San Francisco Arts: Maybaum Gallery Presents Remarks by Karen Smidth

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San Francisco's Maybaum Gallery is thrilled to present the oil on canvas works of Karen Smidth in a solo exhibition throughout the month of May and will be hosting an Artist Reception on May 4. RSVP required.

Karen Smidth's new collection, Remarks, centers on the Pacific landscape in emotionally evocative and weepingly ethereal paintings. Her new body of work focuses on the idyllic scenes familiar to the Pacific coast, reimagined and re-marked as abstract depictions from the artist's impressions and memories.

Favorite Places | Oil on linen | 60 x 60 inches

Smidth's genius lies in her relationship with color, mixed in layers directly on her linen canvas. A plane of sultry lilac might have started out a forest, an ocean hue becomes warm copper. Thinning her oil paints so they appear like a wash of watercolor allows for a glow that can only come from a complex network of translucent layers.

Yellow Display | Oil on linen | 36 x 36 inches

Color is applied liberally in some areas, and sparsely in others, so that one painting might contain opposing moments of a frothy impasto white cap; close by, a charcoal mark remains intentionally legible. These subtle tensions provide a soft dynamic drama to the surface quality of the paintings.

Water Tower (West Marin) | Oil on linen | 60 x 60 inches

With her flat reductive approach for figuration, the artist keeps her viewers grounded in her highly abstracted scenes through a strong realistic perspective. Smidth describes the act of painting as a form of problem solving, creating worlds and places where people might want to visit or remembering what they have already done so as to provoke a memory steeped in her colors and strokes. In doing so, she invites her viewers to see nature the way she does, to imagine a natural world full of landscapes that are meant to be enjoyed, loved, and taken care of.

Chocolate Break, Pacifica | Oil on linen | 40 x 50 inches

Smidth, who spent the first 25 years of her life in Denmark often describes her work as a way to reckon with the feeling of being an outsider. By painting the new world around her she has found a way to make California her home. This new series offers a contemplative glimpse into looking deeply at the world and the value of slowing down to appreciate our surroundings, to see where we are and accept it as our home.

Karen Smidth is a Danish artist now based in the Bay Area. In her early childhood, Smidth relocated from the city to a farm on the island of Fyn. The idyllic setting set her free to explore the landscape that inspired and engrained an enduring love of the natural world. When she was 17, she pursued an opportunity to study metal typography and began a four-year apprenticeship in typesetting with a traditional printing house in Denmark.

Big and Blue Pacific | Oil on linen | 50 x 80 inches

Later, she attended design school in Copenhagen to pursue graphic design and relocated to California in 1985 where she continued her career in international corporate identity and branding. These experiences were formative for Smidth's later art practice, as she mastered aesthetic composition, an appreciation for striking landscapes, and the fortitude for methodical workmanship.

Maybaum Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
We kindly ask visitors to schedule an appointment for private viewings of the exhibition or a selection of artworks.

Mountain Talking to the Bay (Marin) | Oil on linen | 54 x 44 inches

Maybaum Gallery | 49 Geary Street, Suite 416
San Francisco, CA 94108
415-658-7669 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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