JERNIGAN WICKERFINE ARTS

Artists

John & Anne Gillen
Artist Biographical Information

John Gillen

EDUCATION

1974 MA University of California at Berkeley
1971-1969 Graduate Studies in Architecture, University of California Berkeley
1968 BA, University of California at Los Angeles

PRIZES AND GRANTS

1994 University of Pittsburgh, Hewlett International Study Grant
1993 University of Pittsburgh, John G. Bowman Faculty Research Grant
1986 National Endowment for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship
1984 National Endowment for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship
1983 City University of New York, Baruch College, Faculty Research Grant
1981-80 National Endowment for the Arts, Artists Spaces Grant
1980 National Endowment for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship
1978 New York State Council for the Arts, Creative Artists Public Service Grant
1974 Eisner Prize for creative Achievement in the Arts, UC Berkeley

VISITING ARTIST LECTURES

1986 California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
1984 University of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM
1983 Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
1981 University of California, Irvine California State University, Los Angeles
1981 California State University, San Bernardino
1981 Minneapolis College of Art and Design
1980 University of Cincinnati Tyler School, Philadelphia, PA
1978 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2000 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1999 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1998 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1998 Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, OH
1998 Ira Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA
1997 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1996 Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1993 Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
1993Degrees of Abstraction, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
1992 Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1990 John Gillen: Recent Work, UP Gallery, University of Pittsburgh Concept Art Gallery,
Pittsburgh, PA
1988 John Gillen: New Work, Burnett Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1987 John Gillen: Wall Sculpture, Laurie Rubin Gallery, New York, NY
1986 John Gillen: Wall Constructions, Paul Klein Gallery, Chicago, IL
1980 The Clocktower, New York, NY
1972 John Gillen: Recent Work, Davis Art Center, Davis, CA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1996 Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1993 Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA Degree of Abstraction, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
1992 Faculty Show, UP Gallery, University of Pittsburgh
1991 Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1990 Angels Gallery, Santa Monica, CA Faculty Show, UP Gallery, University of Pittsburgh Faculty Show, UP Gallery, University of Pittsburgh
1988 Summer Projects, Garner Tullis Editions, New York, NY Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA Selections from Berkus Collection, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA Benefit Auction, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA Endangered Species, Paul Klein Gallery, Chicago, IL
1986 Recent Abstraction, Burnett Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Abstraction: Painting and Sculpture, Angels Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1984 Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Two from New York; John Gillen, Wade Saunders, Linda Durham Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1981 Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH Some Recent Sculpture, Tyler School of Art Philadelphia, PA
1979 Outdoor Sculpture, Organization of Independent Artists, Ward's Island, NY
1978 Julian Pretto Gallery, New York, NY
1977-78 Institute of Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1, Queens, NY
1976 Benecia Art center, Benecia, CA
1975 The Annual, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA 80 Langton Street, San Francisco, CA University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
1974 University Gallery, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA
1971 Sculpture Biennial, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1993 Clark, Vicky Degrees of Abstraction, Three Rivers Art Festival, June, catalog Miller, Donald "Art", Pittsburgh Post Gazette, June 27 Shefler, Laura The eyes of the Beholders, "Pitt Magazine", March 1988 Curtis, Cathy In the Galleries, "Los Angeles Times", January 18 1987 Gimelson, Deborah It's All Relative, "Art and Auction", March 1986 Quinn, Joan L.A., "Art and Auction", November 1978 Bell, Tiffany John Gillen, "Arts Magazine", September Frank, Peter Art, "The Village Voice", May 17 1973 Johnson, Charles New Talents Freshen Scene, "Sacramento Bee", April 22


Ann Neale Gillen

Born in Santa Monica, California

Education

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1969, Rhetoric
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1972, Art
M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1974, Art

Exhibition Record

2000 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1999 Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1998 Ira Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA
Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1997 Two-person Show, Jernigan Wicker Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
1996 Biennial, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1994 Biennial, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
1993 Degrees of Abstraction, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
1992 Group Show-Gallery Artist, Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
1982 Four Artists, Soho Center for Visual Arts, New York, NY
1980 Ann Neale Paintings, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CN
1976 The Annual-Color Experiment, San Francisco Art Institute, CA
1975 Oakland Artists, The Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA
1974 Ann Ellen Neale, The New Museum of Modern Art, Oakland, CA

Museum Collections

Permanent Collection, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

Bibliography

Wagstaff, Sheena, Pittsburgh Biennial, exhibit catalogue, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, PA,
1994 Clark, Vicky, Degrees of Abstraction, exhibit catalogue, Three Rivers Arts Festival,
1993 Miller, Donald, Art, "Pittsburgh Post Gazette," June 27, 1993


Artist Statement

We've been collaborating on the production of these paintings for several years now. The geometric compositions provide a format within which we can explore various color interactions and surface effects. The paintings are constructed of individual wood panels which are surfaced with a technique using pigmented gypsum. The panels are then joined together to complete the work. The work has been influenced by the art and architecture of the Mediterranean world that we have viewed firsthand.

We met in graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley. We lived in San Francisco for awhile and then moved to New York where we spent eight years. We later lived in Los Angeles, then Pennsylvania and have recently returned to Northern California where we live with our two daughters.

We've shared studios as well as esthetic concerns for such a long time that to collaborate seemed a natural development. We feel that this symbiosis has resulted in work that is stronger than our individual efforts. For us this collaborative process is analogous to the creative synthesis that occurs within a group of musicians.


Essay

On many levels, the work of collaborators Ann and John Gillen exists in a liminal zone between two worlds. It is neither pure painting nor pure sculpture, yet it is both. It is the product of neither Ann nor John alone; rather, it is conceived in a commingling through which the two creators become one. And lastly, order and chaos both exert their influence on these panels of improvised surfaces joined into hard-edged geometrical compositions. In short, this work grows out of, and embodies, paradox.

The Gillens use the language of color and geometry to speak about elusive subjects such as consciousness and perception. "In a way, our work is the opposite of abstract," says John. "We are not interested in mimicking the visual world by painting realistically. Instead, our work is about exactly what you see ­ a set of idealized relationships between shapes and colors," he says. By offering these formal relationships for us to delve into, the Gillens invite us to enter and explore an altered state of purer consciousness where the overwhelming complexity of life is pared down to essentials. To enter the world of their work is to exist suspended ­ even if for a just a moment ­ in the midst of the basic relationships that reflect the dynamic harmonies evident in the world.

To further illuminate the Gillens¹ project, we can make a comparison between the structure of their work and the structure of music. In an orchestral performance, individual instruments blend to create a complex superstructure of sound through which we can aurally apprehend the mathematical relationships among tones (harmony) and patterns (rhythm). The Gillens¹ project explores the same mathematical intervals, but they use color as their "tones" and shapes as their "rhythm."

What is the nature of these relationships? "Returning again and again to geometry is like a mantra to me;" says Ann, "through my work, I can refocus on essentials." John feels a philosophical affinity with Modernist painter, Piet Mondrian, whose geometric paintings also employed minimal means to symbolize the interplay of opposing forces he saw as the basic structure of the world. Similar oppositions between vertical and horizontal, figure and ground, and complementary colors make up the Gillens¹ basic visual vocabulary. Yin and yang, used in China to symbolize the interdependent duality of oppositional forces which beget the world, dance mischievously behind the Gillens¹ subtle shifts in composition and color.

Even the process by which the Gillens produce their work mirrors this interplay of opposites. "Sometimes we disagree as we work together," Ann admits. "In the end, though, we always agree when a piece is resolved. At times it can be a struggle to work together, but what we create is stronger because of the interchange involved," she says.

To digest this series is to spend time in careful observation. Engaging with these works means charting the harmonies and rhythms created within each piece, while also noting how these shift between pieces. The key to these works lies in the provocative relationships between the parts, which are, in the end, inseparable from the whole.

Julie Nelson
Art Critic