Gallery | [SUB]URBAN]
New paintings by Claire Baker and R. Reynolds
June 26 - August 2, 2009
Exhibit Opening | Friday, June 26, 6-8PM
Swarm Gallery is pleased to present new paintings by LA-based artist Claire Baker and Berkeley-based artist R. Reynolds. Both artists are plein air and studio painters, focusing on landscapes near their homes and images from lived experience. Claire Baker’s works embrace inanimate nature in an animate, direct and front light, through a contemporary, cathedralesque, romantic relationship to nature. There is a surprise thread of visual mystery in her work, creating an ambiguous, imbedded tension in an otherwise romantic mood. Nature is, as defined by Baker, the perseverant bamboo and unforgiving sun in the backyard of her LA home. The paint handling is akin to that of ink, in terms of employing a full range of transparency and opacity in the paint application.
The basis for R. Reynolds’ work is a direct connection to a sense of place. His paintings describe the time and condition of the landscape. They represent the perpetual dialogue between time, space, and the observer. He returns to the same place for months, working on paintings and drawings. Reynolds will repaint the same subject multiple times because it allows him to refine the idea and develop the type of visual mood he wants conveyed. The subject is deconstructed and rebuilt in a cyclical process. Work in the studio is created using his various studies and remembered forms. These paintings serve as a documentation of lived experience, fragmented by memory and perception.
Project Space | Is A Catnip Grin The Milk? | Andrea Goldman
Inspired by the cat website "I can has cheezburger", shorthand texting, and current debates about capitalism and power relations, Andrea Goldman created a presentation/video work entitled "RETHINKING CApiTaliSm." The work is humorous, presenting these anthropomorphized cats fluctuating between anarchist leanings, nihilism, and hope for new possibilities. Points of debate are anagrams of the phrase "Rethinking Capitalism": "R king in the capitalism?", "Him Paternalistic King," "Re: capitalism ink thing." "GOD v dog," a palindromic video in which God and dog argue about who's who, accompanies "RETHINKING CApiTaliSm."
These two works use voice, texts, and paranoid parameters to explore truth systems that position the subject. The voice is endlessly peculiar because it is on the line between the body ('hard facts') and some kind of transcendence. Language is simultaneously stuff and thoughts. And using paranoid parameters allows Goldman to simultaneously find meaning and freedom through any kind of lens. She sees these lenses (anagrams, palindromes, existent texts...) as parallel to truth-systems, which all are essentially, and necessarily, paranoid. In these works, her cast of doppelgangers debates their "isms" and, hopefully, through a brittle balance of sense and non-sense, gives room for laughter and the undoing of foregone conclusions.