Harper’s Books is pleased to announce Pink Sand, a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Guidi. The show will open with a reception attended by the artist on Thursday, June 2, from 6:00 to 8:00pm at Harper’s Apartment, and runs through July 21. Comprising a selection of medium-sized and large abstract paintings, this series highlights Guidi’s ongoing inquiries into the sculptural and tactile nature of paint and sand.
Jennifer Guidi’s sand paintings are reflective contemplations. Repetitive gestures activate the multi-layered work with hypnotic meditative energy, where individual moments and marks become subsumed into a whirlpool of pattern and texture. Beginning with a colorful underpainting, Guidi trowels a cement-like mixture of sand, paint, and acrylic polymers onto the surface of the linen. While still wet, hundreds of small divots are formed by prodding the sedimented exterior with hand carved tools. The amalgamation of each imprint results in a mandala motif, starting at a middle point and circling outward to the perimeter of the vertical field. In several examples, the interior of the indentation is filled with vibrant hues of oil paint, dividing them into amorphous bursts, like an oasis of color on a desert landscape.
Guidi’s sand paintings evince a nuanced system comfortable in its contradictory elements: at once natural and artificial, additive and subtractive, bold and subtle. The work shares aesthetic and spiritual similarities with artists like Agnes Martin and Georgia O’Keeffe, while also referencing practices of ritual and meditation found in premodern art forms. Sand itself bears metaphorical significance, representing the ebb and flow of time. The medium is often composed into ephemeral and impermanent assemblages that erode from environmental forces. Guidi’s use of sand takes another approach, fixing each grain in a state of permanence by intermingling its organic composites with synthetic plastics. The paintings seek to preserve instances of flux in nature, opening up a space to observe minor details that would be otherwise erased by the passage of time.
Born and raised in Southern California, Jennifer Guidi lives and works in Los Angeles. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum and the Rubell Family Collection. She has had solo shows at Nathalie Karg Gallery, LAXART and ACME, and recently participated in group exhibitions at the Rubell Family Collection and Hammer Museum.