Sea of Gray!
San Cristobal, 2011 from "How We Live" series. Gouache on paper, 15" x 15". Private Collection.

Rachel Sitkin: The Human Impact

Finding beautiful art is always a pleasure, though a discovery becomes doubly sweet when the artist perfectly illustrates a moment you are currently living. This was the case when I was directed toward Rachel Sitkin’s work this week while staying in Aspen, Colorado. While here, I’ve noticed the ways humans have left their mark on a semi-impenetrable landscape. Houses dot the mountains, roads slice their organic forms, and the black wires of ski lifts interrupt the pristine snow. These rockies stand majestically and powerfully, much larger than anything we could create, but we have manipulated them to our convenience.

Miami, AZ, 2011, from “Surface Mining” series. Gouache on paper, 15″ x 15″. Private Collection.

This intersection of humanity and nature is the main theme of the inviting works of Rachel Sitkin, an artist whose travels abroad and within the US have opened her eyes to human perceptions of land-dominance. She beautifully illustrates how the forms of our architectural and industrial prowess contrast with the natural contours of our world. Her work focuses on the way the earth looks because humans have manipulated it, and therefore reveals “an elegant geometry unique to our species.” I’ve never heard such a lovely phrase to describe construction and development. Have you?

Frontera, 2011, from “How We Live” series. Gouache on paper, 30″ x 39″.

Enjoy these paintings and reflect on how we depend on our land.

Billowing, 2008, from “Surface Mining” Series. Oil on canvas, 30 x 26″. Collection of J. Sitkin.

So This Is West Virginia, 2009, from “Surface Mining” series. Gouache on paper, 20″ x 40″. Collection of M. Konowitz.

Untitled (Company Housing), 2010, from “Surface Mining” series. Oil on canvas, 48″ x 52″. Collection of S.M. Lewis and S. D. Gottleib.

Morenci Mine, 2010, from “Surface Mining” series. Gouache on paper, 21″ x 21.5″. Private Collection.

San Cristobal, 2011 from “How We Live” series. Gouache on paper, 15″ x 15″. Private Collection.

* All images used with permission of the artist.

Rachel Sitkin’s works are available for purchase. If interested, please contact her through her website,

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This entry was published on March 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm. It’s filed under architecture, Art, Beauty, Culture, Life, Nature, Painting, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Rachel Sitkin: The Human Impact

  1. A great series of paintings

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