Isabel Samaras: Making a Better Yesterday Today
November 3 - December 22, 2012
Varnish Fine Art is pleased to present Making A Better Yesterday Today: Isabel Samaras. Pop Surrealist painter Isabel Samaras’ first solo exhibition with Varnish opens on November 3. In this very special exhibition, the gallery divides into 2 spaces, “Yesterday” and “Today.” Isabel’s new series of pop cultural mash-up oil paintings and limited edition prints on wood comprise the artwork of “Today.” The “Yesterday” space within the gallery showcases a curated selection of Isabel’s greatest hits, publications and object d’art featuring popular images from past works never before shown in San Francisco.
In her work, Isabel Samaras takes us on a tour through Art History populated with characters from Modern Mythology (20th century television characters and narratives.) Referencing timeless themes, Renaissance Art, Dutch genre painting, Persian Miniatures and Victorian Ethnographic photography, Samaras compresses space and time to create alternative narratives for the familiar characters we grew up watching on TV. Painting beloved and known characters from “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Planet of the Apes,” Samaras at times constructs classical tableaus, referencing the Renaissance masters’ use of people, places and stories from Classical Antiquity. She at other times makes references to the intimacy of Dutch genre painting, giving them another chance at a life that could still yet be. Universes collide to create an alternate reality where our favorite characters from different programs co-exist in a world that is at once hilarious and bittersweet. Samaras opens an alternate dimension to address the what if.
I want to do the visual equivalent of whispering in your ear. – Isabel Samaras
Though Samaras created large paintings for this solo exhibition, the majority of her works are smaller, drawing the viewer into an intimate conversation to form a more personal connection with art. In her quest to create a space where people form a different kind of relationship to Art, she also creates objects from some of her most popular images that can be displayed, held and in some instances, played with, to create what one created called “… a truly populist art. ”Followers of Samaras' work know that she has rarely made prints, but for this exhibition Varnish is proud to present a special collection of editions on wood (appropriate as this is the surface Samaras paints on). A "greatest hits" curated selection of signed and numbered images will be available for purchase...and just in time for the holidays!
A known figure in the Pop Surrealism movement, Samaras was featured in the documentary films "The Lowdown on Lowbrow" and "Newbrow: Contemporary Underground Art." She is familiar to a broad audience through publications like Juxtapoz, and Hi Fructose as well as the books "Vicious, Delicious and Ambitious: 20th Century Women Artists," "Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art," and her own monograph "On Tender Hooks: The Art of Isabel Samaras." Samaras spent a month in Italy steeping in its art and culture after graduating from Parsons NY, where studied Illustration and Fine Art. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Samaras is represented by Varnish Fine Art.
*Please contact us with inquiries (415)433-4400, Q@varnishfineart.com.
Visit our Emporium for exclusive limited edition prints on wood!