George Billis Gallery is pleased to present On and Off The Road: New Landscapes by Bruce Everett, the gallery’s first exhibition of the artist’s work. The exhibition features Everett’s most recent body of large scale California landscape paintings and continues through November 25th.
Bruce Everett's medium to large sized landscape paintings of Southern California and the Central Coast are characterized by dramatic lighting with raking shadows, unusual vantage points, and inspired compositions. Everett’s reasons for painting the landscape are first and foremost out of a deep emotional need to paint what moves him. Seeing a powerful scene isn't enough - he needs to paint it to really grasp it, and in a way be done with it. But what attracts him to a subject in the first place are the formal elements---the dynamics of the composition, the textures, the shapes, the subtlety of colors and the polarities and rhythms of light and dark. It all adds up to being "of the place"---a connection that can't be explained except by painting it. It is important to him to accurately represent what he experiences. “I don't want to contrive a landscape so much as discover it,” he writes of his work.
There is no irony, no theory, no theme connected to most landscape painting, and certainly not Everett’s. But there is a sort of austere seriousness, and a recognition of an essential, profound intelligence in our natural environment. Roads appear frequently, but never as a conscious symbol or metaphor. They help to define the contours of the landscape, and also serve to make the viewer feel present, and see through the artist’s eyes. They also make a statement about the presence of humanity in an otherwise uninhabited scene. Everett often combines both loose, painterly brushwork and a studied precise handling within the same painting, which directs the attention from the background to the foreground, and back again. Formal understandings aside, in the end, to marvel at our presence in the world is the true subject of Everett’s paintings.
Although born in Los Angeles, Everett was raised in the Midwest just north of Chicago. He received his Masters from the University of Iowa and his MFA in Painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He taught briefly at the University of Washington, Seattle and then became a Professor of Art at California State University, Northridge where he taught from 1970 until he retired in 2005. Everett’s career as a painter spans more than forty-five years and includes numerous solo exhibitions throughout the United States. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, San Francisco, Oregon, Seattle, New York, Connecticut and Texas. He is also included in numerous books, exhibition catalogs, and publications on Photorealism and landscape painting and his paintings are in many public, private and corporate collections. He currently lives and works in the Central Coast of California.