Beverly Hills, CA.- The Garboushian Gallery is proud to present “Yvette Gellis: Ephemera”, on view at the gallery from July 23rd through August 27th. Ephemera is a series of large paintings by artist Yvette Gellis that appears abstract at first viewing but, upon closer examination, reveals discernible fragments of representation. Perhaps Gellis explains it best herself: “the work teeters back and forth between the ambiguity of abstraction and the restraints of representation.” Gellis’ painting process begins as a gestural dialogue with particular homes and buildings near her 18th Street Arts Center studio, which she will often document in various states of destruction or decay. As Gellis liberally and deftly applies paint in a series of wide, muscular swaths offset by delicate calligraphic swipes, an impending sense of abstraction emerges. Vantage points are obscured, compositional liberty is taken, angles are askew, and ultimately, what began as a quasi-representational rendering is transformed into a phenomenological, psychological, or even a spiritual response.
There is an emotional charge to Gellis’ work. Her first major exhibition (a 2008 solo exhibition at LA’s impactful Kim Light Gallery) garnered critical praise by writer Constance Mallinson in Art in America for its, “lively repartee between the illusion of deep, infinite space and the immediate surface pleasure of energetic abstract painting.” She was chosen in 2009 by artist Lita Albuquerque to participate in the group exhibition In Bed Together at ROYAL/T, with Albuquerque writing that in viewing Gellis’ work she finds herself, “engaged in Theatre, where perception directs movement, an exchange of energy between the viewer and the performance of paint.” She will also have a solo exhibition at Brunnhofer Galerie, Austria, in September 2011. Gellis’ work invokes elements of the schools that came before her—Light and Space artists James Turrell and Robert Irwin in their push to explore perceptual phenomena; AbEx’s unremitting return to the “mark”; and the Hudson River School’s romanticism—yet there is no single word or movement that can encompass the work.
The artist likens her work to an event, a situational explication of the sublime, or as she prefers to quote philosopher Edmund Burke, “tranquility tinged with terror.” In recent projects—including her 2009 Violet Jolt sculptural installation at Stuyvesant and 9th outside of New York University—the event aspect is indeed clearly present in Gellis’ work, compelling the passerby to experience and engage the artist’s “mark” in three dimensions. Yet the paintings in Ephemera are a return, and more importantly, an expansion of something much more essential to the artist—paint. Holding a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University, Gellis has both an exceptional vision and imagination, and the breadth of technical skill necessary to bring it to life. For all her creative capacity however, Gellis’ work is ultimately about the act of painting itself—about forgetting everything and allowing the work to take on a life of its own.
Featuring multiple artists’ work in a variety of styles and mediums, Garboushian Gallery is a well lit display of what modern artists are capable of. As a collector himself, Garboushian will be the first to tell you that art is all about what speaks to you, which is why he’s collected such a wide array of different works, providing something beautiful for everyone. Visit the gallery’s website at … http://www.garboushian.com