“In the high desert, where I was raised by Amazons, the days were long and the nights were longer, alas, Cinderella had left twenty years before my arrival. I was borne to a red headed body builder: whose sister was a blond disk jockey, a spinner of fast and loud music. My mother’s mother could not change a tire, but often struck out on her own driven by a dark longing to visit the children from her first marriage. This tribe of women thought it was important to drive a car, ride an unbridled horse, swim in the wild sea, carry a heavy load, earn your own money, make a fine bowl of porridge and know where the fuse box is. This is a true story.”
– Judith Linhares, 2018
Judith Linhares (b. 1940, Los Angeles) grew up cavorting among the beach towns and mountainsides of Southern California and studied art in Oakland, California during the political and social revolution of the 1960s. Her paintings, comprised of loose-limbed, unabashed women who climb, dig, ride naked on horseback and delight in drunken revelry, transpired out of an era of liberating changes catapulted by feminism, conceptual art and performance as practiced by Terry Fox and Linda Montano and the transgressive sentiments shared by underground cartoonists, Robert Crumb and S. Clay Wilson in the 1970s. Fueled by the permissive, psychedelic atmosphere of the decade, Linhares began to investigate the relationship between the conscious and unconscious and would continue to record her own dreams in journals for the next 50 years. For Linhares, the elemental narratives of dreams, myths and fairy tales continue to provide inspiration for kaleidoscopic compositions that teeter between fantasy and reality. Her dream journals were recently acquired by the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
Judith Linhares has been based in New York since 1979, following her inclusion in the seminal Bad Painting exhibition, curated by Marcia Tucker at the New Museum, alongside fellow painters Charles Garabedian, Joan Brown and Ed Carrillo. Linhares’ works have been acquired by numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum, New York, NY; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; The New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; and The Berkeley Museum of Art, Berkeley, CA. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple grants from the National Endowments for the Arts, Linhares most recently won the prestigious 2017 Artist Award from the Artists’ Legacy Foundation.
The artist’s first exhibition at Various Small Fires, The Way She Goes to Town is a selection of Linhares’ most recent works, largely produced over the course of the past decade. The exhibition runs concurrently to Out of My Head, an historical survey of Linhares’ works at Anglim Gilbert Gallery. Linhares is represented by Various Small Fires in Los Angeles and Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco.