Curated by Mitra Khorasheh
Tanja Grunert Gallery in pleased to announce its inaugural show in Chelsea with Hidden Light, a solo exhibition by Rachel Garrard. Hidden Light is the artist's second solo exhibition curated by Mitra Khorasheh at the gallery. The exhibition will feature three distinct, but related series of paintings. The work explores visibility, light and perception, revealing a contemplative internal methodology in which process and materiality unite to reveal a hidden light.
These new works continue Garrard’s existential quest—an inward journey that alludes to the depths beyond the physical. Her artistic practice is one steeped in process, her choice of materials, embedded with significance, and her creations, a journey in and of itself. Her own physicality and bodily proportions act as a palimpsest for her geometrically angular forms—triangles that are, at once, harmonious and opposing. Her faded hues and organic palette are derived from found materials collected on her travels, which she refines into pigment. She uses these homemade dyes to stain, layer, create shadows, and light and depth; the paintings echo their transformative undertaking. The Peaks that only I can seeare created from ash collected from the remains of the ceremonial fire of a Temascal, a native Mesoamerican ritual of cleansing, purifying and rebirth. The Residual paintings use fire to burn and mark the canvas. The works retain the traces of fire and smoke in the alchemical act of transformation. In After your glow, the colors employed are derived from pigment made from grinding and refining various rocks the artist gathered during her trips to remote geological sites in the Andes Mountains. For Garrard, it is vital to use natural colors from places that have inspired the work, further embedding the paintings with a sense of place and meaning.
Although, different in medium and form, like siblings, the paintings share an origin—holding the same secrets, capturing a hidden essence. The paintings are extensions of one another, each completing and pouring into the next, uncovering layers of depth and light. Essentially, they are extensions of the artist herself. Garrard’s Hidden Light is a result of an inward practice, a voyage that begins with a vision, then travels and collects, containing the intimacy of introspection and meditation, the grinding, the watering down, the painting, the washing and the drying. The final result is paintings that are personal, intelligent, and experiential, that uncover inner reflections as they hold the residue of their creation. The interlocking compositions reflect structures that are universal, while their color and substance evoke a visceral and visual experience—an ephemeral exchange between intimate subjectivity and the timeless eternal. Through her paintings, Garrard invites the viewers to experience her thoughts and experimentations, slowly transcending the limits of painting, achieving meaning in and beyond their medium.
Rachel Garrard was born in 1984 in Devon, England, and currently lives and works in New York. While completing her graduate studies at Central Saint Martins in 2009, she gained recognition for performance-based refracted-video works such as Circuition(2009), and Seven Transmutations (2010). Garrard was awarded artist residencies at the Atacama Telescope Farm in Chile (2011), and the Center for the Holographic Arts at Ohio State University (2012). Her recent work, which has grown to encompass video, performance, drawing, sculpture, painting and printmaking, has been exhibited nationally in curated group exhibitions at venues such as Participant Inc., New York, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, New York, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, Shoshona Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, the National Academy Museum, New York and Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York. Garrard’s work has also been exhibited internationally at the Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, France, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Yota Space Digital Arts Festival, St Petersburg, AmbikaP3, London, Shizaru Gallery, London and Apartment Gallery, Berlin. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions in both New York and Miami.
Mitra Khorasheh is a New York based curator and contemporary art specialist. She was the curator of Rachel Garrard’s first solo exhibition, and was invited by the gallery as an independent curator on the occasion of the second solo exhibition of the artist.