Featured Artist Member
Featured Artist of the Month honors the artist-members of Berkeley Art Center, highlighting the breadth and variety of media, processes and concepts engaged by our community. Only artists whose memberships are current will be considered.
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Featured Artist December 2018
Andrea Guskin is a San Francisco Bay Area artist who was raised amongst the woods and college campuses of Wisconsin and Ohio. She began drawing by pillaging her father's office supply closet for fine tip pens and yellow pads, filling them with figures.
After studying painting with Gary Bower at Antioch College in Ohio, Andrea started diversifying her materials to include found objects and surfaces. Her 1994 exhibition “What is Intimacy,” at the Reed Gallery in Ohio, included paintings and assemblage work with metal drawers, found clothing, wood, and pit-fired clay.
In the fall of 1994, she moved to the Lower East Side in New York City, exhibiting and working within the burgeoning artist community at the historic former PS 160, now known as The Clemente. Andrea’s figures became skeletal, and then dissolved into line, as she searched for an essential way to illustrate and communicate her own emotional systems regarding relationship, intimacy, and home. The abstract paintings of that time were on wood and metal primarily, and were scraped, carved, and heavily layered.
Since moving to the Bay Area, she has been incorporating tape and thread into her work, as well as rubber bands, cotton, and used matches. While she still considers herself an abstract painter, the figure has reappeared in recent work in the form of found photographs transferred onto cotton. She uses these images to explore her family’s personal immigration stories and Jewish heritage.
Her work has been exhibited nationally in galleries and non-profit art centers including the Richmond Art Center, Swarm Gallery, and H Gallery in Ventura.
Using the everyday materials of mending found in domestic life, I explore the many layers of emotional experience related to home, ancestry, and the fragility of existence. Thread and cord are sewn, tied and knotted: they are the tight ropes we all walk, each step composed of mundane and extraordinary moments, containing past influences both known and unknown. The cords must be taut, since one piece is only as strong as its connection to others.
I work in series, each with an overarching question at its root. In my recent series, A Temporary Collection of an Ordinary Bloodline, my work examined the question: what unknown elements of our family history do we carry with us in our bodies and minds? I explored the blurred parts of family history, mostly lost through time and movement across oceans. The work is a contemplation of ancestry and refuge through the lens of my ordinary bloodline, incorporating small ordinary objects like thread, burnt matches, pieces of cotton, rubber bands--objects so present as to go unnoticed—present in homes around the world and through many eras.
I am inspired by the work of Christian Boltanski, Lee Bontecou, Dorothy Hood, and the unbelievable linear abstractions on rocks found at the Grande Riviere Beach in Trinidad.
Vist Andrea’s website.
Click on images to enlarge.