Jessie Homer French
Art Basel Hong Kong
March 29 - 31, 2018
For the 2018 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, Various Small Fires (VSF) proposes a solo presentation of recent works by the 77-year-old Californian painter, Jessie Homer French (b. 1940, New York City). A contemporary and friend of more well-known Los Angeles colleagues such as Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, and Peter Alexander, Homer’s quirky narrative paintings have only recently received the critical and market attention they deserve. A self-described “regional narrative painter,” Homer takes inspiration from the pastoral landscapes, deserts, and seasides of those regions, as well as the natural forces that shape them. Having lived between British Columbia, Oregon, New York State, and most recently along the San Jacinto Mountains in the California desert, Homer has spent the past fifty years composing unique and profound paintings out of mundane American subject matter: cemeteries, churches, salmon hatcheries, and fresh roadkill. Although a self-taught artist, Homer nullifies categorizations of folk or outsider art (while still embodying aspects of both), through her sophisticated composition, eccentric tropes, and humorous titles. For ABHK, VSF will present paintings of animals and landscapes endemic to the artist’s rural surroundings, a recurring subject of her practice that she captures in various life cycle stages and in a range of contexts from agricultural to allegorical. In Castle Mountains, 2016, two wild wolves patrol the barren desert landscape for prey; in First Creatures - Vancouver Island, 2005, a mythical ark carries species native to Canada’s Pacific Coast; and in The Loved Ones, 2016, a man and his horse amble through a peaceful pet cemetery dotted with the names of various animals that were previously owned by friends or by Homer, herself.
Jessie Homer French (b. 1940, New York City) is a self-taught, self-proclaimed “regional narrative painter” who routinely, perhaps even obsessively, paints archetypes of death, nature and rural life. She has held solo exhibitions at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA; the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Winchester Gallery, Victoria, B.C and Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Laguna Museum, Laguna Beach, CA and at Samuel Freeman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.