The feelings of horror and rapture collide at high speeds when viewing Lauren Marx’s work. The St. Louis-based artist creates beautiful vignettes that speak to the cycle of life. Rather than a cleaned-up, Disneyfied verson of nature, her paintings give us raw depictions of birth and death. Influenced my scientific illustrations and the Baroque period alike, Marx’s maximalist mixed-media works present these cyclical phenomena in visually appealing ways, often fusing the chaotic elements of nature into stylized compositions with an emphasis on design. Marx’s solo show, “American Wilderness,” opens at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle on May 7.

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“I kind of just steal the compositions, but I obliterate everything else. The details are gone. Nothing is stable. Everything is moving and dripping and messy.” —Diana Al-Hadid

Watch artist Diana Al-Hadid borrow from Old Master and Italian Renaissance paintings to create a singularly hybrid artwork—transforming brushstrokes on a wall into architectural sculpture—in a new film from the ART21 New York Close Up series.

WATCH: Diana Al-Hadid Plays the Classics

IMAGES (ROWS 1, 5): Diana Al-Hadid. Installation view of Ground and Figures at OHWOW Gallery, Los Angeles, 2015.

IMAGES (ROWS 2–4, 6): Artist Diana Al-Hadid in her studio, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 2015.

ALL IMAGES: Production stills from the ART21 New York Close Up film, Diana Al-Hadid Plays the Classics. Artwork courtesy of the artist and OHWOW Gallery, Los Angeles. Photos © ART21, Inc. 2015.

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Dean Reynolds’ Paintings Explore Dreamlike Landscapes

Painter Dean Reynolds likens himself to a magician. “The work is about the act of painting a window to a world of fantasy, of the surreal, of inner experience,” he writes in his artist statement. “The images hint to me to make them into a drawing or painting and then I work to make them into reality.” On May 2 at Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Reynolds will present a new series of surreal, candy-colored paintings for his latest solo show. The female protagonists in his work explore sunshine-yellow landscapes that seem to belong to another dimension. We follow these goddess-like characters into scenes rife with incongruous imagery and symbolism.

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Polish painter Daniel Maczynski does not concern himself with the subtext of his work. Rather, his geometric portraits are studies in form and color. According to the artist, the meaning behind the work is for the viewer to decide. Maczynski paints with thick, textured brushstrokes that evoke the physicality of the paint. In his portraits, he veers from tightly-rendered details to loose abstraction, allowing the human figures to morph into psychedelic swirls of color.

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