• Whitney Bedford
    Numinous
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    Photo: Evan Bedford

Current Exhibition

Whitney Bedford: NUMINOUS

May 18—July 7, 2018


Opens Friday, May 18 from 7 to 9PM

The German theologian Rudolf Otto coined the term “numinous” as an extension of the sublime within the framework of phenomenology. Mysterium tremendum et fascinans is Otto’s own description of the numinous which loosely translates to the inexplicable mystery which comprises of both terror, or Tremendum, but also a potent fascination, or Fascinans.

This suite of ten new paintings by Whitney Bedford represents her latest exploration into a larger body of work exploring the desert landscape and ships at sea. Conceptually interlinked by a profound fascination with the histories of painting, theories of the sublime and a personal relationship to the artist’s own surroundings, these paintings share moments both literally and figuratively.

While the paintings on view in the gallery are individually created and executed, pairs of paintings transpose particular colors and gestures between them. This in turn elucidates a formal and visual connection while also indicating something as seemingly different as a ship at sea (rollicking and endless) versus a desert landscape (desolate and profound) – could and may certainly be – intimately linked to the Mysterium. As such, regardless of the subject matter, these scenarios painted with a combination of ink and oil paint on flat-colored backgrounds are a contemporaneous representation of the visceral experiences that nature can provide through the lens of the human experience.

Bedford’s 2018 painting All Nighter harkens back to the activated shipwreck artworks of JMW Turner with a sail-less schooner battling the sea in an all out effort to not capsize. The ship’s masts and rigging are rendered meticulously in ink, while the sea waves and boat hull are rendered with confident brushy swaths of oil paint. The background, appearing under gallery light is a pale greenish blue, but when not lit glows in the dark. This phosphorescent effect – when activated – changes the title of the work to All Nighter (In the Dark) adding a sinister yet intriguing desire to experience the painting in an alternate scenario not normally found in a gallery setting.

Whitney Bedford  (lives and works in Los Angeles) received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. She was awarded a Krasner Pollock Grant in 2015 was the winner of the 2001 UCLA Hammer Museum Drawing Biennale. She also received a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship from Hochschule der Kuenste, Berlin in 1999. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, New York; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Bedford’s work is included in the Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Mexico; the De La Cruz Collection, Miami, Florida, USA; The Saatchi Collection, London, England; the Francois Pinault Collection, Paris, France; the Eric Decelle Collection, Brussels, Belgium; the Collection Ginette Moulin/Guillaume Houze, Paris, France; The Art in Embassies Program (Saudi Arabia and Brussels/NATO Headquarters); and The Marciano Foundation Art Collection, Los Angeles, California, USA

Images

  • Casier Bleu
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • Pallas Athena
    2018
    Ink and oil on linen on panel
    48 x 84 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • Westside Girls
    2018
    Ink and oil on linen on panel
    48 x 84 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • The Brush-Off
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • The Approach (Towards New Bedford)
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • Couples Therapy
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • All Nighter
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    18 x 24 inches

  • All Nighter (In the Dark)
    [Alternate view]
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    18 x 24 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • Riddling Landscape
    2018
    Ink and oil on panel
    30 x 42 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]

  • The Silver Lining
    2014
    Ink and oil on canvas on panel
    72 x 120 inches
    [Photo by Evan Bedford]