Cast & Cascade
Western Exhibitions is thrilled to present a solo show by San Francisco-based artist MICHELLE BLADE in Gallery 1. The show will open with a reception that is free and open to the public on Friday, April 8th from 5 to 8pm.
For her first solo show at Western Exhibitions, Cast & Cascade, Blade brings together painting and sculpture to create an environment in which the past and present are interlaced. Influenced by Romanticism and West Coast utopic idealism, Blade’s mystical paintings mine the nostalgia of a bygone era, simultaneously marking a passing moment while looking forward into an unknown with cosmic reverie.
Using a variety of materials such as Dura-lar, lace, wood, paper and found objects, the resulting installation is a meditation on dualities: the real and unreal, light and dark, presence and absence. Painted wall tapestries, urns containing the ashes of past burned paintings, assorted paintings of anonymous figures, book covers, and Tarot card sessions rest on top of wooden shelves. Along with a white lace sculpture of a chair, these items call to mind the theoretical discourse concerning painting’s own life and death. These works seek to create an engagement with individuals while simultaneously questioning the effectiveness of its methods and the potential of all such quests. Ultimately, these works serve as a reminder of man’s persistent isolation and the persistent and timeless desire to connect with something beyond ourselves
Michelle Blade’s work has been featured at Triple Base, Jack Hanley, SFMOMA, and Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, San Francisco; the San Jose ICA; Carl Berg Gallery and Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles; Space 1026, Philadelphia; Union Gallery, London; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen; the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stüttgart and her painted Dura-lar rug was included here at Western Exhibitions in Ryan Travis Christian’s group show “The Power of Selection, Part 3”. She is a 2007 recipient of the Murphy-Cadogan Fellowship, a 2011 Alternative Exposure Grant recipient as well as recent SFMOMA SECA finalist. She received her MFA in painting from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Blade currently lives in Oakland, Ca. where she directs Sight School, an alternative artist run storefront.