Skidmore Contemporary Art presents two new exhibitions…”Pools” featuring the paintings of Melissa Chandon and “Mirrored Imagination” by Isabel Emrich. Works by Bradley Hankey are also on view.
Melissa Chandon memorializes classic American imagery with a vibrant palette and an exquisite sense of composition. Her paintings of water, sky and the American landscape call to mind Hockney’s pools and Diebenkorn’s strong lines and shapes. Simple geometric forms cast shadows and conjure mystery; portraits of iconic cars pull on an emotional register of days gone by; mid-century architecture is memorialized with lush color and rich surface treatment. Hers is a roadside vernacular of images that are fading from public view.
See image: Post Modern Pool with Diving Board, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 61″ x 85″
A classically trained artist, Chandon lives and works in Northern California. She teaches at the prestigious university UC Davis. Her exhibitions include the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento and the Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, among many others, with her work included in collections such as the de Young Museum, San Francisco and the Shields Library at the University of California, Davis’ Shields Library and Davis Medical Center. Her work has been exhibited with Edward Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud and Andy Warhol.
Melissa Chandon has an MFA from the Lesley University College of Art and Design, Cambridge. This is her 27th one-person exhibition, and her second with Skidmore Contemporary Art.
Isabel Emrich works in an Expressionistic style that straddles both abstraction and figuration. Her brushwork is both strong and fluid—qualities that echo the nature of water, itself. With zeal, Emrich captures the ‘special effects’ water presents to the eye: chaotic refractions in multi-planar space, sparkling light effects, distorted shadows, rippled reflections, etc.—much of it in thick impasto paint, contrasted by passages of smooth vitality.
The artist forged her connection to the water growing up in Southern California. She loved the feeling of the cold salty ocean, and being under its big waves. Isabel offers a special debt of gratitude to her grandmother, who often took her up on the cliffs overlooking the water to plein-air paint. “Just paint what you see,” her grandmother would tell her, taking after the French Impressionists of yore. In 2013, Emrich moved to San Francisco, fulfilling her dreams of studying at The Academy of Art University and receiving a BFA Painting and Drawing in 2016.
See image: Isabel Emrich, Floating on the Horizon, 2017, Oil on canvas, 40″ x 60″
Emrich explores the sensations of peace and calm one feels submerged in water, the dynamism of moving through water, and of the body luxuriantly enveloped in it. A subject’s body may float freely in a pose of complete relief, but the subject’s face and limbs blur with the airy world above, as they break the surface. Isabel explores the dynamics of this boundary with tension and interplay at work—where air and water and light and body converge. Light plays on the surface, reflecting, dancing in endlessly fascinating patterns. But it also passes through the water, illuminating what is beneath, bringing out the color and life of the body. Different colors ‘pop’ through the light with the changing visuals implied in a moment’s time. Indeed, being in water is one of most explicit examples one can imagine of ‘being in the moment.’ Time stands still, and once and for all the past and future disappears. Zen-like, one is in the here and now.
Works by Bradley Hankey are also on view.
On view: April 15 – May 13, 2017
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404