|"May Morning II" oil on linen 32" x 30" 2010|
|"Studio" oil on panel 60" x 52.5" 2005|
|"Drunk Minotaur" oil and 22k gold leaf on panel 27" x 27" 2011|
|"Geisha Icon" oil and 22k gold leaf on panel 13.3" x 12" 2009|
|"Leda" oil on linen 50" x 42" 2011|
Gabrielle Bakker gathers in a mélange of historical styles and subject matters, each clearly and easily recognizable, but she manages to integrate and own them beautifully. There's some classical mythology and overt references to Picasso (an avid interpreter of greek myths himself) plus 18th and 19th century Japanese imagery, which had such tremendous influence upon the post-impressionists (and others). Her painting and composition have a beautifully crafted, almost sculpted feel that reminds me of the art deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. All of this collecting of historical references plays well into questions regarding their role in contemporary painting, and the validity of representation and traditional media. I think she makes a tremendous argument in favor of building upon the past, not merely breaking from it in search of the new, a tendency that has led to an almost maniacal fracturing in the arts over the last 60 years or so. Tradition and innovation are still viable partners as this talented artist aptly demonstrates.
Check out her website: www.gabriellebakker.com
And if you happen to be in the Seattle area this month you can see her work, a retrospective of the last decade at Davidson Galleries.
thanks to Michael McDevitt for the heads up