Four x Five features works from Cynthia Daignault’s 2019 series Elegy, which consists of a group of black-and-white paintings exploring environmental collapse. Daignault’s subjects—trees, glaciers, disasters, and historic events—exist beyond reality, fading into memory, history, and death. Each canvas is an elegy, a metaphor for the contrast between eternal forces: black and white, life and death, love and loss. These works look back to Picasso’s Guernica, and through Picasso to Robert Motherwell’s Elegies and Andy Warhol’s Death and Disasters. As in those precursors, the subject is abject horror—the sickness of bearing witness to an unthinkable global tragedy and the dilemma of how art might make sense of collective trauma. Robert Motherwell described his Elegies as “an insistence that a terrible death had happened that should not be forgotten.” Daignault too insists on remembrance, creating each painting as a lament to the passing of the natural world—to the redwood, to the Angel Oak, to the tortoise, and to the unsustainable contemporary life. Daignault focuses the work on the paradox between beauty and loss—the essential American irony.