Elizabeth Gorek: Embodied

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Butterfly, 2012 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek, Photo by Ellen Levine Dodd
Dot, 2011 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Evening Prayer, 2011 Oil On Canvas 48 X 54 © Elizabeth Gorek
Hope, 2011 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Lostq, 2012 Oil On Canvas 36 X 36 © Elizabeth Gorek
Lost Summer, 2011 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Miss You, 2012 Oil On Canvas 36 X 36 © Elizabeth Gorek
Mystery, 2012 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48
Reflection, 2012 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Venus, 2012 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Watering, 2012 Oil On Canvas 54 X 48 © Elizabeth Gorek
Elizabeth Gorek: Embodied

108 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
June 1st, 2012 - June 30th, 2012
Opening: June 9th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

North Bay/Napa
11 to 6, Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 5 on Sunday
Seager Gray, Mill Valley, exhibition, Elizabeth Gorek, reception, Bay Area Arts, oils, art collectors realism, figurative


Seager Gray Gallery presents “Embodied”, an exhibition of paintings by Elizabeth Gorek. The exhibition will run from June 1 through Jun 30.  There will be a reception for the artist 6 to 8pm, Saturday, June 9.  A catalog is available through the gallery.

Ross artist Elizabeth Gorek was looking through old family photographs some years ago and came upon images of her mother and two aunts on a beach in the 40’s.  She loved the grace in the bodies and the bathing caps created an alluring negative space around their heads.  These were pre-television times when summers were spent by lakes and pools and beaches.  The women are sisters, unselfconsciously comfortable in their bodies and at ease with each other.  When she began to paint them, Gorek realized that working with the figure in sunlight is in her words, “a feast of color.”   She scaled up the bodies, often allowing the heads to extend beyond the canvas, allowing the figure to fill the frame.  She began collecting vintage swimming suits and caps and sought to capture that evocative physicality and languor of women spending the day along the water. 

Another dimension of the collection is captured in the artist's work with girls.  The painting, entitled “Venus”, for example is of a young girl standing in the water. Her hands are crossed in front of her and she appears to be shivering.  Reminiscent of the artist Bouguereau in the painting “The Broken Pitcher”, the girl is not quite a child anymore and not yet fully a woman.  She is the embodiment of passing innocence.  When asked about the work, Gorek replied, ” I have a teenage daughter and having been a teenage daughter, I know the tidal wave of transition that is trapped, one minute brooding and small and the next in full strut.  Some moments say it all.”  

Swimming suits with their stretched fabric and bright colors are the perfect subject for oil paint and Gorek is up to the task of capturing the movement of the material against the female form.  Having a grandmother who was a graduate from the Art Institute in Chicago and a mother who was a notable landscape painter, Gorek grew up with the smell of oil and turpentine.  Inspired by what her mother could do and how it would engage her so completely, she took up the brush from an early age and began the lifelong habit of observing everything, trying to capture visually what is happening on a deeper level.   She explains, “I am drawn to the unguarded moment, stripped of artifice, a caught thought trapped in the body that betrays an inner life.”

What: Elizabeth Gorek: Embodied

Where: Seager Gray Gallery, 23 Sunnyside Ave.  Mill Valley, CA  94941
When: June 1 through June 30, 2012, Reception for the Artist, 6 to 8 pm, Saturday, June 9.
Hours: 11am to 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 5 on Sunday.