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.
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.