Artist Statement

The intersection of chaos and control dominates my practice. I create drawings and paintings, using space as metaphor to describe feelings of loss, longing, and uncertainty. My work explores grief through an environmental lens, conjuring images of the sublime, where both the beautiful and the horrific converge.

Through abstraction, I investigate environmental and biological catastrophe, the basic mechanics of which are often unseen but threaten our very existence. On a microscopic level, biological phenomena necessary to sustain life are complex structures, and we only become aware of their disequilibrium as we approach the brink of disaster, whether by means of climate change, disease, or famine. The disruption of these systems by human interference or natural forces causes a chain reaction of devastation from which it is hard to recover.

My work combines dissected photographs of the landscape with layered mark-making to generate imagined networks or systems. Edges, erasures, and value play critical roles in establishing a sense of collective force that embodies anxiousness and isolation. I exploit this tension to evoke a reverence for the earth and the power of nature, while simultaneously responding to the feeling of helplessness as I observe the rapid pace of environmental destruction.


Kariann Fuqua (b. 1976, Oklahoma) is an abstract artist utilizing drawing, painting and collage. She received a BFA in painting from Kansas State University and an MFA in painting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been widely exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States including Jenkins-Johnson Gallery (San Francisco, CA), Governors Island (New York, NY), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Byron Cohen Gallery (Kansas City, MO), Manifest Gallery and Drawing Center(Cincinnati, OH), Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (Athens, GA) and was awarded a public commission at McCormick Place (Chicago, IL). She received a Joan Mitchell Foundation full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, and her work was published in New American Paintings and the Artist’s Magazine. She currently lives and works in Oxford, Mississippi where she is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Art and Director of Museum Studies at the University of Mississippi.