NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian
is presenting Gemini, an exhibition of new paintings by Jennifer Guidi. This is her first exhibition with Gagosian in New York, following a 2018 exhibition, Heliocentric, at the gallerys Hong Kong location.
Guidis radiant, mandala-like paintings are characterized by patterns and subtle textural and chromatic shifts, forging a connection with Minimalism while evoking metaphysical themes that transcend Western traditions. Her immersive compositions incorporate sand along with oil and acrylic paints to investigate color, light, and archetypal imagery. Beginning with an underpainting, she applies a thick layer of sand to the surface. While it is still wet, she makes marks with a wooden dowel in controlled and repetitive movements, often adding sand and paint in a U-shape on the top edge of the divots.
In Gemininamed for her own astrological signGuidi explores dualities: light and darkness, abstraction and figuration, science and mysticism. Viewers first encounter this focus in the twinned snakes of To Protect and Hold You Up (2019). Tracing links between cosmic and earthly forces, Guidi finds symmetry in opposition. In seven diptychs featuring triangular and circular canvases, the colors correspond to those of the chakras, a system of circular energy centers located in the body that inspires Guidis artistic and meditative practices alike.
Also on view are two horizontal landscapesa sunset and a sunrise distinguished by Turneresque washes of lightand a triptych of bright yellow painted universe mandalas. The underpaintings of the latter works are covered with marks that emanate from a central focal point positioned on the canvas to correspond with where the heart is located in the human body. In other works, Guidi re-creates two systems of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century color theory: Johann Wolfgang von Goethes triangle in An Essential Order (Goethe) (2019) and Ignaz Schiffermüllers color circle in Your Colors Are Eternal (Schiffermüller) (2019). These paintings interpret illustrations by the German literary titan and the Austrian naturalist that visualize their shared belief in the profound effects of color and its impact on human emotion and behavior. In connecting Goethes map of the human mind linking colors and feelings with Schiffermüllers attempt to capture the colors produced by nature, Guidi unites color, shape, nature, and philosophy.
Deepening the connection between naturalism and scientific interpretation, and exploring further the idea that observable phenomena impact thought and action, are seven large paintings that veil bright color behind layers of black sand molded with radiating indentations. Close attention reveals that these paintings, monochromatic at first glance, incorporate bright underpainting and fine detail that establish a bond with Guidis chakra-inspired works. They also echo Goethes theory that black is not the absence of color, but rather a mingling of darkness and light that creates color. By alluding to the alignment of the seven colors of the spectrum with the seven chakras, Guidi suggests a relationship between Enlightenment science and Eastern spirituality.