Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas, Texas is pleased to announce the opening of Thistle, an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Gael Stack. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, November 22, from 6 to 8 pm. The exhibit continues through December 20.
An artist whose work evokes both memory and the "gaps, sinkholes, and other chasms" found in our experiences, Gael Stack is one of the most accomplished American painters working today. Her large canvases and smaller drawings use fragments of words and images, often layered over one another like a palimpsest, to create a visual language that explores the past's implacable hold on the present, with what is unknown and unspoken occasionally poking through.
In 2011 The University of Texas Press published Gael Stack, a lavishly illustrated monograph on her career spanning forty years. Included are essays by Raphael Rubinstein and Alison de Lima Greene, who discuss Stack's work in the context of world art. Rubinstein likens her paintings to Freud's "mystic writing-pad," a surface layer that can be endlessly written upon, erased, and refilled, while the underlying tablet retains traces of all that has been written-an apt metaphor for the workings of perception and memory. Greene also reflects on the theme of memory in her art, particularly the ways in which memory can evolve into forgetfulness and cognizance can become ignorance.
Stack received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana and a MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She is the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Art at the University of Houston, where she formerly headed a department that has become the region's premier training ground for the visual arts.Her work has appeared in numerous solo exhibitions such as: Musée des Beaux Arts, L'Echevinage, Saintes, France (1995), Musée de Niort, France (1996), and Gael Stack: A Survey 1974 - 1989 at the Dallas Museum of Art (1989) as well as numerous group exhibitions such as the Contemporary Arts Museum's, Perspectives @ 25: A Quarter Century of New Art in Houston(2005), Texas Vision: The Barrett Collection at SMU's Meadows Museum in Dallas (2004), and Establishment and Revelations at what is now the Dallas Contemporary (1997). Her work is in numerous permanent collections, including the Beaux Art Museum, Saintes, France; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Menil Collection, Houston.