George Billis Gallery Los Angeles is pleased to present our first exhibition of paintings by Todd Brainard. The exhibition will run from January 8 - February 12, 2011. The gallery will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, January 8th, from 5pm to 8pm.
Todd Brainard's recent paintings offer a refined and sharpened take on a topic which becomes more pertinent every day: the intersection of natural and built environments. Using imagery derived from the Southern California landscape, Brainard operates as a privileged and influential observer, offering an individualistic look at semi-open spaces and the constructs of man that alter them. And though the look is decidedly SoCal, these types of scenes are common enough nearly anywhere. Humans plan and build. Nature quietly accommodates.
But if the subjects of these paintings seem ordinary, the handling is not. In his multifaceted approach, Brainard revels in colliding seemingly disparate conventions of art practice. Photography and realism are asked to hold hands with irrational color and dashes of painterly reduction. Documentation is forced to compromise with the limits and preferences of memory. Traditional conventions of landscape painting shack up with the 21st Century.
The confluence of all these seemingly dissonant elements should be chaotic, but Brainard's work offers a strange sort of pictorial serenity not normally associated with oil derricks or an acrid green sky. In scenes rather more remembered than as if actually viewed, the paintings remind us of our queer ability to ignore, acquiesce to, be stimulated by, or even find beauty in situations so clearly lacking a cogent master plan.
What, then, to make of this apparent contradiction? Perhaps it's only natural.
Todd Brainard received is BFA from Cal State Long Beach and his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. He has exhibited throughout the US his work has appeared in the Boston Globe, LA Weekly, LA Times, and artext, among others. He currently lives and works in Long Beach, CA.
George Billis Gallery opened its second location in the Culver City area of Los Angeles in 2004 and marks its 15th year in the Chelsea arts district in New York City. George Billis shows work by both emerging and established artists.