May 2007, Philadelphia, PA - Locks Gallery is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of paintings with Philadelphia artist Joy Feasley and San Francisco artist Clare Rojas from June 1 through July 27, 2007. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on First Friday, June 1, 2007 from 5:30 to 7:30pm, and an artists reception June 22, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Gallery admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be accompanied by a brochure with an essay by Alex Baker, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
The two artists were both included in the Institute of Contemporary Art’s exhibition East Meets West: “Folk” and Fantasy from the Coasts six years ago and have remained avid fans of each other’s work. While they occupy highly individualistic niches, there are several similarities in their approach to art-making in terms of formal strategy, the importance of creating an installation context, and the influence of folk art and nature in their work.
For Locks Gallery, Joy Feasley has created paintings that demonstrate a skillful integration of landscape, abstraction, pattern and decoration, and figurative imagery. Her work is informed by travels to places such as California, New England, Florida, India, and Nepal; childhood memories; and relationships. Feasley is particularly interested in the sublime power of nature and several of the paintings included in this exhibition were inspired by transformational experiences. A number of the paintings update the tradition of sublime landscape painting: think the Hudson River School rendered in neon colors or a Caspar David Friedrich painting re-conceptualized as a psychedelic experience. Feasley has exhibited extensively in Philadelphia, including recent solo exhibitions at Temple Gallery, the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, and Project Room. Her work has also been exhibited in recent group and solo exhibitions in Chicago, Raleigh, and Tokyo.
A former member of Philadelphia’s best-known collective, Space 1026, Clare Rojas now lives and works in San Francisco. Rojas uses aspects of folk art and craft traditions in fairy-tale narratives that range from the wisdom and mystique of female sages to the relationships between animals and humans. Rojas’ seemingly humble kerchief-clad women possess transcendental powers made evident through elaborate painted patterns that emanate from mouth, hands, or their bodies. Animals in Rojas’ paintings and installations recall moments in our collective past when we lived much more closely with nature and saw animals as creatures imbued with spiritual powers, rather than the exploitable commodities and cute house pets of today. Rojas has had multiple solo exhibitions in recent years, including major installations at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, as well as gallery exhibitions in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, London, and San Francisco.