Mercury 20 Gallery
25 Grand Ave. (at Broadway)
Oakland CA 94612
February 1 ﾖ March 1 2008
Opening Reception: Friday February 1 from 6-9pm (in conjunction with First Friday/Oakland Art Murmur)
Maya Kabat and Antonio Vigil open an exhibition of new work at Mercury 20 Gallery on February 1st with a reception for the artists from 6:00 – 9:00pm.
Invisible Cities will consist of urban landscape paintings by each artist as well as a collaborative sculpture. The exhibit is inspired by Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities which explores the ephemeral and magical reality of the city as an allegory of the human condition. In this haunting book dreamlike cities are described as visual poems–one city held together by ropes suspended above a deep valley one connecting all of its inhabitants with string one made up entirely of strangers whose fantasies about one another creates an exciting vibration throughout. Kabat and Vigil’s paintings for Invisible Cities examine the seemingly solid but ultimately invisible unknowable and multivalent concept of the city.
Maya Kabat’s paintings explore the changing form and reality of daily life through an examination of shifting external and internal environments. Referencing the urban landscape Kabat’s work investigates shifts of light weather and the passing of time. Plates of earth move houses shake and settle horizontal and vertical structures turn slightly off-kilter with time and wear and cracks in the hard cement remind us that nothing is fixed. The built environment like our bodies and minds is not static. Using a range of scraping tools to create surfaces with stripes gouges and flat slabs of paint Kabat’s painting process results in the tactile and visceral record of a struggle to hold two realities at once; to create a language for aspects of uncertainty and precariousness without crumbling beneath the weight of the understanding.
Maya Kabat was born in Portland OR . She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA and received an MFA from the University of California Davis CA. Her work has been exhibited at Los Medanos College Gallery Front Gallery in Oakland and the Seattle Art Museum Rental Gallery and her work is represented in numerous private collections.
Much of the work of Antonio Vigil takes place between two societies and cultures namely Mexican and American. Between these spaces notions are challenged negotiated and combined. Identities both personal and cultural begin to evolve. Ideas of history memory and migration are explored on both personal and cultural levels. Landscapes with shared political economic and cultural histories illustrate both the cohesion and disjuncture created by migration and cultural exchange. Vigil’s work for Invisible Cities painted with a sensuous and meticulous touch collage several locations into one continuous environment and in these reconfigured cities lie the terms for identity formation and transformation.
Antonio Vigil received a BFA from the University of New Mexico and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland CA. He has exhibited his work at the Bronx Museum of the Arts the Patricia Correia Gallery in Santa Monica ProArts Gallery in Oakland and has work in public and private collections.