"Have you seen that portrait [Gauguin] did of me painting sunflowers? Afterwards my face got much brighter, but that was really me, very tired and charged with electricity as I was then." - Vincent van Gogh
The Fourth Wall is pleased to present FACE TO FACE, an exhibition of recent portraits by seven extraordinary painters, Mel Adamson, James Gouldthorpe, Jennifer Hynes, Marilyn Levin, Marie Van Elder, Cate White, and Heather Wilcoxon.
For the last thirty years, Mel Adamson’s primary subjects have been the figure and imagery that refers to elements in nature. More recently she has begun to explore abstraction. Regardless of the form chosen, for her, painting provides a way of looking at something from different perspectives, and works best when all senses are engaged. Adamson received her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. She has exhibited locally and internationally, including Hackett Freedman Gallery in San Francisco, Berkeley Art Center, Richmond Art Center, and H12 Gallery, croquis utstillinger, Oslo, Norway. Her paintings are included in public and private collections in the US and Europe. Adamson has taught at San Jose State University, California College of the Arts, and Stanford University. She lives in Oslo, Norway and also maintains a studio in Richmond, California.
James Gouldthorpe operates at the intersection of literature and visual art. His work, inspired by old photos, vintage magazines, and film, tells stories or, more accurately, inspires the viewer to form their own story. In his installations like Worrisome: Short Stories at The Fourth Wall last January, Gouldthorpe creates immersive graphic novels through a process he describes as “writing a painting.” His work has been exhibited widely throughout California and across the United States and Greece. Locally his work has been featured at Southern Exposure, ProArts, Montalvo Art Center, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. He has received a number of grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation as well as an Arts and Science Award from Pence Gallery. His work has been supported by residencies at Willapa Bay, Montalvo Art Center, and Recology San Francisco.
Jennifer Hynes’ work, whether painting, drawing, collage, textiles, printmaking or book arts, manages to tap into a raw visceral quality. Her self-published book, Naptime Paintings, Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist, received a 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award in the category Culture. She has participated in solo, group, and juried shows throughout the Bay Area. She earned a post-baccalaureate degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied printmaking and mixed media arts. Hynes lives and works in the Bay Area.
Marilyn Levin's work grows out of a concern for painterly abstraction and has long been concerned with color and its relationship to reflective surfaces. Her most recent work, non-traditional portraits, expresses her strong political reaction to our difficult times. Levin has exhibited in the United States, Europe and India. Her work is represented in many public and private collections, including SFMOMA, the Kresge Collection at Harvard University and the Sanskriti Museum in Delhi, India. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Sanskriti Foundation, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Levin received her MFA in Painting from UCLA and taught in the Tufts/Museum School Dual Degree program for over 25 years, as well as workshops in Massachusetts, Italy and Mexico.
In her work, Marie Van Elder translates the visual world through her personal lens and touch, infusing it with psychological undertone and quiet contemplation. Her many references include media images, girlhood memories, teen culture, fairy tales, fashion, old masters paintings, collage. Van Elder was born in Brussels, Belgium. After graduating from UCL Belgium she moved to California where she received her MFA in Painting from California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Van Elder's work has been exhibted in Califonia, New York, and Brussels. She was an affiliate resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito where she was a Tournesol Award finalist in 2007.
Cate White spent her youth in the back-woods culture of Northern California, until she started painting at age 30 and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. For 12 years she developed her painting practice while working as a gardener. Her work became publicly visible in 2014 with the ProArts 2x2 Solos Exhibition, followed by the Tournesol Award from Headlands Center for the Arts. Other residencies followed in Roswell, New Mexico, at Atlantic Center for the Arts and, most recently, at Mills College, California. Solo shows include Mills College Art Museum, Guerrero Gallery, and The Fourth Wall. Recently White's work was included in YBCA’s Bay Area Now 8.
For Heather Wilcoxon, raw emotion is truth. Her work is abstract, and often narrative. It can be funny but also deadly serious. Wilcoxon received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work is in several permanent collections including The American University Museum, Washington DC, The Fine Arts Museum, Auchenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts in San Francisco, the De Saisset Museum and Triton Museum in Santa Clara and the Di Rosa Preserve in Napa, California. She has received several fellowship awards including two from the Pollock/ Krasner Foundation. Wilcoxon recently received The 2019 Distinguished Women in the Arts Award from the Fresno Art Museum. She is represented by Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco.