In Search of Lost Time
actually a loss of time or losing track of time
The above refers to a desire to revisit a particular type of concentration experienced in my youth when I would be working creatively on a project and suddenly look up to notice that hours had gone by. This stretch of time within concentrative space became fascinating to me and is one of the main reasons I decided to become an artist. It is not ESCAPISM! More a paranormal or unexplained happening….a transcendence of the confines of actual measured time. The horse remains at the center as subject of interest in anatomy, behavioral characteristics. It functions metaphorically, fantastically wild, and representationally in the work.
In this exhibition I am trying to get back to that type of immersion and somehow mark it. So it really fits anything in the show since all the work is made in different states of immersion, the time spent on each work is dependent on possible outside daily interference or procrastination as part of the process in gestating an idea into a painting, drawing or print.
Interruptions of society’s dictated, invented pseudo realities or demands of a more common life reek havoc on my creative life. This is not about recapturing youth, it is about regaining that once fervent– -unwavering concentration and pairing it with what I know now, all I have learned up to this point– to transcend time, a loss of hours. Two alternate realities functioning simultaneously. It is also my intention for this search to continue during the exhibition as I actively draw and paint to complete the book bearing the same title within the gallery space until the end of the show. This particular exhibition is neither a culmination or fait accompli. More a possibility of what is yet to come. This fits my sense of never truly wanting to be done with any one work. A childhood memory comes to mind of spending hours coming up with what to play that when I finally figured it out, it was time for bed and the play was never realized. Perhaps this is also part of my working process. The paintings in this exhibition are linked to this last process speculation. Ideas for both paintings came late in March and May of this year.
In 2014 I was awarded a grant from the Chicago DCASE to work with Anchor Graphics on a stone lithography project. Always wanting to work in this medium, I took some private lessons and quickly realized the complications in mastering the etching process. The project with Anchor allowed me to draw on the stones while they took care of the complexities of etching and printing the editions. Taking on this project was a steep learning curve for me– -drawing on the stone proved difficult and forced me to re-examine my drawing habits. Instead of working reductively it had to be additive. This project definitely took me out of my comfort zone– where I had to accept several failed stones that were drawn on for months at a time. In this series I use the horse anthropomorphically – as an autobiographical figure in At the end of her rope she contemplated the cliff’s edge, Upon turning age Seven and Swimming Always Swimming. The Misunderstood Energy of Jetta however features a rescued thoroughbred mare named Jetta let loose in Marie Antoinette’s private apartments at Versailles. The real Jetta is a thoroughbred ex racehorse mare who was rescued by Blue Star Equiculture, a farm for retired big draft carriage horses. Since joining the herd there this competitive horse has created quite a stir chasing them around and wanting them to chase her. She is a true upstart!
Souvenir-or Which one of you is Louis Henri, duke of Bourbon, Prince of Condé?
Another new medium for me in the show is working with video shot with an iPad on location at the Grand Stables/Living Museum of the Horse part of the Chateau de Chantilly, France. Souvenir-or Which one of you is Louis Henri, duke of Bourbon, Prince of Condé? is a glimpse into the daily activities at the stable featuring riders working the horses through routine dressage exercises. The largest stable in Europe built in 1719 is “a veritable horse’s palace.” I originally found out about this place 10 years ago in a random conversation with a neighbor in which she told me about a duke from Chantilly who believed that he would be reincarnated as a horse. He asked the architect, Jean Aubert to build stables that would be suitable to house a horse of his rank. These extraordinary stables can lodge up to 240 horses and up to five hundred hounds. It also includes an extensive museum of equine artifacts and art. In 2014 on a trip to Paris I made a pilgrimage to this place which is now a public museum. The video is meant to convey the awe in which I viewed the beauty of the live horses there, the magnificent stable as well as the interaction between rider and horse. This film was shot in segments and has been masterfully edited by Chicago film maker Steve Summers. Collaboratively working with him has been essential as he stayed true to what attracted my eye to capture through the iPad lens.
In Search of Lost Time (Book)
Hand bound by Chicago book binder Ann Repp linen binding, Arches Hot press w/c paper, 156 lb, each page 20” x 24”
This book features watercolors and drawings, writings, and mixed media, on the subject of the horse and related ephemera. The impetus for the book came from not wanting to have my watercolors and drawings trapped in a frame behind glass. This way my viewers can see the paintings up close. I will be actively adding to it throughout the entire exhibition.
The Sleep of Endymion
The original idea for this painting came from a desire to make a large painting from a photograph of a sleeping horse named Blackie an Azteca (Andalusian/Quarterhorse mix) trained by Mario Contreras at Medieval Times, level 4 Dressage capable of piaffe, passage, rear, lassaire and corbette. I met Blackie in 2007 he belonged to my horse riding instructor who purchased him from Medieval Times. Blackie is now 25 years old and in full retirement. I had the pleasure of riding him, he is a wonderful teacher. The image of him fast asleep in his stall was so beautiful I wanted to use it in some way. While trying to come up with an idea I remembered viewing Anne-Louis Girodet’s painting The Sleep of Endymion back in 2006 loaned for the retrospective called Girodet: Romantic Rebel at the Art Institute of Chicago. I decided to borrow Girodet’s composition and cast Blackie in the role as Endymion the most beautiful shepherd who is cast into eternal sleep by Zeus for the moon goddess Selene (featured by a moon beam) who fell in love with the shepherd visiting him nightly. There are many versions of the myth of Endymion however the story stays the same eternal sleep, forever beautiful and young. Included are clues from Girodet’s painting, characters and objects that have special meaning for me as well. The dog in my painting is taken from a photograph by Romanian contemporary artist and friend, Cătălin Petrișor who is currently documenting the homeless dog population in his country. There is also a shepherd staff and leopard skin painted from a real leopard hide, a gift from Roberta Shute an artist I used to work for. The skin was given to her in the 1940s by a friend who had hunted it. To cast Blackie as Endymion is an act of commemorative portraiture and preservation. An effort to slow down his aging process for him to exist in eternity.
Reconnecting with Girodet’s painting was gratifying as I missed seeing it when I visited the Louvre in 2014. Ironically I had sought out painters from the French Romantic and Realist movements particularly Géricault, Delacroix, Courbet and Manet. I had forgotten Girodet who is considered at the beginning of the Romantic movement due to his breaking with the rigidity of his Neoclassical training. It is funny how things admired in the past have a way of resurfacing when working on a painting. While I am borrowing his composition, it was not my intention to use his method of paint handling other than trying his technique of Sfumato and adhering to his color palette. The actual paint handling is about the experience of viewing Courbet’s large paintings in person, his physical handling of paint between nature and the figure, chaotic, thick vs smooth.
Stealthily, I walk over the Abyss….
This diptych came from a random set of photos posted on Facebook by a friend from France taken in Catalonia, Spain at the Natural Park of the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà. A marshy swampland natural park. The succession of photos featured white horses crossing what looked like an abyss of water. It mirrored an internal feeling I was having at the time of personal conflict and change. Further research led me to finding out more about the Camargue wild horse breed that exists in Southern France and Northeastern Spain. At the park they were introduced to control the vegetation.
1999-2001 MFA, American University, Washington DC
1987-1991 BFA, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA
2014 Between Tragedy and Frivolity, University of Saint Francis, Ft. Wayne, IN
2012 Between Tragedy and Frivolity, Linda Warren Projects, Chicago, IL
2007 Fur Dickey Collars, Alexander Lake Design, Dover, NH
2006 The Horse in the Bedroom, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004 Tales and Tails, Elizabeth Roberts Gallery, Washington, DC
2010 The Horse, Asbury University, Wilmore KY
It’s a beautiful thing., Jane Haslem Gallery, Washington, DC
2005-11 Art Chicago, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
2006 Art LA: The New Los Angeles Art Fair, Linda Warren Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2004 Species, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
8th annual Summer Summit, LIPA Gallery, Chicago, IL
2003 Innies and Outies, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
Artboat, in cooperation with Bridge Magazine during Art Chicago, IL
2002 21st Century Quilt, the Chicago Athenaeum, Schaumburg, IL
2001 Adjunct!, The Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, DC
New Talent, Signal 66, Washington, DC
Art Romp 11, Studio 7 Gallery, Washington, DC
Eye Street Gallery, Washington, DC
Colleen Kelsey, Brenda Moore in Dialogue, Watkins Gallery, DC
Passages, Studio 7 Gallery, Washington, DC
Meaning in the Mundane, Levy Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA
Curve, the Art of Female Desire, Signal 66, Washington, DC
2000 Art Romp 10, Studio 7 Gallery, Washington, DC
Project Space, Washington, DC
First Sight, Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, DC
Drawing Exhibition, Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, DC
1999 4th Annual Invitational Exhibition, Zone One Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Drawing Exhibition, Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, DC
1996 Alumni Exhibition, Levy Gallery, MCAD, Philadelphia, PA
1991 Eight in the Atrium, Levy Gallery, MCAD, Philadelphia, PA
Student Impetus: an Exhibition of Works from the Women of MCAD,
The Provident Building, Philadelphia, PA
2014 University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, IN
2005 Knox College, Galesburg, IL
2009 Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL
Kirkland and Ellis, Chicago, IL
Wellington Management, Boston, MA
Deloitte and Touche, Chicago, IL
Lewis Manilow Collection, Chicago, IL
Many private collections in the US including Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago
Kirkland and Ellis, Chicago, IL
2014 Lithography Project with Anchor Graphics*
2001 Audrey Lavine Glassman Award, American University, Washington, DC
1999-01 Merit Scholarship Award, American University, Washington, DC
1987-91 Merit Scholarship Award, MCAD, Philadelphia, PA
*Funded by an Individual Artist Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts