About Vessel Gallery
Vessel Gallery is a unique two-story 5000 sq. ft. exhibition space, originally built in 1906 as a horse livery.
Vessel Gallery exhibits a range of emerging and mid-career, local and international artists. Vessel’s programming includes a fine selection of painting, sculpture, installation art and artisan jewelry. Space is available for event rental and includes an urban rooftop garden.
Re/Surfaces Paintings by Sanjay Vora, and Sculptures by Nancy Genn
Exhibiting: January 15 – February 23, 2013
Vessel Gallery | 471 25th Street, Oakland CA www.vessel-gallery.com
Artist Talk Series | Tour Exhibit with painter Sanjay Vora and artist Nancy Genn: Painter Sanjay Vora currently teaches intermediate painting at UCB. Artist Nancy Genn attended UCB, and has many stories about her deep and rich artistic life in Berkeley, like being studio mates with the late Jay DeFeo! Hear these two very interesting artists speak about their works at Vessel Gallery! SAT at 2PM.
SAT 2/9 , 2-3:30PM Tour “Re/Surfaces” with artists, learn more about Sanjay Vora’s new paintings and Nancy Genn’s bronze sculptures included in this exhibit, as well as sources of inspiration for these artists
“As a result of a romanticized vision of the past, my paintings become spiritual destinations of love and domesticity that are inevitably unattainable. Each work stands as a testament to love, history and human experience, conceptually born from a lived American life along with a cultural heritage rooted in Indian classical music. They are my identity, my faith, and a reflection of my nature, moving forward while continuously looking backwards. Resulting from a psychic archeological process, the metaphysical veil on each piece serves as a mediating function between the “then” and “now”, as the painted image recedes and arises reconstructed into visions of a dream-like quality of the world. The covering veil is a marker of time, a gritty representation of the present, and ultimately a residue, left by the repeated act of retrieval.
The manipulative, sensual qualities of memory are evermore at play in the form of color in my recent body of work. Color in the process becomes reduced and simultaneously heightened, at times taking a seductive turn in form or its actual color. As it provokes, tantalizes and fades, stretching from the canvas underneath past the textured surface at times, the entire piece approaches a monochromatic vision of routine and uncertainty ultimately through which beauty conquers.” - Sanjay Vora
“My style is deeply personal, navigating between geometric abstraction, landscape and architectural motifs, light and calligraphic images.” - Nancy Genn
Recalling her childhood, Nancy Genn admiringly speaks of a mother who vigorously pursued her two passions — art and the environment. “I grew up with intelligent, strong women who did things”, the artist remembers. Working at a time “when the only accepted publicity for ladies was the announcement of birth, marriage and death”, Genn’s mother quietly but tirelessly lobbied to secure funding for county parks and for trees for San Francisco streets. “She introduced me at an early age to the importance of our environment with an emphasis on trees — the shape and texture. Her perception and appreciation of our environment has been a lasting influence.”
Genn’s work reflect her own sharp and appreciative eye for detail in both natural and architectural settings. Shape, texture, line, light and color are all balanced and considered not as merely descriptive flourishes, but as essential, striking forces themselves.The works cohere at a point between abstraction and representation — the titles evoke a sense of place rather than specify its absolute parameters, the pieces, which may include calligraphy, pencils marks, bits of an architect’s topographical map and Persian script, allude to a narrative while refusing to tell only one tale. Her abstraction provoke visceral responses; drawing the viewer in, allowing us to become part of her experience, as the experience simultaneously becomes our own.
Once again, it seems to be her mother’s early impact that nurtured Genn’s resonating abstract style. Genn owns the notebooks of the Japanese master Hokusai, which her mother purchased in 1917, and feels that his sketchbooks in pen and ink have been an influence on the line and structure of my paintings.” Asian art was “part of the household”, the artist recalls. Throughout her career, which now spans almost five decades, Genn has pursued this early connection with Eastern forms and thought. Although she feels that her mode of geometric abstraction is more widely practiced and accepted on the East coast of the United States, her life long location in California has been a vital source for her art. “I am interested in the realm of ideas — that is why we like Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay area. Here we are on the cutting hedge of thought. We are on the Pacific Rim. There is a link between Western ideas and Asian thought here”.
Her travels throughout all of Asia, as well as to Italy, Greece and Turkey, have profoundly affected her work. The artist gained international recognition in the 1970′s for her experiments with hand made paper. Using what is now known as the “Genn method”, she created three-dimensional abstract works. Not only did she revitalize an ancient Japanese art form but she revitalizes the medium of paper itself. “Paper is an old material but here I have used it in a totally different way”, she says. The resulting works of art unite not only East and West, but the artist’s own experience as both painter and sculptor.
Genn’s more recent works still subtly plays with the three-dimensionality of sculpture. Memories are not as much catalogued or reported as they are created, emerging from the deep colors she found in Rome, the haunting luminosity she discovered in Turkey’s Lycian shore, or the powerful, solitary ruins she encountered rising up from the desert of Yemen. “I enjoy the possibilities for subtle change; it allows for the thorough explanation of an idea”. Genn’s work seems constantly fluid and changing, beckoning the viewer’s eye to move with it into a delicate tapestry of form, texture and memory.”