Two years in the making, Jessie Homer French’s much anticipated solo exhibition at VSF Los Angeles, which includes paintings of untamed wild fires, recently visited cemeteries, and French’s most current obsession with the Chernobyl “exclusion zone”, suddenly feel like prescient visions of our contemporary world. For most of us, sheltered at home and glued to the news, the reports last week of the newly ignited wildfires at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant seems like yet another surreal layer to the Covid-19 pandemic that has overtaken our lives.
Although VSF’s Los Angeles gallery is currently closed to the public, we made the decision to install the exhibition, Chernobyl, which the artist had prophetically titled six months ago, and begin an initial release of the exhibition through the online viewing room as well as a series of virtual walkthroughs and recorded conversations between the gallerists and artist.
We felt strongly that French’s practice resonates now more than ever, and that art – in one way shape or form – must be seen. And since the real life experience of Jessie’s paintings could never be replicated by reproductions alone, VSF has committed to opening French’s exhibition to the public in the last two weeks of June through our website’s appointment booking program.
For over fifty years, self-taught artist Jessie Homer French (b. 1940, lives and works in Palm Desert, CA) has been painting sardonic yet transcendent scenes of nature’s ongoing encounter with humankind. From her High Desert studio in California, French’s practice is also a process of coping with personal loss, grasping the effects of climate change on the landscape, as well as reflecting on the untamable beauty of the outdoors through an elegiac rumination on the human condition.