| Stephen Beal
Warp and Weft: Selected Grid Paintings 2005—2015
The New Museum Los Gatos
October 15, 2015 - January 3, 2016
George Lawson Gallery announces gallery artist Stephen Beal exhibition at the The New Museum Los Gatos. Stephen Beal: Warp and Weft explores ten years of Beal’s Grid paintings and is the most comprehensive exhibition of Beal’s work to date.
Stephen Beal paints with oil, acrylic and gouache on linen canvases and wooden panels in monochromes or closely toned hues. His paint marks are organized within a penciled grid structure, recalling the grid’s well established history in modernism, from Mondrian to Agnes Martin. The power of Beal’s paintings to generate fresh imagery belies both the intimacy of their scale and the established tradition from which they are spawned.
On first viewing Beal’s work, one might be drawn to their tuned rhythms and the quiet resonance of their color, or perhaps by the authority with which these modestly sized works command the gallery walls around them. Beal’s real accomplishment, however, is how the paintings manage to move past a repetitive staccato into structured imagery, crafting an immaterial and incalculable radiance.
Stephen Beal was Provost at California College of the Arts from 1997 to 2008. In May 2008, Beal was appointed president of CCA. In this position he has played a significant role in the expansion of the college’s programs and facilities and the implementation of key academic initiatives, all of which contributed to an overall enrollment increase of more than 50 percent.
Beal attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, and earned his M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in the Bay Area and throughout the Midwest.
| Alan Ebnother
in the permanent collection
Sheldon Museum of Art | Lincoln NE
|Alan Ebnother's work recently aquired by The Sheldon Museum of Art.|
| Sara Bright Critic's Picks in ArtForum
October 1, 2015
|The playful, painterly gestures of Sara Bright’s small movable frescoes at George Lawson Gallery at first belie the artist’s rigorous, post-Minimalist attention to form. Beneath built-up layers of plaster on burlap and wood, the panels themselves are palpably sculptural. Viewed from the side as they hang on the gallery walls, where the edges of the paint extend just beyond the corners of the plaster, the works appear to float.
The small window of time in which paint can be applied to wet plaster limits the ways in which it can be layered and otherwise incorporated into frescoes. Bright uses this to her advantage, by refining her language into simple gestures, often repeated, as in Dark Water (all works 2015), which replicates a blue, craggy wave shape, like the sprawl of a signature, across a varying field of indigo created with a much wider brush, applied so thinly in places that it seems to glow from within. Bright’s free-form strokes appear spontaneous but are rigorously composed; and other, more pared-down geometric paintings, such as the gridded Windowpane, recall Agnes Martin’s restraint and emphasis on line itself.
- Monica Westin, ArtLtd Magazine
| Sara Bright Artist profile in ArtLtd Magazine
|In her beguiling new series of moveable frescoes, Los Angeles artist Sara Bright renders an abstract allusion to poetry. During the last year, Bright has devoted herself to this new - though ancient - medium, mastering and refining her approach to its demanding, meticulous process and distinctive properties. For her fall solo exhibit at George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco, Bright will present a selection of small frescoes characterized by waves of delicate color applied with dexterity, an exacting instinct for composition and a subtle but pervasive lyrical harmony: in effect, wordless poetry. "They're definitely distilled images," says Bright. "Growing up I loved poetry - art and poetry. I've always had an interest in distillation... How can you say what you mean in the least possible words? These paintings are like that."
Bright, who earned her MFA at UC Berkeley, and BA in Studio Art and English Literature at Wesleyan University, was first introduced to the fresco process during her residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2010. The medium intrigued her enough so that she kept it in the back of her mind, re - visiting it with serious intent in 2014 when she noticed that iLia Anossov, widely considered the West Coast fresco expert, was teaching a continuing education class at Otis College of Art and Design. Only three students were registered. When the other two students left, Bright ended up having a weekly private tutorial with Anossov.
- Megan Abrahams, ArtLtd Magazine