Whitney Bedford, Kirsten Everberg, Alexandra Grant, Iva Gueorguieva, Annie Lapin
Galerie Lelong is pleased to present Five from L.A., an exhibition of paintings by five emerging and mid-career artists—Whitney Bedford, Kirsten Everberg, Alexandra Grant, Iva Gueorguieva, and Annie Lapin—who each uniquely employ bold and saturated colors, an elusive sense of space, and fluid movement between abstraction and representation. Currently working in Los Angeles, the artists hail from diverse backgrounds and explore a variety of themes, including language, turmoil, and the fragility of memory and perception. Five from L.A. opens to the public on Thursday, December 16 from 6 to 8 pm.
In her enigmatic paintings of oil and ink, Whitney Bedford juxtaposes a traditional use of the horizon with unusual figures and hues, creating an ambiguous setting. Amid a sparse, serene background, tightly controlled yet wild brush strokes form a central figure that resembles an explosion or other sudden disaster. Through minimal means, Bedford examines the beauty and danger of the environment, chaos, and forces beyond our control.
For Kirsten Everberg, the ambiguousness of the space is more central to her subject. Her spaces are precisely rendered, yet there is also a liquid, tenuous quality to the image, as if it is fleeting. Everberg often depicts interiors such as homes, yet they are devoid of people, shrouding the scenes with mystery. Further drawing the viewer in is the application of thick layers of glossy enamel to create a richly tactile surface. With her technique and subjects, Everberg celebrates the act and history of painting while challenging the viewers’ perceptions.
Alexandra Grant’s exuberant, densely designed paintings incorporate myriad influences and facets—poetry, maps, Rorschach tests, Mexican art—and communicate a balance of emotion and rationality. The artist, who is trilingual, uses words as predominant elements yet presents them visually more as shapes amid her abstract, multi-dimensional patterns. Words are often reversed and are written in a font that is free of reference to time, place, or gender. Collaborators provide the text, further evoking the communality of language.
The Bulgarian-born artist Iva Gueorguieva also presents lively works with all-over composition, yet hers brim with motion and upheaval. The abstract patterns pulsate and reverberate, achieving a nearly synesthetic quality; within the patterns, enigmatic traces of figures emerge. Using acrylic, collage, and oil stick, Gueorguieva creates a dynamic texture. While largely non-representational, the paintings are inspired by art history, Celtic lore, and cultural customs. Like Bedford, Gueorguieva treats the precariousness, disorder, and urgency of life with fascination and reverence.
The works of Annie Lapin compellingly merge imagination, memory, history and the contemporary. Lapin’s colors are rich and intensified, just beyond what is natural. A powerful, unseen force pervades her works; whether it is benevolent or menacing remains uncertain. As with Everberg, Lapin displays an unmistakable love of painting and its history, particularly Romanticism. Through her abstracted landscapes, Lapin’s interest lies in human interaction and unresolved, ambiguous narratives.