Dolby Chadwick Gallery is delighted to announce the exhibition of recent work by Seattle-based artist Ann Gale, on view from March 3 to April 2, 2016. The artist will present oil paintings on canvas, linen-wrapped panel, and copper, as well as works in graphite on paper. In a day and age when our society seems obsessed with speed, and with viewing—and dismissing—multitudes of images streaming over the airwaves or bombarding us through the portals of social media, it is a revelation to contemplate the work of an artist such as Gale, who spends months, if not years, studying a single pose taken by one of her models. Gale's passion focuses on conducting an investigation into the nature of perception and the psychology of human interaction that transcends the purely visual.
With a stillness, and an intimacy so profound that it becomes nearly unbearable, Gale's keen powers of observation seek many points of reference, yet recognizable likeness remains a concern almost completely removed from her scope of interest—a fact that for many years caused her to shy away from the term “portraiture.” Her work instead addresses the emotionally-charged and potentially confrontational aspect of sharing space with, and relentlessly observing, another human being at close range for lengthy periods of time. While she also has painted friends and family, “when they were willing to endure it,” she feels there is really no difference, “every person is shockingly complex, both visually and psychologically,” she explains. Her unflinching approach is reminiscent of the wrenching and minutely-observed portraits of Lucian Freud—both grounded in a fearless exploration of raw experience.
Born in 1966, Ann Gale earned her BFA from Rhode Island College and her MFA from Yale University. In addition to exhibiting across North America, Gale has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 2007, a Washington Arts Council fellowship in 2006, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1996, among others. Her work was included in the 2011 Dolby Chadwick Gallery exhibition, HEADS, curated by Peter Selz. Gale is Full Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Established by Lisa Dolby Chadwick in San Francisco in 1997, Dolby Chadwick Gallery represents an international roster of emerging and mid-career artists working in traditional and hybrid media, including oil painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography. The Gallery seeks to exhibit articulate, visceral, and provocative new work, and to support its artists in the development of their creative processes and visions.
Embracing a diversity of subject matter, styles that range from photorealism to abstraction, and approaches that prioritize both the aesthetic and the conceptual, the Gallery’s program focuses on works wherein the artist’s dedication to craft, observation, and materials is evident. A common thread throughout the work is an interest in exploring and redefining visual perception and optical effects—celebrating the unexpected surprise of sight and insight of visual experience.
From its first site of five years on Sutter Street, Dolby Chadwick moved to its current location at 210 Post Street in 2002. The 5,000 square-foot gallery has hosted over 155 exhibitions and curated shows. Heads, a 2011 show selected by art historian Peter Selz, comprised forty works by artists including Stephen De Staebler, Lucian Freud, Edwige Fouvry, Sherie’ Franssen, Ann Gale, Gottfried Helnwein, Alex Kanevsky, Nathan Oliveira, and Irving Petlin.
Director Lisa Dolby Chadwick has over twenty-two years of fine arts and gallery expertise and has overseen the development of more than sixteen catalogues and monographs. She co-organized the Stephen De Staebler career retrospective exhibition and monograph for San Francisco’s De Young Museum in 2012, a show cited by San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker as among the best of the year.