JENNIFER BAIN

Jennifer Bain was born in New York City into an artistic family. Attending The Rudolph Steiner School as a child was an instrumental influence. The School’s teaching methods are based on the Austrian Philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s (1861-1925) esoteric spiritual movement called anthroposophy. Embracing education through the arts along with a strong sense of spiritualism, seeded and embodied her artistic leanings.

In pursuit of a creative, yet practical career, she earned an A.A. degree in Fashion Design and worked successfully in that field until a devastating illness struck (Legionnaires’ disease) in which she nearly lost her life. After a period of recovery, she returned to art school receiving a B.F.A. from The California College of the Arts in 1981 and a M.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.

The artist has been represented in prestigious contemporary galleries throughout the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Memphis, Sun Valley Idaho, Denver, San Francisco, and Scottsdale. Her work is in private and corporate collections nationally and globally, including Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia, as well as many important places of healing such as The Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, UCLA, San Francisco General, and Stanford University Hospitals. She was honored to represent American Art in the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program on two occasions in 2005 and 2009 in Cameroon and Myanmar respectfully.

Jennifer has dedicated her practice to paint in series, usually spanning five to ten years, employing different styles of painting based on the content of the work, which has spanned the narrative to the abstract.

After living in the San Francisco Bay area for many years she relocated to Santa Fe New Mexico in 2016 after the death of her husband.

Jennifer Bain

STATEMENT

The landscape of New Mexico influences my painterly space and forms. This is an ancient place that shows marks of the past, demonstrated by weathered surfaces everywhere. The land itself is full of mysterious formations, a vast place that holds small traces of human interaction.

The paintings aim to reveal the layers I perceive in the earth, rocks and landscapes around me. The distant mountain ranges read as flat shapes with hard and soft edges. They present unfathomable illusions of depth and lack of depth: a constant shifting of space due to the altitude and changing light. Shifting light sources from clouds and thin air create implausible colors and odd, almost indiscernible focal points.

I build layers in paint mimicking the way the earth builds up layers of sediments. They are then sanded away to reveal the marks, laid down previously, underneath. Buried forms, and deep scruffy lines compete for dominance on the surface, while multiple layers of underpainting and sgraffito create the platform for my translation of experience. The act of erasing creates a window into the layers below, the way wind and water erode land, revealing layers of history.

In my working process I uncover and discover obscured shapes that I bring to the surface. The sculptures evolved out of these shapes, describing an animated figure where the flat plane is manifested into three dimensions. This has created a compelling relationship between the paintings and sculptures. The additive method used to make the sculptural forms differs from the subtractive excavation methods used in creating the paintings. This contrast illuminates the process of being present while simultaneously gazing into the past.

I incorporate various detritus, found on my walks, like plastic, wire and rusted metals into many of the sculptures. This inclusion brings the landscape into the three dimensional work in a unique way.