viernes, 14 de octubre de 2011

Gael Stack´s Forty-One Songs

"An artist whose work evokes both memory and the "gaps, sinkholes, and other chasms" found in our experiences, Gael Stack is one of the most accomplished American painters working today. Her large canvases and smaller drawings use fragments of words and images, often layered over one another like a palimpsest, to create a visual language that explores the past's implacable hold on the present, with what is unknown and unspoken occasionally poking through. Serendipitous elements of graciousness and optimism also distinguish her recent work. Gael Stack is the first retrospective monograph on the artist's career, which has spanned four decades. It features a catalog of some one hundred works reproduced in full-color, full-page plates. Accompanying the images are essays by Raphael Rubinstein and Alison de Lima Greene, who discuss Stack's work in the context of world art. Rubinstein likens her paintings to Freud's "mystic writing-pad," a surface layer that can be endlessly written upon, erased, and refilled, while the underlying tablet retains traces of all that has been written-an apt metaphor for the workings of perception and memory. Greene also reflects on the theme of memory in Stack's art, particularly the ways in which memory can evolve into forgetfulness and cognizance can become ignorance. Lists of selected exhibitions and public collections in which her work has been featured and a bibliography complete this authoritative survey of Stack's career." -University of Texas Press Gael states- "The idea of questioning the limits of language is central to the work and this interest is increasingly compounded by the dilemma of my concern with the role of memory, as a phenomenon and as a particular; what happens when memory fails us; what happens if memory is who we are and memory becomes nothing. 'Gaps' increasingly appear in my paintings, for example, simple metaphors for the increasing loss of the names of things. Still the central thrust of the work continues to deal with the struggle to articulate that which is not sayable on behalf of the inarticulate and unheard. I am also interested in interlude; freezing that which is motionless and silent; and speaking up, and letting go, and that which is relentless in the world; and the awkwardness and self-consciousness that coexist with profound emotional times. I find ancient and medieval Japanese painting as oddly emblematic of these paradoxical dilemmas; the idea of a hungry ghost (Gaki), forever roaming, never satisfied or of Zen gardens and tea ceremonies depicted amid the strife torn realities of feudal warfare; the very curious juxtapositions of the contemplative and the flamboyant, the quiet and the din." Gael Stack received her M.F.A. in 1972 and has lived in Houston, Texas since that time. She has taught at the University of Houston since 1974 where she is now a full time professor. Gael Stack has exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally. Her work is in numerous permanent collections, including the Beaux Art Museum, Saintes, France; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Menil Collection, Houston. She is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Art at the University of Houston, where she formerly headed a department that has become the region's premier training ground for the visual arts.

Forty-One Songs is on view at Moody Gallery from October 22 - November 26, 2011.

Image:
Gael Stack
Untitled" 2008
Oil on Canvas
70" x 60"

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