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Gallery 16 is pleased to present its second solo exhibition with Bay Area artist Linda Geary. WHAT GIVES includes a new series of large canvases and mixed media collages. In this new body of work, Geary uses collage and other approaches that reference actions of sewing and construction, modes of working that sometimes exist outside of the patriarchal history of painting, and more akin to laying a path of stones or making a quilt.
Geary describes her practice; “My abstract paintings are inspired by material processes of cutting, revision and repair. My work explores the expressive formal qualities of shape, distortion, public and private issues of visibility, and camouflage as an organizing structure and power source. How can time be captured through color? What is tactile knowledge? Textiles provide an alphabet of shape, color and pattern that I work with in order to let my work “fall apart” so I can experiment with different ways of putting it back together.”
Geary’s series of intimate collages also explore her interest in textiles. The collages contain pieces of sheer and opaque paper, cut-up drawings, and pieces of fabric that the artist had painted or block-printed, all stitched together on a sewing machine. As Geary explains, “I tried gluing them at first and they didn’t have any energy. The sewing brings another line quality that is not my hand.”
Through all of her work, shapes multiply, disseminate, reunite and disappear altogether. Ghosts of past forms give way to new expressions. The energy of the previous encounters alongside the new ones all seem to still be “here.” It is a life process. This seems particularly true in Geary’s most recent works. She has been bringing all of her experimentations to bear in large, site-specific wall paintings—the dynamism of a singular painting multiplied, the autonomy and personality of the individual shaped paintings reunited in a bubbling chorus of activity.
Geary’s work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, and Otranto, Italy, including exhibitions at BAM/ PFA, Oakland Museum, and Yerba Buena Center For the Arts. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth Foundation and Pollock-Krasner grants. Residencies include the Millay Colony, Art Omi, Kriti, Yaddo, and Sanskriti, India. Her permanent public mosaic River, was installed at San Francisco Airport International Terminal in 2021. She is a Professor and Chair of Painting and Drawing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives and works in Oakland.
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