How do you capture the essence of your own identity? How do you tell the story of an extraordinary, yet fleeting moment? How do you paint serendipity? In our upcoming exhibition, Storytellers, Gayle Donahue, Toni Hamel, Ana Monteiro, and Inez Storer create complex narratives in an effort to answer these challenging questions about identity, memory, and fate. The moments in our lives that are the most consequential are also often the most difficult to convey, yet each of these painters successfully tells a unique story, drawing us into her personal universe and challenging us to explore our own worldview.
Gayle Donahue’s intimate paintings combine vintage collage elements with layers of delicately applied acrylic paint, pencil and pen. Her complex compositions convey themes of memory, nostalgia, and chance, focusing on “singular moments of consequence”.
Rooted in a vintage sensibility, Toni Hamel’s paintings are a form of contemporary satire. Her narratives carry a message, whether it be a pun, a suggestion or a warning. Drawing from personal experiences and outward observations she creates thematic work that reflect and interpret the psychological unease characteristic of our age.
Portuguese painter, Ana Monteiro, paints deeply personal self-portraits to reveal her story. Tapping into a rich history of female surrealists, she relies on philosophy, literature, mythology and poetry as she mingles the contemporary with the past. Each exquisite portrait touches on our real and built identities, the cocoons that protect us from the Other and the walls that hide us from ourselves.
Celebrated Bay Area artist Inez Storer’s mixed media paintings are investigations of untold personal stories that include family artifacts and found objects. Storer’s upbringing was filled with persistent secrets and untold truths – the result of a household full of mystery with parents who came from Europe and wanted to “erase” and assimilate. Through her work, she seeks to processes her past and her identity. Her mixed media paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the de Young Museum, the Oakland Museum of Art, and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Storytellers will open on August 14, 2021 with an “open house” from 11-7, with refreshments provided throughout the day. The exhibition will be on view through September 10.