First Independent Gallery
Bergamot D2
2525 Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA  90404
tel: 310.829.0345   email: fig@figgallery.com
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CLAIRE CHENE
June 20 – July 14, 2018

 

Perhaps one of the most idiosyncratic painters among the artists who exhibit with FIG, it is always a curious pleasure to see what Claire Chene will do next.  Chene’s paintings have a strange edginess to them which is balanced by a natural charm.  While approaching painting like an abstract painter her work is mostly figurative, narrative, and frequently autobiographical.  Her subject matter is often suggestive of transitory experiences such as memories from travels, recollections from her past, or unexpected moments from her life that have somehow become fixed in her visual memory.  Her color palette shifts with the emotional journey in her studio: earthy browns and greys to airy blues, then fiery reds and oranges and on to the black of night.  Her painting style is expressionist yet remains cool and reserved.  It all adds up to a unique and remarkable body of work.

Chene writes of what has been influencing her recent work:  “As an expressive artist, my emotions, experiences and memories are material for my work.

“For my solo show “Paintings”, I have recalled old memories of dynamic experiences. When recalling a memory, new experiences become attached to the old. The new experience distorts the old but makes a new constellation full of possibility for examination, although the result may be a disillusioned realization that the recollection is fragile.

“I am still interested in the city as a symbol of our civilization and as a dynamic and exciting place. Perhaps as a reaction to the uncertainty and the changing times, I want to organize the chaos of the city in my new paintings.  I find it surprising that I am more concerned with order and balance than pure expression.

“I am trying to probe deeper into some somber issues but I still want to express the joy of art and the love of painting.

“Instead of the single theme I have attempted in past shows, in this show I hope that every painting is a complete experience in itself. Each is its own world, painted by the same hand but different from the other in intention and execution.”

Friday, March 31, 2017, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 45"
Friday, March 31, 2017, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 45"

 

 

 

On the Edge of Memory, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 48"
On the Edge of Memory, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 48"

 

 

 

 

Elegy, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 45 x 53"
Elegy, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 45 x 53"
Three Figures, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 48"
Three Figures,, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 51 x 48"

 

 

Cityscape 3, 2018, acrylic on wood, 51 x 48"
Cityscape 3,, 2018, acrylic on wood, 51 x 48"

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First Independent Gallery • Bergamot D2  • 2525 Michigan Avenue • Santa Monica, CA  90404
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