Kimberly Brooks / Painting Architecture
October 2 - December 26, 2021
MOAH Lancaster, CA
Contemporary American artist Kimberly Brooks examines identity, history, and memory by utilizing a combination of landscape, abstraction, and figuration in her work. Stemming from a long tradition of American painting, her scenes depict subject matter that meets the edges of realism and abstraction. Examination of feminine identity is also present in a majority of her work. Projects such as The Stylist Project (2010), Fever Dreams (2019), I Have a King Who Does Not Speak (2015), as well as many others include the depiction of women in relation to their surroundings. Their identities and histories are depicted in loose brushstrokes, hinting to ambiguity and fleeting memories.The hand of the artist is apparent; the painterly quality of her work stands out in her varying compositions.
Painting Architecture (2021) showcases the use of the built environment as landscape and subject matter. Both interior and exterior scenes are depicted: Rococo walls adorned with paintings hung salon style, arches and tile-work of a mosque, an outdoor gate and pathway flanked by foliage. While these spaces may seem innocuous and arbitrary, these environments carry strong associations that are informed by their architectural styles. Brooks calls forth the provenance and significance of these spaces. The line between contemporary and antiquity is blurred. Instead of deviation, similarities are shown. A quiet, more meditated atmosphere is harmonious between the works. The play of light provides a still and almost objective showcase of these environments. There is a formal rigidity that is present between all of the works that is made apparent by the strong perspective lines that indicate the boundaries of these spaces. Juxtaposed to this is again, the use of loose brushstrokes and painterly techniques that are a mainstay of her practice.
Kimberly Brooks was born in New York City, New York and raised in Mill Valley, California. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and studied painting at the University of California, Los Angeles and Otis College of Art & Design. Brooks hosts monthly artists talks on her discourse platform First Person Artist and is also the author of The New Oil Painting. Her works have been showcased internationally. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.