intense is how we would describe the next two female artist's solo exhibitions opening next friday at hidell brooks. both are mature artists whose work is solid and purposeful. we teamed them together for their artwork so different in material and form but at the same time provoke a strong sense of who they are as artists. each stroke placed with thoughtfulness by jenny nelson and each metal leaf or vine moulded around the figure by johan hagaman with significance. along side their two solo exhibitions will be a group show with new work by sally king benedict, john folsom, page davis, geraldine neuwirth and brigid watson.
sailing in place
my work has always been anchored in drawing. i spent years drawing and painting from life. this instilled a strong sense of space and structure. at some point i became more interested in the negative space surrounding the objects i was observing and modifying the objects themselves. i began to organically develop an abstract language, but the sense of structure and organization remained constant in the painting. i apply paint in layers using palette knives, brushes and oil sticks. i initially draw loose gestures and a variety of spontaneous marks. often traces of previous layers remain visible, allowing colors to interact in ways i could not have anticipated. this process leaves me feeling quite lost a lot of the time, and i have had to learn to become comfortable with that feeling. this sometimes builds to frustration, and i will scrape off much of what was applied, but the result of doing this is often something wonderful that moves the painting forward.
i view the painting process as a collaboration between myself and the materials. a conversation starts that has a beginning and anend, but everything in between is unpredictable. as the painting evolves, shapes and lines solidify, and i begin to see how the parts affect. the whole. this way of layering, adding and subtracting, creates a history on the canvas. shapes have a story to tell. lines that have been obliterated and resurrected over and over again have an emotional charge. this process that started as a wild party ends up as a contemplative carefully edited composition, involving precise modifications, while hopefully leaving the life force intact.
– jenny nelson 2016
shaping my intangibles
passing clouds. poetry. climbing vines. current events. i am a collector of often unrelated and ambiguous images and ideas –not looking for anything in particular, but noticing patterns; and i try to process what it means–how we have been shaped, and what is seeking to emerge–by making something formal. being covered in vines, leaves, birds–a metaphor that has become a
dominant theme in my work for some time– is both about paying attention and also about how what we are paying attention to determines how we shape our world, and are shaped by and tied to it in a circle of reciprocity.
– johan hagaman 2016
all new works by jenny nelson and johan hagaman are on the artist's page of our site under their individual artist's tab. the opening reception will be friday may 6th from 6-8 pm. please call the gallery if you have any further questions.