The Fourth Wall is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Bay Area artist, Marlene Angeja, titled This Storm is Called Progress. The title comes from a Walter Benjamin essay where he writes, “…a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is called progress.”
For Angeja, painting is a chance to engage directly with materials. For this reason, she begins each painting without a mental or visual reference. Instead of setting out to paint an idea or impression she sets out to explore form and meaning through the process. “Content is essential. It is what motivates me to paint. But I am not interested in willing it or defining it. I’m interested in the search. This involves a slow process of waiting for the painting to clarify its meaning. When a painting works, when it is finished, there is a sense of familiarity and recognition.”
Included in the show is a series of sixty watercolors painted by Angeja between November 2016 and June 2017 in reaction to the 2016 US presidential election titled, This is Not Normal, after something John Oliver said on Last Week Tonight following the election. A catalog accompanies the show. Download PDF.
Concurrently, in the hallway gallery, The Fourth Wall is pleased to present, You Are My Heaven, paintings and works on paper by Michele Théberge.
Repetition is a thread that runs through much of Théberge’s work. Her paintings are an invitation to still the mind. “I begin with numerous layers of paint built up to a rich, luminous glow. Colors, glazes and iridescent pigments are brushed, sanded, sprayed and rubbed onto the panel. After which I pour several layers of clear acrylic and a non-toxic resin to create a deep, glassy surface. This surface allows subsequent brushstrokes and shapes to appear to float above, casting shadows on the color below. This distance creates an illusional as well as a physical depth. These compositions are characterized by thousands of repeated tiny arcs or hushed ovals and spheres in barely perceptible shifts of sheen from matte to gloss. The act of painting row upon row of crescents brings me softly into the present moment, offering the viewer that same space of rest and respite.“
Marlene Angeja is a Bay Area artist who has been exhibiting and teaching for over twenty-five years. Painting as process, with its inherent flaws and failures, is central to her work. Angeja completed her MFA at California College of the Arts in 1990, where she received the Barclay Simpson Award for her multi-media installation, The Yellow Wallpaper. She has shown throughout the United States, as well as in Portugal. Her work is in the collection of the Capelinhos museum in Faial, Azores, Portugal as well as private collections. She recently retired after nineteen years of teaching in the Department of Art and Art History at San Jose State University.
Michele Théberge, born in Brooklyn, New York, is known for the quiet, meditative quality of her drawings, paintings and installations. Infused with the effect of many years of daily meditation practice, the acrylic paintings are built up with layers of transparent color, metal leaf, or spray paint. The subsequent deep layers of clear acrylic allow the delicate repeated marks or abstract forms to be suspended within or to float on the surface. Recently, she completed three paintings for the Precision Cancer Medical at the University of California San Francisco. Her works have been shown in museums and galleries worldwide.