Opening this week at Gallery Bergelli
, a group show of four painters celebrates the
dog days of summer. Named after the famous 1966 surf movie, The Endless
, the exhibition captures the season’s scenes, colors, feelings, and
, Anna Valdez
, Emma Webster
, and Helena Wurzel
variously present abstract and representational
paintings, all balmy and nonchalant in their imagery, but studious in their
Emma Webster has spent much
of her life in the United States, but was educated at the Slade School of Art
in the U.K., and the British penchant for figuration is apparent even in her
most abstract mixed media paintings. Her work focuses largely on her relationship
with her sister and other family members, and their bodies—copied from the
family photographs and home movies she uses as reference materials—can be seen
hidden in the layers of paint, pencil, and ink. In Ginger Where’d You Go?
Webster applies colorful brush strokes to compose a rich jungle landscape. In
the center, a girl in a Union Jack bathing suit appears to dance in swirls of
pigment. Similar to the dissolving figuration of painters such as Dana Schutz
and Judith Linhares
, Webster’s paintings stitch together abstract
gestures into a legible portrait.
In the work of Amy Lincoln
and Anna Valdez, private spaces and moments are represented as epicenters of
emotional significance. In Valdez’s Coffee and Lavender
(both 2014), leisurely moments of reading, eating, and enjoying the company of
others are depicted, without the participants in the picture’s frame. Instead,
Valdez focuses on the patterns of blankets, the texture of berries and drinks,
and the atmospheric light of an afternoon in a meadow or a morning on a porch.
Lincoln’s still lifes, such as Brooklyn Still Life
and Tokyo Still
(both 2010), sometimes include elements of self-portraiture, but
also give a full sense of the artist-sitter by incorporating elements of the
space in which they’re executed, including houseplants, decorations, and
furniture. In her Henri Rousseau
-like landscapes, Lincoln is careful to capture
the emotional and physical space and feeling of a particular experience,
rendering them as almost abstract or animated formal elements.
Finally, Helena Wurzel
shows social moments in the year’s longest and hottest days. Double Blonde
(2014) depicts a bird’s eye view of twin blondes lying across a colorful
blanket, napping in the sun. They lay in opposite directions and both face
outward toward the edges of the picture plane, creating a compositional
structure from their symmetry. Similar to painters such as Alex Katz
and Eric Fischl
, Wurzel invokes all the sensations of the
season with reserved portraits of people in repose.
“Endless Summer” is on view at Gallery Bergelli, Larkspur,
California, Sept. 4th – Oct. 16th, 2014.