Brian Gross Fine Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition, From India to the Planet Mars, by San Francisco artist, Amy Trachtenberg, opening on Friday, January 4, 2013, with a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 5, from 3-5 pm. From India to the Planet Mars is a multi-media exhibition that includes paintings, wall mounted sculptures, and collages, blurring the boundary between disparate mediums through an associative installation.
In her paintings, Trachtenberg stains and pours pigmented mixtures on canvas. Bleeding color through lifting, swaying, and tilting the canvas in order to move the layers with her use of improvised tools and a wide range of mediums, Trachtenbergs process-oriented paintings mirror movement and gesture found in nature. The artist has stated about this work: “In some of the pieces I am building a geometric overlay that emerges from a process of wrestling with formality, materiality and intuition…the work does not ask to be understood or categorized with any particular meaning or theme. Despite the associations or experience that generated them, each piece follows its own language and logic for an open-ended reading.”
Featured in From India to the Planet Mars are Trachtenbergs wall mounted sculptures in wood that are comprised of salvaged timbers of old-growth redwood that are finely milled and polished. The results are sinuous, rhythmic undulations juxtaposed with a range of repurposed elements and a variety of painted and untreated materials. Trachtenberg creates a dialogue between nearly natural, unruly elements and formal abstraction.
In addition, the exhibition incorporates collages that draw upon found imagery and material. The work Stripes /
Sutras is a large collage generated from a single photograph from The New York Times. The image is manipulated and repeated in order to create tension between subject and material. The layering of image over image exemplifies the ways in which collective memory records, distorts, and abstracts as “tragedy can be mitigated into something seductive and abstracted.”
Amy Trachtenberg has received several commissions for integrated public works. Currently, she is designing an environmental piece called Ecstatic Voyaging for the BART extension between Oakland and San José scheduled to open in 2014. In addition, Trachtenberg is working on Clearing in collaboration with the architect Mallory Cusenbery for the new Ashland Youth Center under the auspices of the Alameda County Public Arts Commission. An architecturally scaled two-story installation on the new structure, the artwork envelops the entire exterior surface with patterns in porcelain tile. Clearing was conceived as part of an unprecedented commitment to connecting youth to the creation of their physical environment scheduled to open in February.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1955, Trachtenberg studied at California State University in Sonoma, where she received her BA in French and Liberal Studies. Trachtenberg continued her studies at L’Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris receiving her Diplôme Supérieur d’Art Plastique in Painting and Drawing. Trachtenberg has exhibited her work internationally and locally, currently at The San José Museum of Art. Trachtenberg has been the recipient of numerous permanent public commissions such as: Counterpoint and The Creekside Studio with an artist residency at Montalvo Art Center; Groundwork, for a San José, CA library; The Atrium Project at Childrens Hospital Oakland andIlluminance for Pixar, Emeryville, CA. Her interdisciplinary work includes visual design for theatre and collaborations with poets, choreographers, composers, architects and landscape architects. Her book, Groundwork from Oro Press, shows the process of a site-specific piece from concept to installation with essays by Rebecca Solnit and Mary Burger. Her work is in public and private collections in the US and Europe. She lives and works in San Francisco. This is her fifth show with Brian Gross Fine Art.