The exhibit is structured as a “Conversation” between painters Jenny Bloomfield, originally from London and currently working in West Oakland, and Marie Van Elder, who is from Brussels and currently works in Mill Valley and Sea Ranch.
Bloomfield’s subject is an abstracted synthesis of portraiture, architecture and biomorphic structure that engages through shifting associations, according to Lawson, while Van Elder’s motif, from a series of studies of tree stumps and the wooded environment around her studio on the Northern California coast, verges on symbolic augury.
“Bloomfield works in a mode that incorporates subtractive techniques and pouring, etching into prepared under-layments and then inverting her canvases, whereas Van Elder uses alla prima techniques, building up her imagery wet on wet,” adds Lawson. “The two artists’ methodology could be viewed as antithetical, except both rely on culling their results from fresh grounds before the paint has set.”
The exhibit opens with a preview at the gallery at 18 East Blithedale, #12, on Tuesday, Jan. 7 (5:30-7:30pm), and a full opening Jan. 8 through Feb. 9. A reception with the artists is set for Thursday, Jan. 9 (5:30-7:30pm). Lawson himself will deliver a talk on the exhibit on Saturday, Jan. 11 (4-5pm). The exhibit will also be part of the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s monthly First Tuesday Artwalk on Tuesday, Feb. 3 (5:30-7:30).