Tula Telfair, New Work
March 26 – May 9, 2004
Opening Reception: Friday, March 26, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Forum Gallery
8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker and Vanessa Rizzo
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Tula Telfair, “A Secure Order”, 2003, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Los Angeles, California – On March 26, 2004, Forum Gallery will open its first exhibition of landscapes by painter Tula Telfair. Sixteen beautiful, large-scale works will comprise the exhibition, each a masterful combination of clarity, curiosity and contradiction. Representing a brilliant extension of the progression of landscape painting from the backdrops of the Renaissance through the travelogues of the nineteenth century and the realism that followed, these paintings are fully contemporary in their inspiration and execution, and are exceptional realizations of their conception by a woman at once a gifted artist and a powerful intellectual presence.

Ms. Telfair’s paintings might seem to contain the panoramic observations found in 19th century landscapes, depictions of awe-inspiring locales which the artist has actually visited, but there is much more to these paintings than meets the eye. Her landscapes are actually not observed but invented, and spring up from a well of life’s experiences that belies the artist’s youth. Instead of referencing a single moment in time as is true of much observed traditional landscape work, each painting is a continuum, a time path that includes remembrances of what preceded and anticipates what will follow. They are expressions of memory, hope and desire: metaphoric visual short stories that take place in a universe above the plane of daily life. Thus each painting is a complex and endless mystery, not to be solved but rather in which to become involved.

Whether crackling with the aftermath of a seasonal storm, or enigmatically calm perhaps in anticipation of a weather event to follow, the brilliant skies resound with narrative depth. In six of the paintings in the exhibition, Tula Telfair employs water to lead us through the picture. The water reflects the light in the sky and the mood of the scene. In every case, the destination of the stream is indefinite, left to us to imagine and, guided by the light, color, and motion of the painting, we do in fact imagine, often feeling or even hearing the imaginary result. In other works, Telfair sets images off using wide bands of color which, like the streams, lead us from one place to another. The bands have an intensity that yields a sensual roadmap to the scenes they contain, magnify our approach, and deepen our desire to penetrate the suggested story of the landscape.

Tula Telfair spent her childhood in West Central Africa. A grant recipient and graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she was a graduate fellow and received a Masters of Fine Art degree at Syracuse University. First employed as an instructor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, she became in a few years Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and then acting Dean of the school. Painting all the while at her studio in upstate New York, Telfair has exhibited at galleries in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut, and her paintings have been included in museum exhibitions throughout the United States. Hers is a progressive art, a continuous exploration like each individual painting.

This first Forum Gallery exhibition of her work Tula Telfair: New Work opens with a reception on Friday, March 26, 2004 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and will be on view through May 8, 2004.

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