Monday, August 2, 2010

Monica Lundy in Portland; Richard Bolingbloke in Hayward

Up and down the coast, it's a good month for art watchers. Textiles at the De Young, Pixlar in Oakland, Eakins in LA and early California Art in Moraga. Often what's in the galleries is not that interesting, especially during August when summer is winding down and the fall shows are still on the horizon. But Monica Lundy and Richard Bolingbloke are the exception. Both artists are well worth taking the time to see; what they create is skillful, insightful and memorable visual magic.

Monica Lundy will be opening in Portland at the Ogle Gallery on August 5th. She is 2010 recipient of the Jay DeFeo Award in painting and sculpture, and has also been selected to participate in the upcoming exhibition “Cream: From the Top”, which features recent MFA recipients from around the Bay Area.

Since I do look at so much art work, sometimes it's all a blur of conceptual/ installation/video/ media pieces that are (sometimes) intellectually interesting but not emotionally engaging. That's why I found Ms. Lundy's work so unique and stunning. It's not only technically accomplished but her portraits of inmates in old California mental asylums and prisons exerts a powerful pull that is part compassion, part revulsion. I wanted to know about these people from the past - they spoke to me of forgotten tragedies, buried beneath layers of race, class, and gender. 

 From her artist's statement:
I am attracted to obscure California histories. For this body of work, I conducted research at the California State Archives in Sacramento, combing through historic documents and archival photographs. As a result, the parallel ideas of “inmates” and the “asylum” have emerged in the forms of oil and gouache portraits of female inmates and the application of wet clay to the gallery wall. ....

 Richard Bolingbroke will be opening at Sun Gallery in Hayward on August 13th:

Richard Bolingbloke, The Guardians. Watercolor on paper, 40x40. 2003
Richard Bolingbloke is another artist whose work I "discovered" during Open Studios. Like the round of MFA shows, going through open studios can merge into a blur of physical and visual fatigue. Sometimes I trudge from studio to studio, seldom seeing something that grabs my attention but trying to honor each artist's hard work and energy. Richard Bolingbloke's work stood out. His watercolors are masterly, with exquisite patterns of flowers and other symbols combined into intensely colored pieces of depth and complexity.

In his artist's statement, he writes, "These paintings are visual keys that illuminate mysteries. Using ritualistic processes that allow me to connect with an inner, less-visible reality, I explore some of the paradoxical and magical aspects of life....These paintings are an effort to open myself to this vision of a universe both seen and unseen. Take time to look deep into these paintings and you will discover your own keys, your own insights, your own magic."

Reception:  Thursday, August 5th, 6-9pm
August 5th through September 30th. 310 NW Broadway, Portland, OR. 97209

RICHARD BOLINGBLOKE: "NOT SO STILL LIFE"  at Sun Galley, Hayward, California
Opening Reception: Friday, August 13, 4 - 7pm - August 4 – 28,  2010

1015 E Street
Hayward, CA  94541 
(510) 581.4050
Gallery hours
Wed., Thurs., Sat.: 11-5pm, Friday: Noon-6pm


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