OPENING RECEPTION 1ST THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, FROM 5 – 8PM
For her sixth solo exhibition with Sullivan Goss, area artist ANGELA PERKO draws inspiration from the garden, exploring the places where nature and art meet. She has produced four monumental garden pictures and a suite of floral and fruit still life.
Why gardens? The artist cites the composition, the theatricality, the 'art' of successful garden design. Gardeners use nature to make art about nature. Perko uses art to capture nature that is delightfully artistic. In one series, she playfully reinterprets earlier still-life painters; in another, flowers are painted unnaturally large. Everywhere, there are echoes of earlier artists: Rousseau, Picasso, Kahlo. One senses that for her, the history of art is an open and vital story, one that she feels free to rearrange and reinterpret. She blends one idea together with another, interleaves the arrangement with Santa Barbara’s visual culture, and binds it all together in rhythmic compositions of vivid and subtle colors, flat planes and modeled shapes. The results are captivating.
Angela and her husband Jerry Jacobs own Lost Horizon Bookstore in Santa Barbara. Both enjoy reading and book collecting. In the case of the artist, this habit clearly informs her art work. Her paintings actively engage with the history of artistic and literary ideas. Still, spare time is spent in the garden and family vacations are as often garden themed as they are filled with museum visits.
"The earth laughs in flowers," according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this newest exhibition, Perko has taken that to heart. The planting beds pulse; the cacti quiver; the flowers froth..
2:55 | Jeremy Tessmer
I had never heard of Angela Perko until recently when I saw Wrapped Lemons apres W.J. McCloskey (above); I had heard of William McCloskey, but couldn't remember how although I did remember why. The elusive artist painted strangely captivating wrapped fruits, a genre he may well have invented.
The artist Angela Perko, also turns out to admire the Canadian artists known collectively as the Group of Seven, artists I've mentioned recently. Perko cites the group, especially its lone female member Emily Carr, as influencing her use of color. She arranges colors fearlessly, as comfortable with dissonance as she is with delicacy. Like the Seven, Perko explored painting through landscape; like McCloskey she was born elsewhere but eventually moved to California.
An oversized magnolia blossoms. A deep green forest vista featuring a solitary dress on a clothes hanger beckons. A white heron perches in a boxed foreground against a striking Japanese garden scene. These inviting and mysterious depictions of garden landscapes by Angela Perko, an area artist and co-owner of Santa Barbara’s Lost Horizon Bookstore, invoke a deeply mysterious sense of sensuality and narrative without simple answers.