26 March – 12 May 2018
Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong.
Gagosian is pleased to announce “Heliocentric,” an exhibition of new paintings by Jennifer Guidi. This is Guidi’s first exhibition with Gagosian and her first solo exhibition in Asia.
Guidi’s “sand paintings” mix oil paint with sand to create surfaces oscillating in color and texture. Evolving from her earlier figurative paintings, the sand paintings reside delicately and elusively in between figuration and abstraction, evoking the traditions of landscape and naturalist painting yet evading all literal references. She responds to nature and natural phenomena, often by rendering barely perceptible instances of movement and transitions from light to dark (and vice versa). With their luminous qualities and their textured relief, Guidi’s paintings register and generate minute shifts in perception, echoing natural effects while creating their own sensory horizons.
Beginning with an underpainting, Guidi applies sand to the painted surface in a thick layer while still wet. Then, she makes marks in the sand with a wooden dowel, in controlled and repetitive movements, often adding colored sand and paint along the edges of the rounded divots until the pattern is embedded onto the canvas in the manner of sedimentation or erosion. Guidi always begins with a lacuna at a center point that is deliberately to the left of dead center, mimicking the position of the heart within the body, and continuing outward in a radiant, centrifugal motion, like light permeating a landscape at dawn. Every painting is methodically brought to a state of harmony by this systematic yet organic process, connecting Guidi’s painting practice to strains of Minimalism that privilege attention to detail and repetition. Guidi’s expressive technique also reveals strong affinities with various non-Western practices, in its intensely meditative pattern-making, used to create imagery, narrative, or spiritual votive.
Guidi’s sense of color, light, and the physical and tactile emanations into which they play are based on her observations of light in Los Angeles, where she lives and works; and where hazy skies caused by the atmospheric conditions of the West Coast, as well as the city’s man-made pollution, make for extra-brilliant sunsets. The field of color spans from painting to painting, as well as within each individual one, radiating out of the gouges from light to dark, sometimes showing light within landscape-like forms, sometimes refracted as through the painting itself, ranging and varying like the light wavelengths produced by the concentration of particles in the atmosphere during sunrise and sunset. In Force of Instinct (Painted Universe Mandala SF #1G, Sunset Sky, Black-Purple Mountains, Natural Ground) (2017–18), which measures 116 by 98 inches, dark, oceanic depths transition into luminous upper expanses, creating a panoramic effect with no single focal point. The fourteen paintings in this exhibition also include Guidi’s first triangular-shaped canvases, in a spectrum of colors, placing the bodily, organic accumulations of paint and sand within a sharp geometry.
Jennifer Guidi, Worlds in Motion (Painted Light Blue Sand SF #1C,
Blue-Orange Sky, Purple-Brown Mountain), 2018
Jennifer Guidi was born in California in 1972, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Collections include the Marciano Collection, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Rubell Collection, Miami. Recent institutional exhibitions include “Field Paintings,” LAXART, Los Angeles (2015) and “Visible Light,” Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa, Italy (2017).