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.
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 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