December 9, 2004 – January 22, 2005
Opening reception: Thursday, December 9, 2004
Betty Cuningham Gallery is proud to announce the exhibition of recent works by Charles Garabedian. This show is presented in conjunction with LA Louver (Venice, California) where it originated this past September.
The two grand scale paintings are true to words Garabedian uses in referring to his work: “monumental, archetypal, primal.” Both canvases, The Spring for Which I Longed and September Song, were created during a three-year period (2001-2003) and represent the artist’s largest works to date.
In The Spring for Which I Longed, 12 x 24 feet, two female nudes dominate the foreground. One of the nymphs, dazed, lies cropped along the lower left-hand portion of the canvas on the shore of a seascape. Her counterpart poses demurely against the shape of a mermaid-contoured abstraction. The gradual rising of an ocean’s swell is the backdrop of space in between these figures, with nuances of detail like the faint beginnings of a musical score written against the sea’s frothy surface. Riding the crest of the wave, at the high point of the canvas, an open eye surveys the scene. September Song, which measures 13 x 25 feet, depicts a solitary nude figure lying in a simple wooden boat, like an open coffin. The boat drifts close to a small verdant outcropping in a vast sea, while a large ice-mass looms in the distance.
The paintings are accompanied by a series of works on paper, further melding representational and abstract imagery. Throughout, the artist explores a preoccupation with mythology and literature, producing images which seem unfiltered by this consciousness. These works are the wild and vivid imaginings of a creative—and well versed—mind.
Garabedian has an extensive exhibition history. Highlight venues include: The Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial 1975, 1985; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 1976; Venice Biennale 1976, 1982, 1984; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, 1984; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York 1989; and The Corcoran Biennial 1993. Charles Garabedian has the following credits: The National Endowment for the Art Fellowship, 1977; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1979; The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, 2000.
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