As an abstract geometric artist, I draw from a practice of attentive contemplation and creative discovery. The intricacy in the artwork's compositions, with its prismatic color sensibility, arises from an aesthetic and conceptual appreciation of nature and its patterns. While working with geometrical arrangements, I find the flow, universal beauty, and symmetry inherent to patterns stemming from growth laws. These arrangements follow shared numerical sequences found in nature and permeate the structure of parts amongst the whole, as seen in the leaves and branches of a tree and in flower petals.

Wheel within a Wheel concentrates on the axial symmetry that engenders vibrant forms as a circle encompasses a circle to create an atmospheric density and the sublime nature of geometric patterns.

Elan Flow follows dynamic motion patterns, including water's uncontrollable and often chaotic flow. These patterns and other natural phenomena like lightning storms are found in the external environment and appear in processes within living bodies, such as blood circulation and firing neural networks. The material dimension of human existence within the natural environment reveals a cosmic extent to its composition.

Wooded Terrain and Breath of Life draw forward instances of deviation from perfect fractal architectures found in nature. A unique and, often, beautiful responsive variation arises in living forms to environmental conditions, including hardship and its weathering effects. As an artist,, this novel adaptation is a language of wisdom shared in forests and wildflower fields through micro and macro ecosystem idiosyncrasies, such as multi-generational symbiotic root systems.

Beholder, as a compositional theme, draws geometric forms and representational drawings symbiotically to highlight the observation process. As a viewer, one perceives an effect – specifically geometric patterning in natural forms – and these evoke wonder and fuel quests for root-cause discovery. The intent is not to move to any foregone conclusion but to recognize how contemplation sustains an intention toward furthering knowledge.

The California Native Plants series follows my gardening intent of re-introducing plants from my home's native ecosystem into its existing open terrain. My eye continues to follow the geometry inherent in the particular features of each native flower I discover in my paintings. John Muir's reflections on California's wild landscape and its sweet bee-garden extravagance enlightened my landscaping quest.

When California was wild, it was one sweet bee-garden throughout its entire length, north and south, all the way across from snowy Sierra to the ocean. The Great Central Plain of California, during the months of March, April, and May, was one smooth, continuous bed of honey-bloom, so marvelously rich that, in walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of more than 400 miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step. Mints, gilias, nemophila, castilleias, and innumerable composite were so crowded together that, had ninety-nine percent of them been taken away, the plain would still have seemed to any but Californians extravagantly flowery.

–John Muir, The Mountains of California, 1894

At a micro level, I appreciate how each California Native bloom is in itself a universe for pollinators and the other interconnected native resident species belonging to it.

These conceptual series of paintings reflect my love and an unending sense of awe before nature and our cosmos.


by Dominique Nahas

Lorien Suárez-Kanerva was born in Berkeley, California of mixed heritage, Venezuelan and American. She and her younger brother had a childhood where her love of art and of nature were constants. She settled near Caracas in San Antonio de los Altos where she attended La Escuela Comunitaria, a private Spanish-speaking school. At the age of thirteen Lorien and her family (her father obtained a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Berkeley, her mother was a certified elementary school teacher) moved the United States, to Oregon, in 1986. Suárez-Kanerva received her BA from UC-Berkeley focusing on Middle Eastern and Latin American histories. Her graduate degree and post-graduate work in European Constitutional Law, diplomatic relations and international business were pursued in Leuven, Belgium (Katholieke Universiteit) and in Spain (Universidad de Salamanca,) Since 2003, the artist has had solo exhibitions in numerous galleries and has participated in group shows at profit and nonprofit venues such as Gallery 128, Lichtundfire Gallery and Anita Shapolsky Gallery, in NYC; La Sierra University Branstater Gallery; Riverside Art Museum, San Diego Art institute, Oceanside Museum of Art, in CA; Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Art Basel Scope Miami, Curator’s Voice Art Projects, in Miami, 57th Venice Biennale, Palazzo Bembo, 2017-22. The historical influences that informed Suarez-Kanerva’s aesthetic vision include Islamic art and architecture, East Indian mandalas, the Rose windows of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, geometric and organic formalism, constructivism, and the aesthetic movements advanced by the Bauhaus, the Abstract Creation and Blue Rider groups, the Latin American Geometric Abstraction artists of the early 20th century. Artists Sonia and Robert Delaunay, August Herbin, Carlos Cruz Diez, Jesus Raphael Soto, Joseph Stella, Stanton McDonald-Wright, Archile Gorky, M.C. Escher, Johanesss Itten, Victor Vasarely, Georgiana Houghton, Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Charles Arnoldi, and Roland Reiss are key progenitor-figures for her. The artist draws her inspiration from a range of reading sources such as Carl Jung, Teillard de Chardin, Namgyal Rinpoche, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William Woodsworth, Lawrence Cahoone’s, The Orders of Nature, and Jane Bennett’s, Thoreau’s Nature, and Philip Ball’s, Patterns in Nature and Bright Earth


by Dominique Nahas

Suárez-Kanerva has a deep relationship to the worlds of geometry nourished from her wide world travels, her meditation practice, and from her earliest memories of being entranced by nature-hikes as a young child in Venezuela and in Oregon where she grew up.….She writes in her artist's notes : "My paintings and abstract geometric designs strive for a dynamic interplay of color, light, and form inspired by the universal principles of geometry and biomorphic organic references commonly found in nature. I build multiple levels and layers of elaborate designs that emerge from an underlying matrix to create a strong sensation of growth, movement and depth." Suárez-Kanerva has been a professional artist for the past twenty years working in watercolor, gouache and acrylic as her principal mediums on both canvas and paper surfaces. She works with Arches hot as well as cold press watercolor paper and on primed cotton canvas. For the last couple of years the artist has been working on wood surfaces with ink, pastels, pencil and charcoals. Suárez-Kanerva uses rulers and compasses as well as a number of geometric forms and templates, various elliptical and circular shapes and size variations, French curves and graphic design tools including grid papers, rulers, protractors and compasses in a number of sizes including a set of large-scale format instruments that allow her to make circles with the 24 inch and larger radii form factor. She has on occasion used raw materials to make her own paints while working primarily with commercial brands such as Windsor, Newton and Golden for her watercolor, gouache and acrylic paint. The sizes that the artist works on varies greatly. She has achieved mastery using a range of surfaces and sizes, from 9 x 12 inches, as in the watercolor Wheel within a Wheel, 123 (2022) to 51 x 72 inches as in the watercolor and gouache work entitled Wheel within a Wheel, 46 (2007).

The series included in this exhibition are: Wheel within a Wheel (2003-2017), Fluid Flow/Elan Flow (2016-2021), Breath of Life (2021-2), Beholder Paintings (2023), and Wooded Terrain (2021). Importantly, the artist's primary works refrain from engaging in computer mediation to sustain simulation. Instead, Suárez-Kanerva's visionary geometric artworks have an auratic hand-made quality that revels in inducing a variety of facture for the viewer. This is the combination of brushworks, marks, material and the texture of the surface. Much of the fascination and excitement that accrues to the artist's manual media comes from what the viewer can observe at close range which in turn induces a range of sensations within the viewer, including delight, wonderment and mystery.  

Lorien Suárez-Kanerva nimbly applies the language of geometry to compose her layered abstractions. The visual compositions are a result of a constructive, systematized pictorial language allowing the planning of these compositions to take form and shape following a pre determinable organizational matrix. This organizational, structural level inherent in a geometric matrix affords visual coherence and excitement to the artist's dynamic narratives as such. But for Lorien Suárez-Kanerva geometry is part of a perceptual matrix. Geometry applied as a language of form allows the artist to use it as a language of content. Over the years Suárez Kanerva has masterfully structured (operationally and pictorially) the creation of internally coherent compositions that are imbued on some levels with clarity and precision. Yet on other levels such compositions and the narratives they suggestively provoke also defy easy reading, resisting interpretation and thus heightening the vitality level of her studio practice. One of the undeniable attributes of Suárez-Kanerva's studio practice is that she has managed to introject into each of her carefully calibrated compositions a pervading sense of intense, ecstatic unknowingness. The perfume of radiant enigma permeates her aesthetic vision which is imbued with vitality. 

Such vitality stems from the artist’s capability, honed after years of experience, of keeping her process alive to spontaneousness and improvisation. Lorien Suárez- Kanerva’s imaginative and creative impulses have been intensified by drawing upon what she knows, what she has experienced, physically and sensorially as well as cognitively through her research and study. But, importantly, the artist has learned to allow a vision to take hold by attending in an uninhibited way through consciousness to what lies beneath normal everyday awareness. That vision integrates the materialistic and the immaterial while inferring the presence of metaphysical or transcendent truths that embody her actual physical artworks. Such impactful metanarratives suggest the presencing of worlds beyond language. They point to a primordial, ahistorical awareness that Maurice Merleau-Ponty alludes to in his Phenomenology of Perception when he states: “To return to things themselves is to return to that world which precedes knowledge of which knowledge always speaks.”