Gregg Renfrow (1948 – ) American

Gregg Renfrow (1948 - ) American  Mixed Media Measures 60.50" x 156" (153.67cm x 396.24cm) Signed Initials / Created: 1980 Farhat Art Museum Collection.

Gregg Renfrow (1948 – ) American
Mixed Media
Measures 60.50″ x 156″
(153.67cm x 396.24cm)
Signed Initials / Created: 1980
Farhat Art Museum Collection.

 

Dream With Your Eyes Open, Gregg Renfrow
A church without pews.

Written by RICHARD SPEER
http://www.richardspeer.com/

You could build a new religion around Gregg Renfrow’s artwork. His abstract compositions—polymer and pigment poured onto cast-acrylic panels—are so luminous and elemental, they inspire a reverence normally reserved for deities. Each piece features a central motif roughly the shape of a rectangle, surrounded by shapes that echo its contours. They evoke the monolithic forms of millennia past: the standing stones of Britain, the heads of Easter Island, the totem, the obelisk, the altar, the phallus. These archetypes seize the eye and imagination and command both to pay obeisance. There’s something mystical or psychedelic about the echoing shapes as well; they radiate like tracers, expanding in a way that suggests vibration or movement.

Renfrow is also a virtuoso of color. In Emanations, the central form grades through a brilliant continuum of sunflower, butter and lemon yellows before giving way to a twilight of cerulean, cobalt, ultramarine and aquamarine. In the piece that gives the show its title, Dream With Your Eyes Open, inky blacks yield to grays and vivid purples. Not all the pieces are so saturated, however. In Speaking and Memory of Water, the central shapes are the same color as the backgrounds, their forms suggested only by outlines on the panels or, in some cases, a second panel placed behind it. It’s as if the forms are in the process of evaporating or leaving their bodies.

This suggestion of dematerialization links Renfrow not only with fellow exponents of the California Light and Space movement, such as James Turrell and Robert Irwin, but also to abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. Rothko’s mature style involved floating rectangular shapes that seemed to dissolve in a misty haze, much as Renfrow’s forms do. It’s notable that the Rothko Chapel in Houston uses paintings as a vehicle to dissolve the boundaries between light, color, form and spirit. Looking at Renfrow’s panels, it’s impossible not to imagine what they would look like lining a cathedral, like stained glass. But until that commission, we’re thrilled to see the artist’s work wherever we can find it. These magnificent works, in their way, turn any room into a temple.
http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-22670-dream_with_your_eyes_open_gregg_renfrow.html

B O R N 1948, San Francisco, California
E D U C A T I O N BFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, 1972
Skowhegan School, Skowhegan, Maine, 1972

O N E P E R S O N E X H I B I T I O N S
2013 Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2013 Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, California
2012 Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California
2012 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2011 Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2010 Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2009 May Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, California
2009 March Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2009 January Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2008 Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2008 Lemmons Contemporary Gallery, New York, New York
2008 Costello-Childs Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
2008 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2007 Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2006 Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, California
2006 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2005 Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2004 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1999 Robert Allen Fine Art, San Francisco, California
1993 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1989 Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1987 Acme Art, San Francisco, California
1985 Acme Art, San Francisco, California
1983 Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco, California
1982 Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1981 Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco, California
1980 Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1978 Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco, California
Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1977 Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco, California
1975 William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, California

S E L E C T E D G R O U P E X H I B I T I O N S
2013 Twentieth Anniversary, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2012 Transcending Abstraction, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2011 Shape of the Problem, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2011 California Contemporary, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
2011 Red, Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, California
2011 Winter, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2011 Light and Space, Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, California
2009 Gallery Group, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2008 Liquid Light, dba256 Gallery, Pomona, California, November 2007 & Museum of Design, Art, nd Architecture, Culver City, California, August 2008
2007 West Coast Abstraction, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2007 Strata, Lemmons Contemporary Gallery, New York, New York
2006 Grey Scale, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
2006 Order on Motion, Lemmons Contemporary Gallery, New York, New York
2005 Big, 511 Harrison, San Francisco, California
2004 Gallery Group, Toomey-Tourell Gallery, San Francisco, California
2003 Components, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2002 Gallery Group, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, California
2002 Field, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2001 Investigating the Abstract, Robert Allen Fine Art, San Francisco, Ca

2000 Abstraction: Form to Field, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1997 Process Art: West Coast, 70s, 80s, 90s, California State University, Bakersfield, Ca
1996 5th Anniversary Gallery Group, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1992 Illuminations, Regional Center for the Arts, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, California
1991 Three Bay Area Artists, The Works Gallery, Long Beach, California
1990 Three California Artists, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1985 Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Constructures: New Perimetrics in Abstract Painting, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, New York
1981 Six California Artists, Cirkelstraat, Oostende, Belgium
1977 California Painting and Sculpture: The Modern Era, The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
35th Biennial Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Current Concerns, University of Iowa Art Museum, lowa City, lowa
1976 California Painting and Sculpture: The Modern Era, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
1975 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
Exchange, Dallas-Fort Worth / San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California and Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Contemporary California Artists, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City,
Interstices, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Flint Center for the Arts, Michigan, and San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California

S E L E C T E D B I B L I O G R A P H Y

2009 Baker, Kenneth, “Renfrow’s Work Enhanced by Spiritual Quality,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 16
2009 Campognone, Andi, “Ruth Pastine and Gregg Renfrow,” LA Art, The Magazine
2007 Polsky, Richard, “Abstract Logic,” New York Absolute No.10, February/March, pp. 64-66
2006 Baker, Kenneth, “Artists Bring Color and Light Back Into Focus,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 28
2005 Frank, Peter, “James Turrell, Gregg Renfrow,” L. A. Weekly, February 4-10
2001 Baker, Kenneth, “Abstractionists at Allen,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 4
2000 Rodriguez, Juan, “Gregg Renfrow at Robert Allen Fine Art,” Artweek,
1996 Webster, Mary HuII, “Anne Appleby, Gregg Renfrow, and John Zurier,” Artweek, April
1992 Brzezinski, Jamey, “Three Forms of Light,” Artweek
1985 Catalogue: Constructures: New Perimetrics In Abstract Painting, Nora Haime Gallery, New York, New York, Curated by Peter Frank Albright, Thomas, “Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980,” University of California Press,pp. 222-223
1983 Boettger, Suzanne, Review “Gregg Renfrow, Grapestake Gallery,” Artforum, September, pp. 79-80
Kahlil, Suzi, Review, The Huston Post, July 17
1981 Frank, Peter, “Hunting The Emergent American: On The Trail of the Exxon National,” National Arts Guide, January-February, p. 24
1980 Ballatore, Sandy, “Nothing Is Better Than The First Attempt: McCafferty and Renfrow,” Images andIssues Magazine, Summer, pp. 10-11
1979 Fischer, Hal, Review “San Francisco, Gregg Renfrow, Grapestake Gallery,” Artforum, May, pp. 69-70
1979 Bethany, Marilyn, “The Power Of Color,” The New York Times Magazine, September 30, p. 21
1977 Catalogue: Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Catalogue: The 35th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Catalogue: Current Concerns, The University of lowa Museum of Art
1977 Forgey, Benjamin, Review “The Corcoran Biennial–Paintings from Off-Center,” The Washington Star, February 27
Frankenstein, AIfred, Review ”Art Works That Burst Into Fire,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 1
Ratcliff, Carter, “Report From San Francisco,” Art in America, May–June, pp.
1975 Albright, Thomas, Review, Artnews, November
Frankenstein, AIfred, Review “Bringing the Whitney Home,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 26
McDonald, Robert H., Review “Works of Strength and Restraint, of Textures and Depth,” September Catalogue: 1975 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
1974 P lagens, Peter, “Introductions ‘74,” Artforum, October, pp. 75-76

S E L E C T E D C O L L E C T I O N S
The Buck Collection, Southern California
Maria Sharapova, Newport, California
The Weisman Collection, Los Angeles, California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Bradford Walker, New York, New York
Mrs. Dale Crichton, Burlingame, California
Mr. & Mrs. Jay Kaplan, Tiburon, California
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, New York
Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida
Roland Bacci, San Rafael, California
Faberge, lnc., Los Angeles, California
Home lnsurance Company, New York, New York
Prudential Insurance Company, Los Angeles, California
Western Electric Corporation, Chicago, Illinois
Susan Abrams, New York, New York
Hughes Aircraft Corporation, Marina Del Mar, California
Crosby, Heafey, Roach, & May, Oakland, California
Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Palo Alto, California
HBO, San Francisco, California
San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California
Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Apple Computer, San Jose, California
Rational Software, Milpitas, California
Alza Corporation, Mountain View, California
SAP, San Francisco, California
Biospace, San Francisco, California

A W A R D S & A P P O I N T M E N T S
1982 American Council for the Arts Fine Arts Award
1977 Visiting Artist, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
1972 Skowhegan Scholarship & Purchase Award

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