The ever-mesmerising patterns of nature come to life in Karin Haas’s work, but not quite as you might expect. The New York based artist, who holds a BFA in printmaking from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, is less interested in presenting a recognisable form, and more interested in creating new ones – tapping into ecological and human relationships at the same time.
In pastel and paint, Karin creates the most satisfying drawings, often highly detailed and full of colourful, and always with composition that pleases the eye. Between planes of pink and organic shapes that slot into each other, stripes and blank spaces, there’s a lot to look at in her work. But careful placement and variation means fluidity – your eyes are drawn gently around the page – resting on one spot, then moving to another, honing in on a particularly complex pattern, then taking rest in blocks of neutrals.
What Karin is interested in is not only what lives in the natural world, but how her examinations of this life can be applied to “spatial studies that play with form and distortion”. Taking the plant or animal, and usually both of them and their cells together, Karin breaks their form down and puts them back together “in an unlikely pattern” – creating entirely new forms, in which pattern and balance, space and movement are the stars. Her depictions of flora, insects, animals, they’re really images of abstraction and contemplation.
“I am interested in how these patterns move together between the natural and abstract fields,” she says, “articulating a fluctuating tension that eases and tightens.” And looking upon these images – of forms that are both flat and seemingly three-dimensional, we are pulled into something more than what meets the eye; it’s a close look at nature and its relationships, and in turn the relationships of humans. Of course they’re stunning in a decorative sense, but Karin’s drawings are more than that too – they’re a restful experience – visually beautiful and quietly thought provoking.
Credits: Karin Haas