Val Britton

Val Britton: Impressions of Time

May 11 — July 17, 2021

Gallery Wendi Norris Online

Val Britton collects, cuts, paints, pastes, folds, and layers paper. Her practice is fundamentally tactile and reflects a long commitment to her medium. Originally trained as a printmaker, Britton meticulously builds paint and collage layers to create depth in her compositions with contrasting materials and techniques.

Impressions of Time, a video recently shot in Britton’s Portland, Oregon studio, provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of her newest body of work and the most in-depth look into her process to date. These ten square compositions, part of her decade-long Reverberations series, capture the plurality of her approach to the medium of paper. Britton acts upon her surfaces in dynamic fashion, from the gestural painting and staining process to the meticulous work of cutting shapes out of and into the material. The process becomes a constant negotiation of adding and subtracting in order to both fill space and create it. “The work holds an impression of time, and those layers get built up from back to front,” says Britton.

Through a formal language rooted in mapping, including loosely interpreted continents, networks, and constellations, Britton’s visual lexicon is both familiar and illegible. The works, as a result, offer a gesture of invitation without prescribing any particular, worldly destination. “Ultimately, I am trying to make intangible experiences visual through this intense layering and physicality of material.”

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Posted on June 22, 2021