Broadway World Arts Desk

ArtHouse 429 is pleased to present “I Notice People Disappear”, a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Kimberly Brooks. The exhibit will run from February 6 – March 6, 2013. The Gallery, located at 429 25th St, West Palm Beach, FL, will host a reception for the artist on Thursday, Feb 6 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

In Brooks’ latest paintings the viewer encounters a miasmic world of guilty visual pleasures, from opulent clothing and architecture to hazy landscapes and portraits, all seen through her seductively decadent yet playfully loose brushwork. In keeping with previous exhibitions “Mom’s Friends” and “The Stylist Project,” underlying this evocative at times lavish imagery one encounters the psychology of desire, loss, and the uncanny.

In “I Notice People Disappear” Brooks begins each piece against the backdrop of 18th Century British India. Borrowing from sources originally used to document historical events, presentations of wealth, and the grandeur of ancestry she twists these images to appear at once familiar and strange. The viewer finds him or herself in an alternate universe from the Merchant Ivory aesthetic so often associated with this material; Brooks’ perspective of the British Empire seems to come from a fever dream, as rooms careen out of control and ghostlike figures disintegrate into the backgrounds. Abstraction runs throughout the works, bending spaces, interrupting scenes with non sequitur brush marks, and transforming emblems of power into odd smaller paintings, as seen in “Family Tree” and “The Memory of Banquet”.

As each painting teeters between abstraction and representation, going in and out of lucidity, Brooks’ work touches on her own understanding of how painters see and process the visual remnants of history. She uses this model as a keyhole to an alternate reality altogether. The challenge of this particular exhibition comes in part from confronting Orientalism and the imagery of empire with the added filter and gaze of the contemporary artist. By warping familiar historical imagery in this manner, Brooks employs the remaining vessel as a means of accessing a subliminal past and in doing so opens a door to a world of her own creation.

 

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