In the exhibition Theater of Memory, Gregg Chadwick presents a series of paintings that explore the ideas of memory and loss. In antiquity and later during the Middle Ages, manuscript pages made from animal hides were often scraped down and used again. Faint traces of the underwritings on these parchments, called palimpsests, survived. Gregg Chadwick's painting process involves a series of applications and erasures, echoing these layered fragments from the past. At times, he scrapes down entire wet paintings leaving a fragile palimpsest. These under images often bring forth mysterious fragments from Chadwick's subconscious.
In the title painting, Theater of Memory, Gregg Chadwick's late nephew Luke Chadwick appeared unbidden from the artist's mind and hand as he worked out a figure in the foreground of a work in progress. Chadwick explains that in the painting his nephew's faint smile recalled a day many years before, when he began a painting in Luke's Seattle bedroom:
"As Luke watched me mix my paints on an improvised palette, he exclaimed with the intuitive vision of a child that the color I had mixed would not do. 'Dont fear color', he said in so many words, as he pointed to a rich ultramarine glistening on my palette."
In honor of Luke, Gregg purchased a tube of genuine lapis lazuli from the London color maker Michael Harding. This true ultramarine, ground into a crystalline powder and mixed with linseed oil on a stone mill, is the color blue found in Renaissance skies. Transparent layers of this lapis mark each of the paintings in this exhibit. Sourced in Afghanistan, lapis lazuli, reflects the historical tides of trade, conquest and conflict that ebb and flow across this region and the globe.
Gregg Chadwick is a Santa Monica-based artist who has exhibited his artworks in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. Chadwick earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) and a Masters Degree in Fine Art at NYU (New York University). He has had solo exhibitions at the Manifesta Maastricht Gallery (Maastricht, The Netherlands), Space AD 2000 (Tokyo, Japan), the Lisa Coscino Gallery (Pacific Grove), and at the Julie Nester Gallery (Park City). He has participated in group exhibitions at the LOOK Gallery (Los Angeles), the Arena 1 Gallery (Santa Monica), and the Arts Club of Washington (Washington DC). Gregg Chadwick is represented by the Manifesta Maastricht Gallery (Maastricht, The Netherlands), the Lisa Coscino Gallery (Pacific Grove), and the Julie Nester Gallery (Park City).
Gregg Chadwick's website is at www.greggchadwick.com
. He also has been writing a blog, Speed of Life, which explores the intersections of the arts and politics for the past seven years: http://greggchadwick.blogspot.com/
The exhibition is on view at the Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery.