“Omnipresence or Chance”
A Solo Exhibition with Yvette Gellis
at California State University Northridge, West Gallery
Curated by Molly Enholm
August 26 – September 1
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 24, 2019, 4-6pm
Yvette Gellis operates at the crossroads of the visceral and the intellectual, deftly layering charcoal, paint and collaged imaginary to construct Arcadian scenes of the natural environment. Exquisitely tall trees, interrupted by pools of intoxicating teal-blue, reach beyond view punctuated by hypnotically repetitive patterns of splendid orange poppies and wistfully rust-colored leaves. The landscape recedes into a nearly mystical space dissolving in both light and shadow, while pronounced swaths of impasto paint are physical reminders of the artist’s presence. She creates this meditative interpretation of the natural world while traversing the ever-shifting boundaries between representation and abstraction, or, rather, between notions of control and elements of chance. The cyclical motif of the leaf provides Gellis with an imagistic structure, surpassing traditional tropes to represent not the ephemeral, but the omnipresent. The walls of the gallery quietly dissolve behind the complex assemblage of canvases, panels and— Plexiglas that projects into the physical realm occupied by the viewer. A departure from traditional notions of the landscape, there is no implied narrative here, no defined relationship between humanity and the environment created by the artist and presented to the viewer. Instead, Gellis offers a space to inhabit and meditate upon the notions of chance, choice and the omnipresence of nature.