Rachel with White Robe, 2011

Ann Gale

December 6, 2012 — February 2, 2013

People have comprised Gale’s primary, if sole, subject matter for a significant part of her career. As her subjects’ faces and bodies bear the greatest expressive weight and are rendered in the densest detail, her paintings are commonly regarded as portraits. Gale, however, has only recently become comfortable with the term “portrait,” settling into this art-historically-loaded though increasingly elastic concept as it’s deployed in different contexts and by different writers, artists, and scholars. Looking beyond the question of how we should look at the work, however, enables a deeper appreciation of the paintings as aesthetic and affective objects. That each face and body exudes a similar gravity—even solemnity—of expression causes the viewer to not only wonder who these people are… read more

The Skin Within, 2011

John DiPaolo

November 1 — December 1, 2012

Throughout his career, DiPaolo has endeavored to make art that acts as a prism through which we can reflect upon our own lives. The thoughtful intensity with which he executes his gestures, layers forms, and orchestrates color relations produces an immersive effect that reverberates through the body and awakens an upsurge of memories and emotions. The balance and harmony of his compositions hinge on his ability to maintain some semblance of control while also allowing for the uncontrollable; as he explains, “even when you think you know what you want, it tells you what it wants. The work takes over.”… read more

Fool for Love, 2012

Sherie' Franssen

Flesh and Blood
October 4 — 27, 2012

As an accomplished abstractionist whose saturated gestures swirl across her paintings’ surfaces with great athleticism, it is therefore surprising to learn that, within these very same paintings, it’s the presence of the figure that poses one of Franssen’s greatest challenges. Though she does not paint figures outright, figural elements act as catalysts that enliven her work with an important suggestiveness. The figures and landscapes, however, are not actually discernable, not even for Franssen: “I want the paintings to simultaneously maintain a state of movement and suspension where the viewer is left with a sense of uncertainty about what is seen. That’s the tension that interests me as a painter. I’m after a sense of in between-ness provoked by how painted gesture accumulates.” If a recognizable figural form coalesces, it not only undermines this critical tension but it also becomes a hot spot that prevents the viewer’s gaze from moving fluidly through… read more

Beach Series #181, 2012

Marshall Crossman

Big Water
September 6 — 29, 2012

Just over a decade ago, in 2000, Crossman and her family left San Francisco for the coastal community of Pacifica, twenty miles south of the city. Her current home, which is on the beach and overlooks a fishing pier and bait shop, is situated as close to the Pacific Ocean as one can get. The distinctive sensory experiences afforded by the location have become an important source of inspiration for Crossman… read more

Study For You & Me, 2012

Gary Ruddell

July 14 — September 1, 2012

Realistically rendered human figures are depicted balancing on highwires, planks, and drifting logs, flying and spinning through the air like acrobats, and leaping across chasms in Gary Ruddell’s highly narrative paintings. The spaces his subjects inhabit, however, are amorphous, non-objective, and often work upon his subjects’ bodies to dematerialize their features, breaking down their solidity as if to highlight human impermanence and to challenge the singularity of human experience.… read more

Train Chair #26, 2012

Ada Sadler

New Paintings
June 7 — July 7, 2012

Though Ada Sadler references photographs during the painting process, her small-scale, highly realistic compositions cannot be categorized as patently photorealistic. Rather than attempting to reproduce a photograph by directly translating it into painted form, Sadler is concerned with capturing a particular photograph’s—always her own—unique atmosphere and reproducing its visceral affects by playing with light and composition. Whereas the one-to-one correspondence of photorealistic painting often resists deeper engagement by hindering dialogue between painting, viewer, and outside world, Sadler’s paintings thrive on this triangulation. They invite the viewer in and allow themselves to be determined as much by context and the viewer’s interpretive sensibilities as they are by subject matter alone.… read more

Installed: Dolby Chadwick Gallery, 2012

Ann Weber

June 7 — July 7, 2012

Not one to create and contemplate a formal maquette, Weber sets about by translating her ideas directly into form. To create her oversized sculptures, she first constructs a template of a particular shape she’s been pondering—shapes evident in this most recent body of work were inspired by experiences as diverse as a recent tour through Rome to an affinity for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed indoor parking lot in Racine, Wisconsin. Upon achieving a satisfactory form, the template becomes an armature around which Weber weaves long strips of found cardboard. A battery of staples anchors the cardboard in place while a coating of polyurethane provides additional protection and imparts the material with a rich sheen—a final transmogrification that underscores Weber’s ability to commute nothing into something. Pilfered from a number of different sources, the cardboard Weber uses constitutes a spectrum of browns, bleached whites, vibrant colors, and surfaces bespeckled by fractured text and advertisements. Such tattooed fragments hint at the material’s former life as containers that held wine, yogurt, office supplies, and various other consumer products and that once circulated through an expansive, if international, network of trade.… read more

Tip I, 2011

Tom Lieber

Wired
May 3 — June 2, 2012

Tom Lieber continues to engage, explore, and push the limits of abstraction. The sweeping, gestural lines that rip through his pictorial space are reminiscent of the lyrical, looping currents found in Hans Hartung’s mid-century paintings or the curvilinear markings of Joan Mitchell’s looser compositions while thicker black cross- hatchings, such as those in Tall Tip (2012) or Step (2012), call to mind Franz Kline’s signature motif. All of Lieber’s notations run across and weave through mostly neutral though highly nuanced fields of gradually shifting color in the style of Rothko or Newman. Despite these visual references, the overall execution of Lieber’s formal language produces a unique holism recognized as the artist’s own. More often than not, two loose masses with gravitational clout take center stage: the expressive, colorful energy they emit ignites the entire canvas and propels along the semblance of a narrative, despite the nonrepresentational nature of Lieber’s subject matter.… read more

Seul, 2011

Edwige Fouvry

Ars Memoriae
April 5 — 28, 2012

Working in both oil on canvas and oil pastel and pencil on paper, Fouvry uses sketchy lines and gestures, small facets of bold pigment, and modulated fields of color to summarily render human figures and landscapes. As part of her technique, Fouvry is conscientious to allow large areas of the canvas or paper to remain untouched. The contrast between the luminosity of the stark white material and the saturated intensity of her media creates a powerful visual and emotional effect, like a modern-day chiaroscuro. The intense though often partially obscured expressions on her figures’ faces evince a deep psychological penetration, though in Fouvry’s case they are not so much troubling or disturbing as they are enigmatic and mysterious. This irresolvable ambiguity—are her subjects jubilant or despondent, peaceful or agitated, alive or dead?—is partially the result of Fouvry’s wholesale assignation of trust to her emotions and intuition during the painting process. Since she relies on her powers of inner concentration rather than a premeditated logic to keep her process stable and balanced, an aura of suspense fills her studio: “I’m walking on a really thin and fragile line. Everything can collapse in a moment.”… read more

Neighborhood, 2011

Siddharth Parasnis: Wanderlust
March 1 — 31, 2012

Recalling both Bay Area Figuration as well as abstract expressionism in the manner of Hans Hoffman and the color field painters, Parasnis interpolates architectonic landscapes through the visual language of abstraction. Houses, huts, barns, boats, and fences are built up using vibrant, geometrical planes of color that interlock and overlap to such a degree that practically vibrate with energy. Despite the prevalence of hard lines and unbroken forms, there are also areas of transparency and “erosion” that reveal glimpses of the vibrant underpainting below. In addition to demonstrating the many possibilities of paint, the works’ unique surface dimensionality and abraded texture also illustrate the complexities of three-dimensional space and allude to the passing of time.… read more

Water #453, 2012

Louise LeBourgeois

Light Through Water
February 2 — 25, 2012

Light Through Water, an exhibition of recent oil paintings by Louise LeBourgeois, spotlights Lake Michigan — a longtime source of personal and artistic inspiration for LeBourgeois — at different times of day and under different weather conditions. To achieve naturalistic descriptions of her subject, LeBourgeois tightly renders the lake’s surface using a series of delicate brushes. Painted on panel, the smooth and glossy surface quality of her paintings enhances the precision and exactitude of her strokes. Waves are adeptly depicted in various states of activity… read more