Jennifer Guidi Invites You on A Spiritual Journey At Gagosian

After first successfully exhibiting her work at Gagosian Hong Kong in 2018, Jennifer Guidi has finally come to New York. Her new show entitled, Gemini, explores duality and dimension. Gagosian New York even went so far as to dramatically alter the gallery space to display her Phases of the Moon series with remarkable impact. The wall separating the two main exhibition spaces cleverly accommodates one of Guidi’s canvases hanging above you as you walk through the room. Surrounded by these mesmerizing creations, it’s no surprise that the feeling of endlessness within each mysterious work is largely peaceful rather than unsettling. And this inner peace is something the artist hopes you explore further, specifically in considering the relationship she creates between color, nature, and texture.

JENNIFER GUIDI, Phases of the Moon (2019)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Using shape as a way to convey depth and space, Guidi presents a stunning display of her prowess in materials. She incorporates sand along with oil and acrylic paints to “investigate color, light, and archetypal imagery.” The artificial dimension adds shadow and plays with that light, reinforcing the idea that her works cannot simply be glanced at. They force you to contemplate you own self bluntly, while at the same time realizing your place within the world – circling back to the interconnectedness of energies.

JENNIFER GUIDI, Phases of the Moon and An Essential Order (Goethe) 202 x 236 x 1 1/2 in. (both 2019, sand, oil and acrylic on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

The title of the show itself dictates a viewer consider these larger themes put forth. Guidi is deeply interested in philosophy and its relationship to science. An Essential Order (2019) presents an example of her exploration of that, specifically its positioning in the show and the meaning behind the work itself. Part of Goethe’s color theory offers that darkness is an active ingredient rather than the mere passive absence of light. Guidi certainly captures this idea by juxtaposing the work next to her seven black jumbo works.

JENNIFER GUIDI, My Thoughts Emerge from A Mingling of Light and Darkness (Crown) 116 x 96 in. and An Essential Order (Goethe) 202 x 236 x 1 1/2 in. (both 2019, sand, acrylic and oil on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Upon closer inspection, the monumental works above convey a minimalistic subtlety based on color and shape. Along the edges of each work is a clear layer of bright pigment underneath the riddled, black sand surface. That specific color is then matched by single dots painted at each crest of the divots. Molded out of a mixture of sand, oil and pigment, she creates these “radiating indentations” giving way to grand, repetitive paintings. There is something soothing in those tedious strokes and the way in which each one coaxes a cohesive shape out of an otherwise monochromatic canvas.

JENNIFER GUIDI, Phases of the Moon and Your Colors Are Eternal (Schiffermüller) 144 in. diameter (both 2019, sand, acrylic and oil on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

In Phases of the Moon there is light and dark, and Schiffermüller’s color theory, upon which the circular work is based, complements that duality entirely. The idea behind Your Colors Are Eternal (2019) is to encapsulate the countless colours of nature. Schiffermüller said that all colors come from nature, and Guidi’s rendition of his color nomenclature hypnotizes the viewer. Cyclicality describes part of Guidi’s occupation with natural occurrences. What goes around certainly does come back around.

JENNIFER GUIDI, A New Beginning 76 x 232 and As I Look Into You I Begin to See Myself 76 x 232 (both 2019, sand, acrylic and oil on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

A New Beginning (2019) and As I Look Into You I Begin to See Myself (2019) are two horizontal landscapes expressing a powerful duality – sunrise and sunset. Harking back to naturalistic origins for inspiration, Guidi aims to display the classic reiteration of the day. She reinforces this idea further with a new moon hanging at the precipice of the constructed wall in the middle of the gallery.

JENNIFER GUIDI, A Thousand Petals (Crown Diptych) 54 x 58 in. and To Protect and Hold You Up (both 2019, sand, acrylic and oil on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

With roots in nature, the colors of the show correspond to those of the chakras, that, according to the artist, inspires her artistic and meditative practices. Her works almost seem to inhabit a meditative state themselves. Above, seven triangular and circular diptychs are pigmented in the same natural colors of our chakras, part of the celestial energy surrounding each and every one of us, and connecting us more closely with nature.

JENNIFER GUIDI, An Essential Order (Goethe) 202 x 236 x 1 1/2 in. (2019, sand, acrylic and oil on linen)
Gemini, 2020, Installation view
© Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Abstraction is Guidi’s ideal form of expression, and each of these works is backed with such emotion that the mere shapes are all you need in order to make sense of her message. One that speaks on the duality of the natural world and universal interconnectedness.

Gemini will be on view at Gagosian’s  24th St. Gallery in New York through April 4, 2020.

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