MICHELLE BLADE // pansy
On view May 3–June 4, 2019
Opening reception Sunday, May 5 (3–5 p.m.)
Closing reception & print release party Sunday, June 2 (12–2 p.m.)
Nationale is pleased to present Pansy, painter and installation artist Michelle Blade’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery. The six paintings on view in the main space are all on satin, a new format of expression for Blade. Sheer in nature these etherial works depict vibrant, large-scale garden scenes in dreamlike shades of pink, blue, and yellow. Female forms move through charged landscapes, their auras bleeding outward and their surroundings bleeding inward, showing a oneness with their surroundings. The application of the paint is loose and unpredictable, breaking into dreamy areas of abstraction which Blade believes to be physical placeholders for the unknown, a literal manifestation of the mysteries of the universe. Presented in the backroom gallery, Blade's playful rainbow pencil drawings are also overt in their symbolism. These pieces, along side the paintings, explore a mythologized feminine relationship with nature, to knowledge, and community.
Pansies, the exhibition’s eponymous painting, serves as a playful double entendre, implying that the biblical character of Eve—portrayed here—is both a flower and a weakling. Instead, Blade presents Eve gazing invitingly into the eyes of the serpent, both bodies mirroring the other, locked in a confrontational and curious stance. They are inextricably linked in their quest for knowledge and the unknown. Through this work and others, Blade steers our attention to the particular synchronicity humans share in their thirst for the creation of meaning in our immediate and tangible realities.
Michelle Blade is a visual artist working in painting, sculpture, and installation. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Center for Contemporary Arts-Santa Fe, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, Netherlands, Jack Hanley Gallery-SF, Johansson Projects, Roberts & Tilton, and Western Exhibitions. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Gather Journal, GQ, Juxtapoz, The California Sunday Magazine, and Blue Magazine among others. Clients include The Thing Quarterly, Chronicle Books, RVCA, Air BnB and Facebook. She is a founding member of the Los Angeles art collective, The Binder, and holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and an MFA from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco.
PRESS & MORE
Critical Viewing: May 2019, Lindsay Costello, Art & About PDX
All images ©️ Mario Gallucci
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