Claire Chene, “In the Balance”
October 20 – November 27, 2004
Reception: Saturday, October 23, 4 - 6 pm

2525 Michigan Ave, Bergamot Station G6, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Contact: Jeff Gambill, Director
Tel: 310 829-0345, Fax: 310 829-7612
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Gallery Hours: Wed - Sat, 11am - 5pm, and by appointment (note: gallery closed November 24 & 25)

Claire Chene, “War Report”, 2004, acrylic/wood panel, 76 x 48”.

Claire Chene’s new series of paintings are off the wall and into the gallery space. The artist’s paintings are displayed freestanding, allowing the viewer to move around them. Chene says, “Two years ago I felt that I wanted to set myself a challenge, changing the format, without giving up a traditional approach. I wanted my paintings to be out in space, not only on the wall, but themselves becoming a wall.” By making the paintings freestanding she can work on both sides, allowing Chene the opportunity to explore contrasting imagery in a single work, or to continue a theme on the reverse side. With these paintings Chene is seeking to interact with her audience and draw them into the discussion of themes that touch us all, including war, danger, chaos, and joy, hope and spirituality. Clearly the artist has been deeply touched by the upheaval in our world in recent years and has made paintings that reach out from the loneliness of the artist’s studio to interact and engage us in a real way.

The artist states, “Since 2001 the world has changed for us in America and further threats to our tranquility have arisen. Facing the danger from outside, we may fail to recognize our own complicity in chaos. Personally, I have been trying to understand how I can live hopefully, humanly in a dangerous world… It may be a coincidence that 2 years ago I started to make freestanding paintings, but perhaps it was the impulse to adapt to a world with different rules and boundaries. Reaching back to an idea of personal reflection, I made some screens just to give comfort and rest. Then I began to think about an altarpiece, like a traveling show, instructive about dangers and encouraging hope. For me, a meditation on problems of materialism and spirituality.”

Claire Chene received her B.F.A. from California State University, Fullerton. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

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