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Art at Beulah Gallery

EARTH WORKS

January-April 2013

9980 Hwy One

Olema Ca 94950

(415) 663-0380

Open weekends and by appointment

 

Articles

To function in this world, we must believe there is an underlying order that keeps the chaos around us and in us in suspension. I think my atoms will hold together long enough to finish this essay. I believe I will wake up if I allow myself to go to sleep, so I will plan for tomorrow, I choose to work diligently because some positive benefit will accrue. Chaos is a fine theory, but my delusions will get me through the day.

Perhaps it is the artist's special job to look chaos in its undifferentiated face and project her own features there. Instead of unconsciously subscribing to the structures offered up by our different cultures, artists change their cultures. Ideas, beliefs, and values are challenged and new paradigms are proposed.

Cezanne offered us a new understanding of reality, using planes of color to describe the cubes, spheres, and cones he found ordering all things. Picasso showed us a fragmented reality as we experience it, over time and from multiple perspectives, that we reassemble into something more comfortable and familiar. These changes in Western culture were fundamental, and it is hard to imagine the twentieth century without them.

Georgia Goldberg's "drawings" also offer us a new way to organize the chaos. She creates environments where light passing through her transparent and translucent materials re-order the very space we occupy. Her goal is to place us in a space where we can experience the magic, or the miracle, of transformation from one state to another. As a gas can become a liquid and then a solid in the time it takes a snowflake to form and fall, her work allows us to pass through the fragmentation of all things and witness our resolution in a new state.

Georgia Goldberg's ambition is that of a child, to capture a perfect moment. Her means are those of an artist in perfect form. She sees the chaos and fragmentation of our world, and she crystallizes it... she re-orders and transforms it around us. We can catch our breath in wonder, hear our heart beat, and feel the snowflakes on our eyelashes.

--Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator, American University Museum, Katzen Center, Washington DC

 


Georgia June Goldberg's vertically suspended translucent scrolls and panels are all about multiplicity. Her works are composed of hundreds of curving, roughly geometric shapes. They are frozen in space like confetti, snowflakes or perhaps cells that flutter in a drop of water, visible order under powerful magnification. In each case, thousands of little things create a seemingly pure whole. On a visual level, you could call it democratic---no one form takes precedence over another; it is the group that forms the picture, the associative meanings over a vast expanse. The works bring to mind a filigree of urban density, architectural structure, and engage in a dialogue with Julie Mehretu's paintings and drawings. There's an organic, curving quality of Goldberg's composition and line that suggests the distinct, abstract styles of Kandinsky and Pollock, as if exploded and seemingly suspended in space.

Because of their scale---usually large, sometimes intimate---installations of these works are experienced physically. We can face them head on, but they're often taller than we are. We must look up at them, as if at a starry sky. The scrolls either ascend or descend, depending on your outlook. They hang in groups, and to truly experience them, we must navigate a course, and feel enveloped in this universe. The materials allow light to pass through, and make shadow an integral component. That these works are not completely revealed to us -- the roll of material is not fully unfurled -- Goldberg embraces the notion of elusive, continuously unfolding narratives. Rather than words or specific stories, she tells them in line.

For the hanging works, Goldberg uses a translucent acetate- like material used for theatrical lighting and custom tinted Plexiglass, and each creates a dynamic between the seemingly organic source of the images and the artificiality of the material. When Goldberg works on thin Japanese gampi paper, the results are more purely rooted in nature. The lines form something like constellation maps that grow more intricate as they intertwine with the skin-like wrinkles of the handmade material. Ink creates gentle puckers on the surface further deepening the effect. Sometimes she creates lines with threads of silver, adding twinkles of complexity and a sense of the sublime.

Goldberg admits that her current working style began by thinking about destruction. Before the dramatic physical and psychological effects of 9/11 and Katrina, she made large paintings of buildings reduced to rubble. In the contemporary moment, when such images are far more prevalent than we'd like them to be, the paintings created a different filter through which to view catastrophe. These weren't dour or depressing works; they suggested that within collapse, there's beauty. An object, a building perhaps, shattered into pieces is transformed into another thing entirely. A multiplicity of pieces not only alluudes to the power of what created them, but implies abundance and a vast space for
something new to occur. Goldberg's recent work veers from literal destruction to explore a poetic sense of transition, of her elements coalescing into multiple visual possibilities. She turns those alternatives into productive moments in which chaos is open to gorgeous possibility.  

--Glen Helfand, Glen Helfand has taught contemporary art at San Francisco State University, California College of Art.

Glen Helfand has taught contemporary art at San Francisco State University, California College of Art. Mr. Helfand's writing on art has appeared in Artforum, Art on Paper, Salon, and many other

 


" In Georgia Goldberg's epic-size canvases there is no question that something has gone seriously awry. These are simultaneously ambitious abstract paintings and explicit pictures of disaster. Carefully delineated architectural interiors and exteriors comprised of graphite pencil lines set against white canvas suggest ghostlike fragile spaces filled, by contrast, with far more solidly rendered, tangible traces of catastrophic destruction, of structure collapsed. Sometimes recognizable as architectural rubble, other times verging on pure abstract form, the depicted detritus displaces and visually overwhelms its rationally drafted container. The linking of opposites, the truth of contraries, is an age old theme: Goldberg's perfectly perspectival landscapes map an alien space replete with unruly strangely animate elements that image obsolescence, destruction, and the dissolution of matter."

--Anne Umland, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York

NEW AMERICAN TALENT 16: Juror's Merit Award, Texas Fine Arts Association

 


The repetition of line, the spaces between line and the relationship of form with void space are areas of inquiry in Georgia June Goldberg's work. Curious spaces are explored: cracks or severs in rock formations, wounds and scarring on trees, pathways between reeds, the intervals of space between the drift of falling snow. With each exploration using either earth found objects, or with a prepared canvas and pencils, Georgia brings the viewer closer and closer into the transcendent, meditative and spiritual places we encounter as human beings. Georgia collaborates with nature, persuading the forces of wind and light to motivate and drive her installation works, herein moving the viewer out of the static museum-like experience. Layers and layers of vellum, Plexiglas or translucent papers and ephemeral or delicate objects such as thread, wax or ash, or silver are slowly worked and maneuvered as if to replicate the time it takes for objects, while in their conception or destruction, to fuse or separate. Georgia's work asks the viewer to ponder issues of physical matter and how as humans we encounter, relate and appreciate those spaces of microcosmic and macrocosmic worlds

--Melanie Barna, Curator, Milk and Honey Gallery

Melanie Barna is an artist, and owner and curator of Milk and Honey Art Gallery.