Hanna Vater is a painter with numerous backgrounds – a native of Latvia, her ancestral culture mixes German and Russian Jewish heritages. She is also in dialogue with art history and the legacy of her travels – she lived in Israel for 13 years before moving to Seattle, Washington. Reflecting her experiences, Vater's still-lives reveal their layers and connections gradually with a muted palette of oil paints whose gentle tones initially suggest watercolors. If the hues evoke Impressionists like Monet, the style of application is surprisingly even, forgoing ridged textures to create flat, diffuse surfaces.
Vater's images and subjects, rather than figuring as tangible items with discernible proportions, become nearly monochrome studies in form and color. She finds architectural details in milk jugs, swaying silhouettes in curved bottles, kindly rounded faces in baskets of fruit. By draining hues, distorting forms and emphasizing light, she engages elemental shapes and gradients. At her canvases' edges, Vater's ultimate fascination with abstract color and form nearly takes over.