Jessica Ecker grew up in Arizona and has always been drawn to the desert landscape. In her series titled Architected Landscape, she explores how modern architecture integrates with the desert.
The watercolor paintings feature geometric one-story houses with large windows that expose the rugged landscape around them. Like Philip Johnson’s Glass House and other mid-century modern architecture, the landscape is the real “walls” for these structures.
By placing the viewer inside the house to look out, Jessica creates a surreal scene. Inside, the walls are stark and grey, while outside many of the landscapes have a fantastical characteristic with brightly colored “candied” mountains.
The sense of form, color, and shape in the work reflects a modern American style, reminiscent of painters such as Edward Hopper and David Hockney. Jessica pays tribute to the vibrant flat colors of the West, and quiet scenes of American life.
Even though the pieces are devoid of people, it is the way we are placed in the scenes that give the paintings a sense of aspiration. We would like to exist in these places, where the magical landscape seems to have a spiritual pull.