1 July – 24 September 2017
Villa Croce, Genua
Villa Croce presents Visible Light / Luce Visibile, the first solo museum exhibition by the American artist Jennifer Guidi.
Visible Light / Luce Visibile is a new body of work investigating light, color and energy. The works in the show develop from Jennifer Guidi’s previous explorations of the painting surface and its texture through a personal practice of mark-making, reflecting on concepts of color and its lasting effects on the body and mind. Jennifer Guidi’s large canvases fill the rooms of the villa with saturated colors through abstract compositions that remind us of oriental mandalas and, creating new forms of interaction between each vibrant tone of color and the space it inhabits, these works evoke articulated sensory experiences.
Jennifer Guidi began with a focus on figurative painting, depicting people, plants and other elements taken from photographs she made herself. Starting in 2012, her palette became more abstract. That same year, during a trip to Morocco in search of Berber rugs, she was impressed above all by the backs of the rugs, where the dense pattern of threads and knots creates tonal bas-reliefs. In the attempt to reproduce those abstract compositions on paper, Guidi found inspiration in the repetition of signs and the movements of the hands, leading to new works that have psychedelic and spiritual overtones.
Developing an absolutely personal technique, through the use of sand on canvas this young artist breaks up the distinction between painting and sculpture, combining research on gesture and color to create two-dimensional sculptures in which light and texture penetrate the material to reveal tonal effects and designs.
The canvases in the show are painted in spectral colors evoking the tones of the rainbow, a form associated with light refraction, and are made by an initial layer of sand and acrylic medium distributed onto the canvas. In the damp surface, using specialized tools, hundreds of indentations are pushed into the sand mixture radiating from a center pointand creating mandala like forms with shadow and light. In some works, these indentations are filled with paint, while in others additional layers of color are added to the surface intensifying the optical effect and increasing the texture density. All the colors of these paintings derive from the full spectrum of light composed of the colors of the rainbow which is then distilled in separate tones affecting the viewer through the color combinations in each room.
The formal outcome reminds us of the paintings of Turner or the Infinity Nets of Yayoi Kusama or the Spatial Concepts of Lucio Fontana. Jennifer Guidi blends the rhythmical effect of the hollowed point with the delicacy of a gesture linked to the tradition of weaving or embroidery. While the eye moves, following the dynamic and concentric structure on the surface, one has the impression that the large canvas is breathing, as if there were a slight movement. Losing the focal point of the composition, the viewer is immersed in a visual field where one can glimpse natural phenomena and landscapes wrapped in light, subjected to imperceptible changes, like a rainbow, dawn, sunset, or deserts.
The formal rigor and procedure of these paintings, simultaneously archaic and futuristic, emerges in an intuitive way, without any preliminary design, simply by repeating the same gesture in an automatic way, as in embroidery or in a mandala. For the artist, this becomes a sort of mantra, with a result that goes beyond the boundaries of objective reality to enter a meditative landscape.
On the occasion of the show will be presented a catalogue published by Mousse Publishing with an interview by Ali Subotnik to Jennifer Guidi and critical text by Ilaria Bonacossa.
The show is organized thanks to the support of Massimo De Carlo, Milano / Londra / Hong Kong.
JENNIFER GUIDI was born in Redondo Beach, California, in 1972, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo shows include: San Fernando, Almine Rech Gallery, New York (2017); Radiant, Massimo De Carlo, London (2016); Pink Sand, Harper’s Apartment, New York (2016); New Paintings, Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York (2015); Field Paintings, LAXART, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions: Upacking: The Marciano Collection, Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles (2017); Marinade, BBQLA, Los Angeles (2015); No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); #crowdedhouse, Harper’s Books, East Hampton, New York (2015); The Afghan Carpet Project, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015). Works by Jennifer Guidi are included in important collections, such as the Hammer Museum, the Marciano Art Foundation, and the Rubell Family Collection.