The George Gallery Anniversary Catalogue

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Published on the occasion of our one-year anniversary

Accomplished (In)delicate Pop Noir Between the Two Floating Explosions Gravity’s Elbow All images reproduced with persmission of the artist For more information on the gallery, please visit

354 North Coast Highway Lagnuna Beach, CA 92651 949.715.4377

LIVIA MARIN, Broken Things series ceramic, resin, transfer print dimensions variable

Accomplished FEBRUARY - MARCH 2012 There’s a new girl in town--- a new edge, a new focus and a new game. Located on North Gallery Row in Laguna Beach, the George gallery opens her doors with Accomplished, an exhibition featuring the multimedia work of seven extraordinary female artists. The George gallery is named after Aurora Dupin----- the literary figure who wrote under the male pseudonym George Sand. Taking her lead, the George celebrates female artists’ subversions of content and form, medium and message. From being the object of artists’ work to remaking the art world, we have come a long way, baby. The George gallery, honoring this achievement, only exhibits art by women. The artists featured in Accomplished belong to prestigious museum collections such as the MOCA in Los Angeles, The Indianapolis Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei. Each artist has enjoyed solo shows around the globe and participated in eminent biennials and many have been critically acclaimed by heavyweights such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

LIVIA MARIN, Broken Things series photography, paper, and gold thread 6.75 x 11.25 inches (left) TALIN MEGHERIAN, Braids: Tied ink and gouache on watercolor paper 7 x 10 inches

Susan Jamison explores unbridled sexual ferocity in elegant and tender work. Carla Gannis creates digital dreamscapes of a gruff eroticism that draw from the tales of love and murder she heard as a child in the south. Lisa Stefanelli explodes the nothingness of a canvas with orchestrated frenzies of curvilinear lines and Magdalena Atria investigates the tension between the rational and the emotional. Soledad Pinto fuses photography and sculpture in installations that bring neglected and excluded materials into the gallery, the center of the art market. Livia Marin transfigures ordinary items into something extraordinary by making them odd, or surrealistically other and Talin Megherian, a formally trained painter, explores her Armenian heritage with a series of exacting paintings of braids. Accomplished captures a paradox, or a tension, to which the George will remain true. Some work is loaded with gender, challenging social and aesthetic norms, while other work remains, like Ms. Sand’s, ironically and uncannily gender neutral.

(left) SOLEDAD PINTO Egg Tray photographic screen paper 16.5 x 13 x 3 inches MAGDALENA ATRIA It’s Been A Year Since I Left the House plastic on aluminum compound 32 x 79 inches

(In)delicate APRIL - MAY 2012 Jamison regularly shows at prestigious galleries such as Irvine Contemporary, Nancy Margolis and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Her work draws from sources as diverse as Renaissance painting, tattoo art, Persian miniatures, medical illustration and the Kama Sutra. The delicate paintings become indelicate, with images of salivating desire, carnal female pleasure, ripe aggression and fearlessly fantastical imaginings of loss, grief and death. In addition to wide critical acclaim, Jamison’s work forms part of public and private collections in London, New York, Virginia, and Los Angeles. Since 1994, Stefanelli has shown in art hot beds such as Miami, Los Vegas, Los Angeles and New York and most recently enjoyed solo shows at Mark Moore in LA and Pierogi in NY.

Stefanelli’s complex arabesques move between a delicate (musical) sense of beauty and a brawny physicality. Each work begins with a mark and a momentary plunder of the abyss--- why paint when the world is already brimming with plenitude and wonder? And each moment of nada is followed by the artist’s full-on bodily engagement in the creation of new orchestrations of movement. Stefanelli’s work belongs to numerous collections such as The United States Department of State, the Department of the Interior, The Rose Art Museum and The Albright-Knox Museum.

(left) SUSAN JAMISON, Forget Me Not egg tempera on panel 36 x 36 inches LISA STEFANELLI, Foolish Blood series oil on panel 24 x 28 inches (each)

(left) LISA STEFANELLI Wild Blue Yonder II automotive paint and enamel on panel 56 x 64 inches SUSAN JAMISON Avian Couture egg tempera on panel 44 x 72 inches

Pop Noir JUNE - JULY 2012 Both Carla Gannis and Sandra Bermudez deal in noir. They have exhibited their deft visual critiques of American pop culture in prestigious galleries in cities as diverse as NY, LA, Rome and Miami. Their talent and incisive insight have been appreciated by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice and others and they have been featured at several noteworthy art fairs. Gannis’ digital dreamscapes capture a dark Americana. From back alleys to hidden rooms devoted to forbidden desire---- from the eccentricity that shadows normalcy to the perversions that inform sexuality, Gannis’ painterly art exposes the dark and violent longings that interrupt the sunny surface of American culture.

Bermudez’s multimedia art explores the intersections of pop culture, art and pornography. Her wallpaper series borrows images from advertisements and turn-of-the-century pornography. In her visual examination of contemporary pornography, wherein the naked woman is redacted, our attention is subtly shifted from the publically exposed woman to those looking at or away from her. However different in idiom and tone, both artists explore the overlappings of sexuality, power and its’ inversion, and the cinematic and commerical narrative nature of longing ---- and with solo and collective exhibitions around the globe, we can be sure that what they reveal, mimic and create transcends culture and naive gender stereotypes.

(left) CARLA GANNIS Rear Window archival digital pigment print SANDRA BERMUDEZ I Want You, I Miss You, I Need You fujiflex print on plexi 40 inches in diameter

(left) SANDRA BERMUDEZ, American Pastoral wallpaper dimensions variable CARLA GANNIS, Queenie archival digital pigment print

Between the Two SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2012 In Between the Two, each artist plays with a paradox--- in, around and through it. Sometimes the paradox is left intact, as an unbridgeable divide, and other times, we see transgressions or examinations of opposite things (or non-things). Realities and planes of reality are divided, undermined and explored. In Bobbie Oliver’s work, there is a tension betwen abstraction, the striving for abstraction and the ways in which her work recalls Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and landscapes as well as the intricate and rudimentary nature seen under a microscope. Marilla Palmer’s collages and sculpture draw from the organic (dirt, bracnches, leaves and detritus) and the ornamamental (sequins, glitter and vinyl). However paradoxical the work, the paradox is left untouched and the work is equally at ease with nature and artifice. In Lindsay Walt’s ephemeral canvases, the material world morphs into the immaterial and there remains an intense and unresolved play between imaginary space and real space, our bodily existence and the fleeting feel of the dream.

(left) MARY JONES, Mirror the Waves oil and acrylic on prepared paper 11 x 15 inches LINDSAY WALT, Pele oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches

MARILLA PALMER, Cournus Kousa ink, holographic laminate, spores, pressed leaves, and flowers on paper 22 x 30 inches (right) BOBBIE OLIVER, Untitled acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 inches

Jill Levine’s sculptures, drawing from pre-modern and non-Western forms of representation, transgress the lines between modern and pre-modern, East and West, art and craft and art and idol/totem. Her blurring of boundaries uses the high art idioms of Cubism and Surrealism. Theresa Hackett moves between stillness and movement. The paint on the canvas gushes, drips, falls, explodes and runs together. When her work loses the horizon, the result is a sense of gentle disorientation. Mary Jones’ canvases, large and small, have a bodily and ferocious energy that plays with the tension between the controlled and the uncontrolled. Oftentimes she offers a surreal disconnect between an expressionist explosion of paint and an opening onto another world and a different time. This posse of talent, taken together, belongs to the permanent collections of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Eli Broad Collection, The Yale University Musuem of Art, The New York Public Library and Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. They have enjoyed critical acclaim from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, LA Weekly and The Village Voice. Unsurprisingly, then, each artist has exhibited in art capitals across the country and around the world.

Floating Explosions NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2012 Floating Explosions initiates a visual conversation between the painterly canvases of Mary Jones and Bobbie Oliver. Oliver’s minimal and abstract work is dominated by a sense of weightless suspense, a slow drift or float. Jones’ oils and watercolors---- and both artists’ work ranges from the very small to the very large---- are explosive, bodily, rugged and juicy. When seen together, Oliver’s work becomes more tactile and somehow more profoundly organic whereas Jones’ work mellows a bit and we see not just the layered explosion but also the subtle and supreme control of the explosion. Neither Jones nor Oliver needs much introduction. Jones has shown her work extensively in the US, most notably the Marlborough Gallery in NYC and the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Among her collectors are the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles as well as Wells Fargo, Prudential and the Security Pacific Bank. Oliver’s work has been lauded by prestigious critics from The Village Voice, LA Weekly, The New York Times and Globe and Mail, among others. She is also the recipient of several awards, including the Pollock-Krasner award. Like Jones, she has shown in esteemed galleries around the world.

MARY JONES Something About Fellini oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches (right) BOBBIE OLIVER Untitled acrylic on canvas 47 x 60 inches

Jones began her career in downtown Los Angeles and is currently working in New York City. She is among those painters dealing with abstraction in a new way—creating work with a kind of subversive vitality. Each piece invites a number of readings through vibrant gestural abstraction, urban archaeology, and an intuitive approach to form. A space is created on the canvas that is somewhere between anarchy and order. The New York Times has described her work as “electrically hued hothouses of painterly process.” Working for Isamu Noguchi in 1980’s, Canadian born Oliver observed the amount of time the artist took to study a stone before changing it. We see the same sense of acute and protracted observation and openness to nature in her paintings. Like Noguchi, she is sensitive to the readiness of the material, to its surrender to her brush. Some work seems like something seen under a Petri dish, while other work resembles a dense underwater cave and some canvases look like the perfect slip of sky or imagined float of clouds. However varied the evocations of Oliver’s canvases, each work betrays a striving for abstraction, a gesture toward the unutterable. Overall, her work is wedded both to the now, or the present (and its solidity) at the same time that it suggests moments of airy revelation or weightless transformation. No one could have known how prescient the title and the theme of the show would turn out to be---- and we at the George could not be more stunned and empathetic. I moved here from New York City. I was there for the explosion of 9/11 and would never have imagined that the notions of floating and explosion would collide and become in any way relevant to the daily life of New Yorkers.

(left) MARY JONES Jam Up oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches BOBBIE OLIVER What If The Stars Are The Sky? acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches BOBBIE OLIVER Sky Dreams acrylic on canvas 36 x 40 inches

Gravity’s Elbow JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2013 In Gravity’s Elbow, New York based artists Theresa Hackett and Jill Levine extend gravity’s reach, exploiting and twisting natural limitations in a way that is playful yet resolved, unapologetically mixing surfaces and imagery from anything subject to gravity’s pull. When viewed together, the works pose a complex deciphering of layers with no clear code to be broken. Both internationally acclaimed artists have received tremendous recognition for their work over the last several decades. Theresa Hackett earned her MFA at Hunter College in New York and has herself been a professor as well as a curator and lecturer. She has been the recipient of numerous grants including the PollockKrasner award and is a three-time nominee for the Joan Mitchell award. Hackett’s floating compositions while bearing reference to landscape, Maximalism, and pluralism simultaneously reject these and other classifications or engage them in a tongue-incheek fashion. The multi-media images experience moments of weight and weightlessness and seem to fluctuate between the two based upon the viewer’s distance from the piece as forms change, becoming concrete and abstruse and merging optically. These forms include collaged architectural elements, color field gradients, hand-drawn patterns, and splashes of pigment.

(right) JILL LEVINE, Burnt Offering mixed media 16 x 10.5 x 10 inches

Jill Levine attended the Royal College of Art in London and received her MFA from Yale. She has been awarded with several grants including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and is part of the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her work borrows from ancient Mayan and Aztec images, using cartoonish, kitschy figures to create sculptural wall pieces that occupy their own visual paradigm of cultural reference. The sculptures change dramatically upon viewing them from different angles and it’s the tension between image and form, linear and sculptural qualities that drives the visual intrigue behind Levine’s work. Animated figures give the illusion of movement, then abstract and flatten as the paintings, stretched over the plaster like a skin, yield to conflict with the three-dimensional form. As the figures oscillate between sincere iconography and comic pop, Levine simultaneously reveres and challenges the power of the image. Hackett and Levine’s masterful employment of illogical pictoral space presents us with a light-hearted look into the very serious and timeless artistic concerns of form in a way that celebrates its inherent boundlessness.

JILL LEVINE, Eyeteeth mixed media 34 x 17 x 15 inches (right) THERESA HACKETT, Drawing #4 mixed media on Rives de Lin paper 52 x 69 inches

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