In his delicately layered pencil drawings, Detrani takes elements from the natural world and fuses them with our built environment. Merging the organic with the inorganic and the abstract with the figural, Detrani’s imagined landscapes are paradoxically frozen in a state of flux. His paintings and drawings depict botanical forms blending with fence-like structures and random architectural elements that hover in mid-air—everything feels as though it is either coming apart at the seams or is perhaps in the nascent stages of construction. Complete yet fragmentary, Detrani’s ambiguous compositions incorporate the structural language of poetry: They are built on the interplay of shapes and forms and
the expressive capacity of color and line to speak about notions ranging from
ephemerality and dislocation to unity and bliss.
Liza Statton – Curator, Artspace New Haven 2009
The smooth surfaces of Geoffrey Detrani’s mixed-media works provide counterpoint to a world of complex visual information below. In graphite and ink, Detrani renders botanical images that spill across the picture plane. Pulsating with monochromatic energy. They are propelled or contained by structures: radiating lines, imaginary architecture, geometric solids painted in opaque acrylic. Some evidence of order appears in the form of stripes in the far background of several pieces. But this order is a fluid situation, as seen in the broken and twisted forms of faux-geographic maps that occupy various layers. As the real world order changes in countless aspects, the maps also represent new and unsettled boundaries. Shifts in belief systems alter human behavior – creating and destroying civilizations, affecting climatic and terrestrial event – and come back to haunt the people caught in the latest round of the eternal cycle of man vs. nature. And while nature will eventually win, Detrani’s works eloquently lay out the elements of this perpetual struggle.
Debra Browne – Curator, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum RADIUS fellowship program 2010