Imagists (an eclectic, 1960s-era group of artists who drew creative inspiration from comics, architecture, trash and other aspects of their physical surroundings), Pawlowicz combines elements of magic realism and science fiction in paintings distinguished by bold color fields and unexpected approaches to perspective and scale. Centering around the dangers of “cultural toxicity” and the addictive escapism offered by the internet, television, video games, drugs and alcohol, her new body of work presents plants as curious metaphors for influences and vices that are “seductive and fanciful yet fatal.” 
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