2013 “The Looking Glass: Refraction Through the Female Gaze” Mirus Gallery, San Francisco

Kimberly Brooks Mirus Gallery ARtist

The Looking Glass: Refracting and the Female Gaze. Kimberly Brooks participating in Group Exhibition at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco. Opening night is February 9th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Danielle Grant | A&O PR
(P) 415.860.0767 | (E) danielle@aopublic.com

Mirus Gallery Presents:

The Looking Glass
Refraction through the Female Gaze

Claire Pestaille, Stargate (III), Collage, 2012

Opening Reception: February 9th, 2013 | 6pm – 10pm
Exhibition Dates: February 9 – March 2, 2013

Mirus Gallery | 540 Howard Street | San Francisco, CA

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2013 — Mirus Gallery is pleased to announce The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze, a group exhibition featuring works by Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu. The Looking Glass is the third exhibition to be presented by the newly opened Mirus Gallery, and will examine contemporary representations of the female form. The Looking Glass reinterprets the presentation of women’s bodies through a variety of mediums and practices unified by subject matter and a solely female perspective.

The artists featured in the The Looking Glass challenge the preconceived notion that the female form in art represents a sense of delicacy and untouchable beauty. Creating a new discourse and exploring the woman’s role in artistic context, The Looking Glass is a celebration of the female form that ultimately transcends objectification through the artist’s examination or association with their subjects. Rather than using the female body as an agenda to reinforce societal norms or assert dominance, the artists are able to identify with and explore the spectrum of their subject’s humanity, often as an exercise in self-examination and exploration. The works of art featured in this show are a contemporary examination of the psychology of art practice and explore alternative realms in which the female body is represented.

Kimberly Brooks investigates the role of women as both artists and subjects of the gaze. By inverting the artist-model relationship her practice aims to breakdown the traditional role of spectator, allowing her model the agency to look out from the canvas and stare back at the viewer. In examining contemporary fashion and style, Brooks addresses the role that women themselves play in the perpetuation of certain cultural tropes, and the significance of appearance in depictions of women in art and media.

The work of Rachel Walker borders upon the abstract and the illustrative, presenting the previously marginalized perspectives of female and queer artists. Her works in gouache support an immediacy and honesty in her subject matter, the rapidness required by the medium lends itself to an art practice based upon intuition and chance. The use of feminine cultural figures, fashion and historical imagery assists in her exploration of depictions of race, gender, sexuality and identity.

Mercedes Helnwein examines the myth of the “normal” through her drawings of women and girls outside of the mass media lexicon. With an outsider’s attention to the seemingly banal, Helnwein draws out the eccentricities, oddities and cultural mash up she finds thriving in the backwaters of American life. The exactness of emotion allowed by her use of pencil bring to surface some of the inner struggles and temptations masked by her female subject’s need to “be good”.

Claire Pestaille’s collages challenge a consumer culture that dictates the relentless pursuit of perfection by examining how advertising, Hollywood and other media inform women’s self image. By focusing on the female form, Pestaille is able to bring awareness to women’s experience outside of standardized art historical portrayals. In promoting self acceptance and understanding, she allows her female subjects to be storytellers for themselves, liberated from societal standards and stereotypes.

Approaching her practice as a dialog between her adolescent self, and the woman she is now, Casey O’Connell paints in acrylic and oil stain as a scrapbook of her life and emotions. Her use of female characters lends itself to greater intimacy and relevance to her personal experience, with imagery meeting somewhere between fantasy and honesty.

Mirus Gallery is a dynamic exhibition space established by entrepreneur, Paul Hemming. The gallery features a program of contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in both solo and thematically organized group shows. Mirus Gallery will highlight work that emphasizes skill and process and aims to engage viewers on a sentient, emotional and evocative level.

In 2013, the initiation of an artist-in-residency program will pursue the gallery’s values of community and collaboration by providing a live-in/on-site studio space for artists to make and exhibit work in a supportive environment, conducive to creativity.

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday 10-6

Location
540 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA
94105

Gallery Contact
monica@mirusgallery.com

Media Contact
Danielle Grant
danielle@aopublic.com
415.860.0767

Venice Art Walk

The Venice Art Walk (this weekend, May 16 and 17) is the oldest, most adventurous event of its kind on L.A’s cultural calendar. And while it may be the only to charge (starting at $50 – actually a great value) it also offers the best opportunities in town to snap up remarkable works of art at a silent auction that includes more than 400 original works by many of the best artists now working in L.A. And it is for an extremely good cause – the Venice Family Clinic, now pushing 30 and the largest free clinic in the U.S., serving more than 23,000 Angelenos annually.

Michelle Obama’s White House Portrait

The White House revealed the new official White House Portrait of Michelle Obama today. I’m working on a series of portraits right now and am obsessed with the subject. Even though I love her signature bare arms, I found the blue curtain exploding directly above the center of her head a curious choice of composition, as well as the white rose blocking her hand.Michelle Obama Portrait

It reminded of John Baldessari’s “Wrong”, a photograph he made in response to a photography book telling would be artists that strong vertical design elements sprouting from people’s heads in a photograph or painting is wrong.

John Baldessari, “Wrong”

While he was surely mocking the idea of there being a “right” when you make art, I think this White House photographer needs a spanking.

artHAUS 2009

Group exhibition on Main Street in Venice for artHAUS. The exhibition features twenty five artists from Berlin and Los Angeles. The curator, Thomas Shirmboeck, flew in Wednesday from Germany to hang the show. Here are the details:The Opening Reception is Saturday Jan 24th at 5 PMAddress is 700 Main Street in Venice (Valet avail)It’s open during this weekend from 12-4 Saturday and Sunday, then by apt only. Www.arthaus.usartHAUS Banner

PRESS RELEASE

artHAUS 2009

los angeles | berlin

www.arthaus.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Exhibition: artHAUS 2009 Los Angeles – Berlin25 Artists 9 LoftsJan 24- Feb 24Reception: Sat June 24, 2009 5:00 pmOpening Weekend Sat/Sun 12:00-4:00Location: Dogtown Station700 Main StreetVenice, CAVenice, CA–artHAUS is a group show featuring twenty five artists from Los Angeles to Berlin curated by Thomas Schirmböck of Zephyr Gallery and the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany. The works consist of photography, painting, sculpture and video and are spread throughout nine Manhattan-style lofts at Dogtown Station 700 Main Street in Venice, California. There will be a reception for the artists Saturday January 24, at 5:00 pm.

The theme of the show, Confrontation:Collaboration, portrays “…how two related but often enough misunderstood parts of the world meet in a fest for art” says Thomas Schirmboeck, Curator. “Abstract painting is confronted with self reflecting photography, sculptures which give us the idea to understand the world of creatures meet aerial photography; falling artists meet in video art the false beauty of the Oktoberfest. Art is always about the world and how to see her, transform her. This show brings splinters from different kinds of art together and lays them out like a mosaic in which colors, techniques and materials stand together.”

About artHAUS

ArtHAUS is a roaming international exhibition that integrates contemporary art and architecture by engaging world class curators to showcase cutting edge artwork– photography, video, sculpture and painting– in newly renovated, unfurnished residences that celebrate the newest local architecture of the host city.The ArtistsFeatured artists include painters Charles Arnoldi, Edith Baumann, Kimberly Brooks, Craig Butler and Myriam Holme; photographers, Douglas Busch, Ford Gilbreath, Werner Huthmacher, Ruth Hutter, E.F. Kitchen, Jenny Tall Kroftova, Robert Mack, Jurgen Nogai, Marc Raeder, Florian Reischauer, Stefanie Schneider, Bill Sosin, Joachim Seinfeld, Marvin Wax, Al Weber and Sascha Weidner; and sculptors Tom Chapin, Gwynn Murrill. Roughly half of the artists are based in Southern California and the other half from Germany.

About Thomas Schirmböck, artHAUS 2009

CuratorThomas Schirmboeck is the director of the Zephyr Gallery and curater for the contemporary photography for the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany. Mr. Schirmboeck has produced eighty four shows internationally ranging from photography, painting and installation. From 1996 – 2004 he was founding manager of “Fotogalerie Alte Feuerwache”, a public space for photography and related media as one of the leading art spaces for contemporary media in Southern Germany. Before this he lectured in art history at the Manheim University. He is and was a member of several public commissions including Germaine-Krull-Foundation, Wetzlar, Germany, Welde-KunstPreis, Schwetzingen, and senior member of the board City Gallery of Mannheim. He studied art history, archaeology and political sciences at Heidelberg University. As an editor he has published numerous catalogues and written essays for book publishers.For more information about the event go to www.arthaus.usPress Inquiries contact Deborah Campbell using our contact form or call 310.457.5477###

Leah Lehmbeck: Mom’s Friends

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The F-Word (“Feminism”) in Art by Leah Lehmbeck
On New Paintings by Kimberly Brooks

With Nancy Pelosi having taken her historic position at the rostrum and Hillary Clinton hitting the presidential campaign trail, we have undoubtedly entered a new era of feminism. The F-word is once again being bandied about, as is that perennial question, “Can we have it all?” And it is thus no surprise to find that in her latest series, “Mom’s Friends,” the artist Kimberly Brooks adds a new voice to the debate. In making her starting point her childhood in Marin County in the 1970s, Brooks concentrates on women who are, according to her, “endlessly fascinating and mysterious . . . particularly because they were in such a state of transition.” While Brooks explores the theme of womanhood through the imagery of female liberation some thirty years ago, she is also able to investigate to the complex relationship between reality, memory and representation.

The “woman question” has been continually up for discussion since the inception of modern feminism in the late 1960s. As universal as this topic is Brooks was specifically inspired by her role as the mother of a young daughter, saying in her artist statement: “Now that I am a mother with a daughter of my own, I see the way she studies me and my friends, how she imitates the way I walk and talk or wants to traipse in my heels”. Recalling how she used to do the same, Brooks turned to her own mother for inspiration, using photographs from the 1970s of her mother and her mother’s friends (actual, and recreated with friends in vintage clothing) as the basis for her work. By presenting women who migrated to California from the Midwest and East Coast and consequently “melted their inhibitions, heated up their styles and . . . shed previous notions of themselves,” Brooks’s paintings fix us at a significant time and place vis-à-vis the role of women. Indeed, beginning in the 1970s many of the women of that generation sought, for the first time, to forge their identities apart from their husbands and families. And it is this feature–their newfound autonomy–that Brooks presents, and inevitably positions, against the current state of feminism in her work.

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