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Each of Study’s sculptures radiates a unique character, a larger-than-life personality born of the artist’s sharp insights into life and nature and her willingness to let her materials speak for themselves. Ribbons of brass cascade and loop, knot and crumple, echoing life’s unexpected situations. Blackened towers made of cedar logs that she splits, chars, and finishes by hand showcase the grain and knots in the wood—the tree’s secret history. Spheres, triangles, and cubes made of brightly colored resin stack into tall, whimsical totems designed to ignite optimism in her viewers: “I am determined to influence people to look at color and how beautiful it is.”

Resembling enigmatic diagrams, charts, and games, yet situated just within the realm of abstraction, Cole Morgan’s paintings combine meticulous, focused detail with a sense of deep, open-ended mystery. Originally trained as a draftsman, Morgan combines his masterful skill in realistic drawing with an appreciation for the material joys of paint and color. Saturated pigments—cobalt blue, bright crimson, lime green—seem especially brilliant against his painting’s light-infused backgrounds.

The evocative canvases of Dutch painter Arty Grimm skate close to representation but never quite leave the abstract realm. Like the work of cubists and abstract expressionists who were inspired by prehistoric and ancient art (Picasso, Miro, and Twombly, among others), her paintings seem to reach deep into cultural time, unearthing forms from the collective human consciousness—monoliths, totems, and organic figures suggesting fruits or flowers. Grimm has frequently spoken of art as a method for making beauty out of chaos, a “sieve” that chaos, or randomness, can fall through and end up transformed. Her definition of beauty, however, as shown in her paintings, is not frozen perfection, but rather an embrace of chaos itself—a way to contain the unknown while preserving its wildness.

Gene Johnson’s deceptively minimalist paintings and collages are by turns playful and subdued, with fields of white, black, and grey interrupted by pops of color and smooth lines swooping into sawtoothed peaks. While the compositions are crisp and refined, the surface is luxuriously textured, dense with intricate cross-hatching and scuffing that can resemble woven fabric, grainy newspaper photographs or fingerprints. The web of lines flickers in and out of awareness, acting as a counterbalance to the defined edges of the major forms. 

With a rich palette and luscious brushwork, Deladier Almeida infuses vitality into each of his subjects, which range from portraits to scenes of contemporary life to brilliantly observed landscapes. His images of California’s varied terrain, depicted from a bird’s-eye view that Almeida achieves by flying over regions of the state in helicopters or small planes, are alive with texture and movement.

If Balmer’s paintings constantly engage unexpected combinations of shapes, surfaces, and colors, they also play with the distinction between representation and abstraction. Rather than replicate the city precisely as it appears, his compositions rearrange and transform physical reality—altering or editing out some aspects while heightening others—to more closely approach a certain essence of place.

In the darkly romantic paintings of German artist Markus Fräger, moments of contemporary life are frozen in time like film stills. Shadows fall over his characters as they inhabit a series of everyday, mostly domestic spaces, mostly at night, their faces often illuminated by the eerie glow of a lamp or television. He presents us with slices of narrative, tense with the energy of words just said or yet to be spoken. "In all my work,” he has said, “I am very interested in the notion of time and the present moment. I make scenes that seem suspended, as if something had happened or was going to happen, a fragment of a continuous story the viewer has the opportunity to imagine.”

Zomb’s images can be incredibly theatrical, recalling the dream sequences often found in productions of dance, or the nature-defying feats of circus performers. At other times the scenes have a mythical, literary feel, and we can easily imagine them as sumptuous illustrations for a lost book of parables penned by the likes of Scheherazade. An intensely perceptive artist, Zomb never fails to account for the contradictory emotions provoked by the uncertainty of reality. Like all great spinners of tales, Zomb is a superb sorcerer. He continually manipulates our most basic expectations by altering proportion, hinting at hidden allegory, and manifesting, through careful realism, scenes that barely perch on the possible.

Within the elastic space between figuration and abstraction, San Francisco painter Siddharth Parasnis creates work that balances a sense of physical place with pure color and form. In his recent paintings, he continues to mine the intersection of art, manmade structures, and landscape, filtering reality through his imagination and unconscious, layering shapes and building up regions of luminous color, from turquoise to coral to brick-red. 

Nelson traces his interest in painting back to his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro,  renowned Mexican muralist and Modernist. The style of Nelson’s paintings have their origins in American Scene painting, Regionalism, and the work of the WPA artists of the 1930’s.

 

Nelson paints a distinctly California regionalism to idealize the ordinary with the intention of engagement, using the iconic symbols and styles of his lifetime in a theatrical style to make leading suggestions, not unlike the advertisements of his youth.

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SAN FRANCISCO

UNION SQUARE

 

341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 5 pm

By appointment only

415.392.2299

ST. HELENA

NAPA VALLEY

 

1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm

Sunday, 11am - 5pm

707.200.5050

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

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