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Maya Kabat: California, Color & The Urban Palette

Artist, Maya Kabat
San Francisco Bay Area Abstract Impressionism: Artist, Maya Kabat

Architectural forms, geometric abstraction, and the tension between balance, color & form inspire California Abstract Artist, Maya Kabat. The urban landscape of California’s Bay Area and the unconventional tools she uses further informs her art.

I paint to create a language for things I can’t articulate, to address the questions that don’t have answers.

For Kabat, the work is an ongoing process of refinement and regeneration. She uses drywall tools, to layer, build and add texture to her canvases. With seeming impetuosity, she may introduce a dissonant color or destructively wipe a canvas entirely clean to start over. She works fast and prolific, obsessive almost. The process dictated by an imperative inherent within the medium: She can only work as the paint is malleable. “Time” is not necessarily her friend.

[..] it means I really have to be fully committed to paint one of my pieces. I can’t leave it if it’s not done.

Maya Kabat “started out as a kid who just needed to make things”. As a young girl she began knitting with her grandmother. She carried that skill on through high school and into college. “I always loved thread.”

She began “quilting” as an undergrad finding inspiration in improvisational quilters such as the unique and important African-American Gee’s Bend quilt makers and the renowned African-American quiltmaker, Rosie Lee Tompkins. The asymmetry and the improvisational approach to pattern, shape and color continue to influence her work.

Prior to graduate studies at the University of California, Davis Ms. Kabat began painting because she felt a need to learn about color in ways that quilt-making could not afford. Initially, she began primarily painting landscapes, understanding space — using the basic tools to construct realistic space.

Her present work can be considered “urban landscapes” embodying that sense of push & pull with space, of dark & light, of small worlds of pattern, color & texture, “just like the city itself”.

Artist’s Statement

In this series of paintings I explore the changing form and reality of my daily life through an examination of constantly shifting external and internal environments. Referencing the urban landscape where I live, I examine how with the changing seasons, my surroundings shift with the light, the weather, the passing of time. Plates of earth move and my house shakes and then settles. The horizontal and vertical structures around me turn slightly off-kilter with time and wear, as the cracks in the hard cement remind me that nothing is fixed. The built environments in which I dwell, like my body and my mind, are not static.

My paintings play within this space between chaos and order, structure and formlessness; between a world that feels solid, unchanging, and safe, while simultaneously knowing that nothing is. The result is the visual record of the struggle to hold these two realities at once; to create a language for the uncertainty and precariousness of life without crumbling beneath the weight of the understanding.

Using a range of scraping tools I create my surfaces with stripes, gouges and flat slabs of paint, as I apply, scrape away, and reapply paint. Earlier layers are exposed and then covered, as the painting is built, cut away and edited. I see the process of painting itself as an excavation. I work to expose the truth of the painting and to locate some truth about myself within it. I paint to create a language for things I can’t articulate, to address the questions that don’t have answers.

Featured works by Maya Kabat can be viewed at Garden Court Antiques presented by Art Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interiors + Art.

Maya Kabat received a Master of Fine Arts in 2000 from the University of California, Davis. Notable exhibitions include a solo show at the Caffe Museo at SFMOMA in 2012, a solo show at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, California in 2009, and a two-person exhibition at 5 Claude Lane Gallery, in San Francisco, California which was reviewed in Art LTD. Magazine in September, 2011. She was a founding member of the artist-run space, Mercury Twenty Gallery, in Oakland, California and served as President on the Oakland Art Murmur Board of Directors in 2011-2012. For more on Ms. Kabat’s substantial background [..] ^jh

Further readings and sources:
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The Historic British Embassy in Tehran.

Images via Smithsonian: Handwritten information on slip of paper (from a 1943-1944 cash book, produced by the Bathni Brothers, Tehran) reads, “27) Interior of British Embassy.” [Myron Bement Smith Collection, Subseries 2.1: Islamic Archives History, Collection Information
– Myron Bement Smith handwritten caption in English reads, “47.P; Box 41.6: Tehran. British Embassy. Interior. (# 27).” [Myron Bement Smith Collection, Subseries 2.1: Islamic Archives History, Collection Information; Box 60; Folder 44: 47 P: Antoine Sevruguin, glass negatives, Iran

The British embassy in Iran was reopened this weekend by UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond. The embassy building itself has a rich & storied past.

The British embassy in Tehran was constructed by British Architect. James Wild (March 9, 1814 – November7, 1892) on a piece of land acquired by the British government in 1860. The construction of the building lasted for almost sixteen years, the bulk of which was constructed from 1871 to 1876. Construction was complicated by Wild’s decision to transport the roof and other materials, such as glass, from the UK. Part of the roof was lost at sea in 1871, and two caravans of 367 camels transporting other materials were variously robbed by bandits and held to ransom by excise official and a ship carrying glass and joinery caught fire at the port city of Bushehr.

The British Embassy to Iran was designed from the South Kensington Museum (today the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, in 1869. James Wild had a strong reputation as a specialist in Middle Eastern architectural design, which he had studied and extensively drawn while living in Egypt between 1842 and 1848. He was sympathetic to the general principles laid out in Jones’ Grammar of Ornament. His Tehran embassy buildings are representative of the “controlled eclecticism” typical of the Design Reform movement broadcast from South Kensington.

Design Reform at the British Embassy: James Wild’s Arabesque Hall in Qajar Tehran. from Orientalist Museum on Vimeo.

Wild’s first proposal for the State Rooms was rejected, apparently because he had selected a “Persian” style: this was not considered workable for Britain’s official profile in Iran, where Britain and Russia struggled for political influence and status at the Qajar court. After a long hiatus, Wild’s second (more conservative) scheme for the State Rooms was approved: this also offered a British assimilation of a “foreign” style, echoing the eighteenth-century British assimilation of Greek and Roman architecture exemplified by neo-classical practitioners such as Robert Adam.

In 1906, the embassy played a key role in the uprising which led to the establishment of a parliament in Iran, when well over 10,000 Tehran people took refuge in the compound.

Tehran Conference 1943
Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Tehran Conference 1943

Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met at the British embassy in Tehran for the first time to discuss the progress of the war and the future of Europe, even though the bulk of the meetings were at the Soviet embassy. Ambassador, Geoffrey Adam, and his wife, Mary Emma, had restored the interiors the British embassy in Tehran to their former historic glory. Tables and chairs had been repositioned exactly as they were in 1943 when Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt and their aides met at the Tehran Conference that failed to end the second world war. (Churchill and Stalin reportedly drank whisky and got on famously; Roosevelt looked on disapprovingly.) ^jh

The British Embassy in Tehran
198 Ferdowsi Avenue
Tehran
11316-91144
Iran
Telephone:
+44 20 7008 1500

Further reading and sources:

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Relaxing Elegance, an Antique Mirror Complements a Clean Contemporary Bath.

Heather Hilliard - Bath with a large-scale antique French painted & silver-gilt mirror from Garden Court Antiques.
Heather Hilliard Design – Bath with a large-scale antique French painted & silver-gilt mirror from Garden Court Antiques

An antique mirror lends a classical touch to this clean, sophisticated bath designed by Heather Hilliard.
Overall the mood in this space is calm and open. Subtle grace is found in the beautiful herringbone-tiled flooring, the generous white tub & a fine large-scale antique painted & silver-gilt mirror. Ms. Hilliard found the mirror at Garden Court Antiques. Her deft touch using this antique piece in a contemporary setting unites the design with an established quality.

Heather Hilliard
San Francisco Interior Designer, Heather Hilliard

Ms. Hilliard’s has a rich background in the fine arts, the natural sciences & business. She originally hails from the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. She began her career in Philadelphia working with non-profits eventually catching the attention of “the quintessential blue-blood President of the Philadelphia Museum of Art” (..whose family inspired the 1940 classic romantic comedy, “The Philadelphia Story”)
From there Ms. Hilliard’s path took her to San Francisco, finding her way to the storied Interior Designer, Paul Wiseman & The Wiseman Group. Eventually, she opened her own firm, Heather Hilliard Design ^jh

I’m always thinking about the proportions, the sightlines, the focal points – things that maybe some people don’t consider. Other folks might be thinking more about the decoration, but I’m trying to think of it as a whole..

Heather Hilliard Design

San Francisco
3654C Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel. 415-673-1111 x113
Fax 415-366-2005
email: info@heatherhilliard.com

Los Angeles
10866 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 225
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel. 213-290-0029

More readings:
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Elaine Coombs, Fascination With The Rhythms, Colors & Patterns of The Natural World.

Elaine Coombs
In many respects it is predestined that artist, Elaine Coombs would live and thrive in San Francisco. This City’s urbane, innovative, yet intimate qualities are complemented by a surrounding wealth of verdant, lush wildnerness replete with trees, light, color, flora & fauna not found in many other cities. These are the qualities that initially drew Ms. Coombs, a native of Toronto, Canada, to San Francisco in 2000.

“San Francisco is a small yet cosmopolitan city – small enough to get to know people easily but big enough to not run into them all the time. And with the influence of the technological and creative wealth of the greater Bay Area, I think it is one of the most vibrant places in the world to call home”


Ms Coombs’ uses photography in her creative process to capture light & shadow as she draws on the outdoors for inspiration. Walks through the nearby Muir Woods Redwoods Forest (which John Muir called “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”) is a favorite ‘muse’ of hers. San Francisco’s iconic Washington Square Park in North Beach is another & the subject of a few works on display at Garden Court Antiques. As Coombs returns to projects, sometimes months later, these photographs serve as inspiration for her work.

Lengthy experimentation, what Coombs calls “playing around” has culminated in an artistic process of expertly placed dots of color that shimmer with light & depth which convey the artist’s deep connection with the outdoors. Coombs does not use a brush. Her art is created with knives, palette knives of wood & steel that flex offering her the perfect painting response.

“I can’t imagine going back to using a brush again to create an image. I even prime my canvases with a knife.”

But, maybe, its best we let the artist speak for herself:

Artist’s Statement:

There is something about being in nature that makes me want to seek out these spaces time and again. Perhaps it is a memory conjured from my rural childhood; positive feelings of comfort, stability and happiness come to mind easily. It seems whenever I simply need to regroup, breathe and return to center, it is the forest that can do this for me every time.

In the studio, I refer to printed photographs I have taken on my nature walks, which inform my acrylic paintings. Intuitively, my eye separates the patterns of color that I see in the photo and translates these into a complex mosaic of dots on the canvas. Over time, the methodical application of the dot technique has become in itself a meditation of sorts. I am peacefully absorbed in the process of painting the work, which I hope is imparted to the viewer with a pleasurable feeling of well-being similar to what I feel actually being in the forest.

My unique way of interpreting a photograph owes some debt to the digital age and to the proliferation of pixelated imagery that I have grown up absorbing. As an artist I enjoy the process of separating an image into parts, breaking it down and then building it up again in a slightly altered fashion. My work has the dual aspect of seeming realist from afar and yet is quite abstract at near view. It is this dichotomy, achieved in the successful play of opposite modes of seeing that I feel is the most contemporary aspect of my work.

Featured works by Elaine Coombs can be viewed at Garden Court Antiques presented by Art Consultant, Laurie Ghielmetti Interiors + Art. Additionly, Ms Coombs creates commissioned works in conjunction with a designer, art consultant or gallery exploring a client’s personal connection to their outdoor environs.

Elaine’s paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, London, and Singapore. Her work has been seen in a number of publications, notably: California Home + Design Magazine (2007); Art Calendar Magazine (2009); and a new book entitled Green Art: Trees, Leaves and Roots (2014). Several notable collections have acquired her paintings; the U.S. Department of State – Art Bank Program, and the Ritz Carlton Highlands Hotel in Lake Tahoe, California – as well as numerous corporate and private collectors worldwide.^jh

Further reading:
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Lewis deSoto Site Projects 1980-1986

Temple 1986 30 x 30 inches Lewis deSoto
Temple 1986 30 x 30 inches Lewis deSoto

 

Ellipse Tide 1982 - Lewis deSoto
Ellipse Tide 1982 – Lewis deSoto

 

Tideline 1981 - Lewis deSoto
Tideline 1981 – Lewis deSoto
Wave System 1983 - Lewis deSoto
Wave System 1983 – Lewis deSoto

Combining contemporary art alongside antiques reflect the way Interior Designers innovate with their design projects today.

Next time you visit the showroom at 151 Vermont you’ll notice ‘temporary’ exhibitions of contemporary works of art.

Let us know what you think.

Currently in the Showroom we are featuring photographic works from Napa Artist, Lewis deSoto in conjunction with Laurie Ghielmetti Interiors. These ephemeral images were staged in response to the ‘destructive process’ of Land Art, a defining element of Postwar American art.

Lewis deSoto
ARTIST STATEMENT
Site Projects 1980-1986
The Site Projects were the step between my purely photographic work of the late 70’s and early 80’s and the sculpture that was to take precedent by 1989. The work was a philosophical response to “earthworks” sculptors like Smithson, Heizer and DeMaria. What issue was taken, was the destructive process (I mean this in digital terms, where the original is destroyed as a piece of data is constructed); bulldozers marked and moved the earth to serve their metaphorical purpose.

The Site Projects used the site as a stage that left a dwindling trace of my work there. I added a temporal element that was echoed in many works that took place during long camera exposures at night. These works dealt with notions of power and scale; like Chinese landscapes, these works compared the scale of the human against the overarching embrace
of the world, the stars and the galaxies.

Most projects began with drawings, some formalized instructions that could be reengaged at a later date or by myself or other artists. This was, in part, a response to the ephemeral nature of color print photography at the time. Now these works can be translated digitally and placed on paper with pigments for permanent display. The desired print size of the work has also grown over the years, starting at 18” x 18” and ending at 30” x 30” sometime in the early 1990’s. I have engaged larger sizes now that these are translated to digital media.

Read more on the artist’s website: http://lewisdesoto.net/Wallworks/Site_Projects.html

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“Consider, if you will”: A Tale of Three Lanterns

Three antique lanterns at Garden Court Antiques
Three antique Lanterns at Garden Court Antiques

We like to imagine how our designers could make creative use of antique, reclaimed lanterns: either electrified as a primary lighting source for a bedroom, study or hall or perhaps converted into gas lighting.
The marvel of these lanterns is their flexibility, they can look at home in a modern setting as well as the most traditional of homes.

Pair of Venetian Red and Gilt Tole Lanterns, Italy circa 1780
Pair of Venetian Red and Gilt Tole Lanterns, Italy circa 1780 
Very Large Scale Copper and Iron Lantern, circa 1870
Very Large Scale Copper and Iron Lantern, circa 1870
Green painted industrial hanging lantern, English circa 1900
Green painted industrial hanging lantern, English circa 1900
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Warmth and Luminosity: Jerry Carniglia.

At the Garden Court Vermont Street Showroom, we continue to feature select contemporary works that allow you to visualize how design works in the ‘real world’ intermingling styles and periods, fine Continental antiques and decorative pieces alongside more modern works. We’ve been fortunate to work with the informed Bay area interior designer and fine arts professional, Laurie Ghielmetti in hosting this exhibit.

California’s San Francisco Bay area was a major center for the emergent Abstract Expressionist school of art in the years following World War II. The work was characterized by ‘non-objective imagery that appeared emotionally charged with personal meaning’; an exuberant ‘free-spirited wave of creative energy’.

The Abstract Expressionist Movement in San Francisco derived inspiration from a broad collective of artists: San Francisco’s Beat poets, Dixieland jazz musicians, and the area’s stunning vistas were essential parts of Abstract Expressionism, as were artistic and spiritual contacts with Asia.

Today, we showcase a personal favorite, a large-scale work by the California Bay area artist, Jerry Carniglia.

UT-2151 2014 oil on canvas 81 x 63 inches  Jerry Carniglia
UT-2151 2014 oil on canvas 81 x 63 inches

Jerry Carniglia
ARTIST STATEMENT

As much as every instant of the painter’s process requires his in-the-moment decision-making, the resulting works are multi-layered compilations of action over time— gestures and counter-gestures that amplify or obscure one another.

In his large-scale paintings on canvas, monumental non-representational forms hover in pictorial space and imply a potent energy force such as a tidal wave, avalanche, or cosmic flash. The dynamic forms and rich palettes of burnt umber, gold and maroon create an epic quality, like that in works by Titian, one of Carniglia’s influences, but without reference to specific mythic or religious subjects. Although rooted in Abstract Expressionism, Carniglia’s work could be described as contemporary Baroque, with its exaggerated sense of motion, grandeur and implied drama. In what he describes as our post-existential era, Carniglia’s act of painting is a search for meaning, not through religion, myth or history, and not as a personal rationalization in a meaningless world, but meaning that may be found in the unseen and otherwise unarticulated structures that underlie all of existence.

Jerry Carniglia, artist

Jerry Carniglia was born in San Francisco in 1946. He received an MFA from UC Berkeley in 1993. He is the recipient of the Eisner and Phelan Prizes, a Gerbode Foundation Award and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. His works are in the collections of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Berkeley Art Museum.

** excerpted from Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery, Oakland, CA

Read More:
Abstract Expressionism
kahn academy – Abstract Expressionism
The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism UCPress
Artist’s personal website: JerryCarniglia.com

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Dianne Romaine – The Chroma Series

Dianne Romaine Chroma #13 24x24 acryl_cnvs 2010 $1800The blending of traditional, antique and contemporary makes a space interesting, exciting and a bit unexpected. To be sure, interiors design with a focus on all traditional or entirely contemporary stylings are splendid. But, often, when a designer takes the risk to blend styles; mix contemporary with antique, the results can be range from the stunning to dramatic.

A blend of styles reflects the way we live today; a mashup, if you will, that makes a larger statement than strict adherence to an normative or aesthetic.

Today, we celebrate an artist whose work we are showcasing in our Vermont Street Showroom, Dianne Romaine. Her Chroma paintings speak to her fascination with light and its magical properties. Select pieces are now on view.

“Dianne Romaine’s use of saturated pigment in her Chroma series composes a dramatic, almost photographically rendered void flooded with light. This captured moment references the photographic, giving the viewer a frozen glimpse of a transient glow.” – Oakland Art Museum
http://oaklandartmurmur.org/

These “Chroma” painting reflect a fascination with light that has been with me always- how it spills into a room, the edges, the slow, subtle changes as time advances, its magical presence. The light in these paintings come from layers of color, progressing to darks, allowing an internal illumination.

You can read more at the artist’s website http://www.dianneromaine.com

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An April Monday Morning Conversation: Modernism vs Contemporary.

 

Modernism and Contemporary design with Antiques

A Monday conversation on design to start the week:
Jim Gallagher, manager of Garden Court Antiques remarks on a question & dialogue posed to him over the weekend regarding modernism & contemporary interior design elements.

The Vermont Street Showroom is featuring some contemporary works in the coming months to show the exciting partnership to be had when mixing styles

 

 

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Change, the only constant.

French Empire Giltwood Settee with later velvet upholstery. Imperial bee motif on back; Circa 1810

Happy Solstice!

As the weather changes and the light changes, we are reminded that the only constant in life is in fact change.

On that front, Garden Court Antiques will also be changing its location. We are excited to announce that in the New Year, we will be moving over to the Vermont Center Google Maps Link. We have been so fortunate to have been a part of the community in the Showplace Building for the past 8 years, but it is time to move on.

Please come by and help us to lighten the load of what we will need to move to our new location! We are having our first ever sale. We have marked down several items from 30 to 50% off. We are happy to negotiate with you if you find something that you love.

English Pond Yacht, circa 1920

Round wooden bread boards