Jacob Melchi: new paintings, and in the middle gallery, Alma Chaney: namesless spaces: recent paintings
San Francisco, California 94103
We are opening the September season and our 13th exhibition in Culver City with two important painting exhibitions.
In the front gallery, we are showing new work by Los Angeles painter Jacob Melchi. Melchi was included here in last February's group of young LA painters; this is his first solo show with the gallery. A 2003 MFA graduate of Otis, Melchi's work has been shown previously at institutions such as The Center for Contemporary Art in Sacramento, The Torrance Art Museum, The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki, and The Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam.
Melchi practices a highly sensate, yet disciplined form of painting that uses geometry as its underpinning and the means of paint application as its mode. His process is iterative, his surfaces articulated and nuanced. He builds his image through pentimento and overpainting, paying close attention to the grain of his support and the viscosity of his medium. He leverages to great result slight biases and obliques off the regular weave of his grid, and slight shifts and stops in his stroke. The result is an agile and individuated vernacular that triggers abstract associations while grounding his work in concrete experience. Relatively modest in scale, Melchi's canvases nevertheless hold the wall with authority, and engage the viewer on every level.
In the middle gallery we are showing recent paintings by Seattle-based artist Alma Chaney, her second solo with the gallery. A 2010 MFA graduate of The San Francisco Art Institute, Chaney also completed post-Baccalaureate work at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, holds a Certificate of Scientific Illustration from the University of Washington, and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
In her work Chaney tackles the perennial dichotomy between drawing and painting, employing Renaissance techniques of silverpoint crosshatching beneath layers of opaque, highly mixed, off-whites and translucent glazes of tonal color. Her work presents a real dilemma for a gallerist: it is impossible to reproduce, reveals itself even in person only slowly, and makes no concessions to fashion. What it does is reward patient engagement with a series of unfoldings that could be described as florescent. Chaney manages the studio equivalent of en plein air; she is a painter of shadow and light.