Various Small Fires present Food Chain by Jessie Homer French and New Sculptures by Andrea Longacre-White
Jessie Homer French – Food Chain
“In the second world war I had a rubber ball of Hitler’s head to kick around. It was in vivid color with a black forelock and mustache – perfect.”
— Jessie Homer French (2016)
Jessie Homer French (b. 1940, New York City) is a self-proclaimed “regional narrative painter” who routinely, perhaps even obsessively, paints archetypes of death and nature. In addition to painting, Homer considers fly fishing, mapestry-making and hook-latch as other forms of her creative outlet. The candidly dark themes and consistently earnest representations in her works attest to the fact that these pastimes are not extraneous to painting but causal passions that fundamentally underwrite her creative process and voice. Having lived between British Columbia, Oregon, New York State, and most recently along the San Jacinto Mountains of the California desert, narrative themes of the outdoors abound: fish eating or about to be eaten, roadkill portraits, brush fires, sinister graveyards, stealth bombers…
For her debut exhibition at VSF, as well as her first solo exhibition of paintings since 2009, Food Chain brings together a fresh range of works that reveal such life ruminations, in varying degrees of vigor and decay. What Homer French would summarize as: “Simple human stuff.”
Jessie Homer French (b. 1940) has held solo exhibitions at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, Winchester Gallery, Victoria, B.C and Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, Laguna Museum, Laguna Beach, and at Samuel Freeman Gallery, Santa Monica.
Andrea Longacre-White – New Sculptures
A state of release cannot amount to much without the hardship that precedes it, a logic that underpins Andrea Longacre-White’s New Sculptures. The fringe benefit of this logic was a rare chance to rebuild anew in a manner that may not have otherwise existed, and it was in the precious double-bind of its predicament, analogous to our country’s state, that Longacre-White realized this exhibition, her second with Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.
A year ago Longacre-White received a letter from her sister, an envelope filled with glitter. Her sister’s gesture was both aggressive and poetic, a gift and a curse. Last year, she died after a long struggle with mental-illness. On the wall Longacre-White mounted curled vessels consisting of dead wood, attached to which are their 3D-printed copies. The bark was subjected to controlled burns by city officials, thus limiting potential future fire damage. Operating between a cyborgian version of regrowth and an urn, they singularly offer piles of glitter.
Tools explicitly plied for submission, domination and connection comprise the majority of Longacre-White’s new sculptures. They include equestrian ropes and halters (some bearing signs of heavy use), BDSM suspension rings, hooks, locks, chains, carabiners, and cable. Each are rooted in two forms of bondage: one dedicated to the taming and/or breaking of horses, the tradition of harmonizing animal drive with humans—while the other in BDSM fetish. In the latter, Longacre-White references Shibari, a Japanese tradition of rope bondage, literally translating as “decoratively tie.” In Shibari one can experience rapture in submission, whose connotations Longacre-White combines with hints of grief, visible in her selective inclusion of lilies, some in silk or silicon, while others 3D printed by the artist. Commonly adorning funerals, some are seen as closed buds, intimating a frozen potential. This is further complicated by the occasional sighting of a luxury bag charm or two in certain works. Gravitas and melodrama are two sides of the same coin—and the coin itself being the inescapable crick that feelings are for consumption.
Andrea Longacre-White (1980, Randor, PA, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) has been the focus of solo exhibitions that include New Sculptures, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2017), Andrea Longacre-White, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York (2014), Ceiling, Bellwether Projects, Cleveland Museum of Art, OH (2014), The Existing Term Has Become Inadequate, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2012), Pad Scans, West Street Gallery, New York (2011), and Dark Current, Rental Gallery, New York (2010). She participated in the ICP Triennial, International Centre for Photography, New York (2013) and has contributed to group exhibitions at venues such as Capital Gallery, San Francisco (2016), Brand New Gallery, Milan (2013), Bischoff Weiss, London (2012), and the New Museum, New York (2010).
Show Runs: April 15 – June 3