Gilman Contemporary Celebrates 15 Years with New Voices, July 2022

Celebrating 15 Years New Voices
July 2022

FOR JULY, GILMAN CONTEMPORARY CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY ART WITH NEW VOICES, highlighting the work of emerging female artists. Driving this anniversary exhibition is a gendered exploration of space and place by women working in a range of media. New Voices showcases how gender can distort our views while acknowledging that it is a force for power. Yet, while there have been great strides to embrace and promote work by marginalized voices, women remain in the minority of major gallery and museum collections.

Owner L’Anne Gilman reflects that “while we continue to nurture and promote artists with whom we have established relationships, it is exciting to look ahead and feature artists who are just beginning their careers. I want to continue our work in embracing new and unique perspectives.”

Emerging artist Hannah Parrett’s paintings draw on symbols and tropes of the American West. Inspired by the landscape of her childhood in southwestern South Dakota, Parrett offers painterly cinematic vignettes in oil on canvas. In her ongoing series Annie’s Dilemma, Parrett has created a visual key that references the ‘40s comic book series Annie Oakley and Deadwood Dick dime novels. By synthesizing these pieces of Americana into an explicit and repeated visual language, Parrett explores the gendered narrative of the West. Her work is both sophisticated and visually captivating and draws a fresh understanding of how we use and see gender within popular culture, especially that of the “West.”

Glass and textile artist Brianna Gluszak’s work utilizes shape, color, and material to question and play with viewers’ perceptions of gendered traits, circumstances, and implicit bias. In bright and colorful tufted rugs, Gluszak bends edges and draws the eye around an unconventional visual plane. These edges, curves, colors, and shapes are “stand-ins for our bodies in space.” The tufted rugs featured in this exhibition came out of the lockdown in 2020 without access to her studio. Since then, her practice of converting her drawing into these textile wall hangings has continued to evolve. Gluszak received a bachelor’s degree in fine art with distinction in glass from The Alberta University for the Arts (formerly The Alberta College of Art and Design) in 2016. In addition, Gluszak has studied and worked at Pilchuck Glass School, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, and StarWorks Center for Creative Enterprise.

California-based artist Carmen McNall’s paintings are punctuated by deep woodcuts creating a balance between textured patterns and stretches of pure pigment. McNall explores the body as a vessel. Her figures and vases, and containers are all treated with the same understanding of movement, shape, and form. These dynamically made pieces require the viewer to look beyond the flat surface. Through a distinct process of painting and wood carving, McNall balances intricate patterns and textured mark-making with flat stretches of pure pigment to create dynamic environments and conversations. Her practice relates directly to the handmade in subject matter and execution, suggesting a dialogue about the timeless relationships between people, their unique environments, what inherently fastens us to our surroundings, and the empowering qualities these places and objects retain.

In her intuitive and expressive abstract paintings, Brazilian-born, Thai Mainhard, externalizes her relationship to the world we all inhabit. With a practice that harnesses her raw and immediate need to create, Mainhard’s work is fraught with tension yet has harmonic energy. Each abstract painting combines expressive mark-making with dense blocks of color, exploring the opposing forces that make up our lives. She reflects, “I like painting from a place deep within my emotions and let it speak the language that I don’t have, especially about love and being loved. It’s my most extensive subject.”

Gilman will also include Oakland-based Kelly Ording and New York artist Joanne Freeman in their celebratory exhibition. Kelly Ording’s line paintings employing simple repetition and dyed paper are highly anticipated. Joanne Freeman’s paintings, grounded in architecture and design, employ primary colors with pure pigments and intense hues. 

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