Maria Park has continued to explore how we, as viewers, experience our world indirectly through filters such as film, popular culture, and the constant trafficking of information on the internet. For Counter Nature Park turns her eye toward our exposure to our national treasures. Parkland is constructed nature and our interaction with it is mediated by park rules and regulations and cannot be appreciated with complete freedom of movement. The subject provides fertile ground for the artist’s explorations of perception and experience.
Quoting from the artist’s statement: “Counter Nature is based on photographs from visits to national parks that offer a vantage point outside of the anticipated encounter with nature.” Rather than the commanding views for which a park is recognized, the artist shifts our vision to include the view of the parking lot that leads to the park’s highlights. The artist’s meticulously layered and constructed painting style, and insertion of architectural drawing, details and gestures, breaks apart the visual hierarchy of the landscape into multiple possible areas of focus. The inclusion of both 2-dimensional paintings and 3-dimensional objects in Counter Nature offers insight into the artist’s conceptual reading of our perceptions of nature and the effects of technology and memory on our experiences.Maria Park says of this recent body of works that she is creating “landscapes for the inertial tourist.”
In 2009 Park exhibited her special installation “Manifest Destiny” at the Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Korea. She has had a solo exhibition at The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a 2003 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award.