Gwen Gerard was born in Nantes, France, and educated at The Met de Peningehn Studio Paris, and the University of Paris. She has had solo exhibitions in Vincent Culotte gallery, Espace Trans’art< Blue Nuit galleries, and Lineart Foire Internationale, in Gand, Belgium. Gerard is highly acclaimed in Europe and considered a leading figure of the avant-garde art community. In Chicago she has exhibited at Mindy OH Gallery, Tony Fitzpatrick’s former World Tattoo gallery, and Klein Gallery. Gerard had a one woman exhibition at idao in 1996 that was reviewed in The Reader.
In Europe Gerard created two dimensional paintings. Her work has transformed since having relocated to chicago; her paintings have expanded to three dimensions and the assembled art objects reflect her new urban environment. Gerard’s Chicago work continues to contain a painter’s sense of composition and texture. She often uses found objects, wood, glass, screen, and wire, to create objects textured with pigment, paper, and other mediums.
In Europe there is an impression of closed spaces, a certain privacy whose privilege is the ‘clair obscur’ light. In Chicago, space is open, the light arrives brut/pure everywhere, and it gives one the feeling of boundlessness. This feeling is reinforced by the grid of the city, where each ‘block square’ answers to another until the horizon. To live in Chicago and work in the way I was used to in Europe held an absence of meaning to me, to integrate entirely new images into an existing system of reference became the task. In this way each new piece represents an eventual answer to me."
In a recent series using light boxes, (specifically EXIT sign boxes) Gwen’s work addresses issues of immigration and passage.
Gerard is represented exclusively by idao gallery in Chicago.
(above copy courtesy of idao gallery)
Curator Note: Gwen has recently moved back to France but I consider her an international Chicago artist.
Above: "Exit Crosses" - mixed media - all rights reserved by the artist.
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