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.

Become a member | Take our Artist-Member Informational Survey

Featured Artist September 2019

Javier Arizmendi-Kalb

Javier Arizmendi-Kalb grew up in Mexico City, where he learned to paint at young age from a group of landscape painters that included his grandfather, Marcos Kalb. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1986 with a degree in engineering and art history, receiving the Ames Fine Arts Award. In 1991 he completed an MA in Architecture with distinction at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Since 1994 he has lived in the Bay Area, working for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, where he is presently a Design Director. 

Artist Statement

My recent paintings are characterized by greater scale and abstraction, allowing me to communicate a stronger emotional content through the use of color and gesture.

The work reflects my interest in ideas of space and landscape, and utilizes visual mechanisms evocative of perspective, mapping and cartography to structure visual information on the canvas. The paintings are layered with resin-rich paint — which at times supports the structural map or space and at times denies it — to emphasize the process of painting as an act of discovery where intuition and chance happenings play a critical role in developing images of emotional resonance. 

One series of my work is inspired by sketches done from the air, depicting the San Fernando and Central Valleys and the Sacramento Delta.  The tension between their geometric compositions and the emotional energy carried by the brushwork and color evokes the tension between the man-made and the natural, as well as the landscape’s constant state of change.  Two examples of this series: San Fernando 2 (2016), oil on canvas, 48 in. x 120 in. and Delta (2017), oil on canvas, 48 in. x 120 in..

Another series explores the pictorial structure of space, and the relationship between color and the representation of light. These paintings are inspired by sacred spaces such as chapels, where strong illumination enters interiors through small and controlled apertures that endow light with symbolic meaning. Examples of this series are illustrated with Chapel 2 (2018), oil on canvas, 72 in. x 72in. and Diffraction (2017), oil on canvas, 48 in. x 72 in.. 

Visit Javier’s website.

Click on images to enlarge.






Delta, 2017
oil on canvas
48 in. x 120 in.

San Fernando 2 (2016),
oil on canvas
48 in. x 120 in.

Chapel 2 , 2018 oil on canvas 72 in. x 72 in.

Chapel 2, 2018
oil on canvas
72 in. x 72 in.

Diffraction, 2017
oil on canvas
48 in. x 72 in

For a list of previously featured Member Artists, click the link for the Index of Featured Artists.