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AMADEA BAILEY


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Amadea Bailey is an American artist born in Germany in 1957, and her early life was full of travel and adventure. During her childhood, her family lived in Switzerland, Colorado and Kenya, East Africa. Though the experience of all of these places has touched her, it is Africa which has remained in her spirit and shaped her senses. The wondrous expanses of space, intricate texture, and saturated light which she encountered there continue to fundamentally inform her entire artistic enterprise. Her move to Los Angeles six years ago bespeaks a deep yearning for renewed proximity to the elements, the ocean horizon, and the stretching desert.

Educated at Yale University and the New York Studio School (most noted for its association with Hans Hoffman), her earliest academic exposure to fine art was grounded in analytical discipline and planar analysis, securely rooted in figurative study. Her mature work attempts, among other things, to fluidly meld the epic sense of drama instilled in her in Africa, with the precision, physicality and compositional structure of her training.

Amadea is somehow both an abstract expressionist and an impressionist. Finding her voice ultimately in the world of light, color and texture, she nevertheless is concerned more with the physical act of painting than with representation. She is expressionistic in that she paints things remembered - psychologies of time and place; yet she is impressionistic because those images are often inspired by direct immersion in the natural world. She captures spontaneous moments, painting the scenes of her interior landscape with the immediacy of chasing a setting sun.


Amadea aims to create a complete environment in each image. She often uses oil washes, an odd hybrid technique which uses oil-based paints like watercolor. Liquid/solid creates the broken texture and allows each minutely thin layer to retain its integrity when meeting others. She includes passages of mistakes and retakes - literal crossroads documented within the final image betray its previous incarnations. The viewer moves in and out of space, punctuated and defined by color washes, calligraphic marks, and psychological symbols which sometimes find their way into the otherwise completely abstract compositions.

One powerful example of this process is the way in which she has incorporated images of the Brooklyn Bridge into a number of her paintings. Amadea lived in New York City for eleven years; her studio was on the seventh floor of a converted warehouse with a magnificent view of the East River and Manhattan skyline. She spent hours by her window there, watching the light change with each passing hour, the colors playing, city lights shimmering in the distance. The red rust skeleton of the bridge dissecting the big blue sky over the New York harbor becomes internalized, and reemerges as a rugged red cross burned into Amadea's expansive abstract arena. In this way, words or markings appear at intervals where direct communication with the viewer is warranted. The effect is, curiously enough, to deepen rather than clarify the mysteries of the canvas.

Painting for her is a intensely physical process. She does not begin a painting with an agenda, but finds direction through the act itself. Each painting is a unique process that unravels and reveals itself as she goes along. Since she works large, her paintings become full-scale expanding spaces themselves, big enough to dance across, or at least big enough to get lost in. The grandness of Amadea's muse, Nature, is not diminished. She is an extremely athletic person, choosing sports like wind-surfing, dance, running and yoga as aggressive interaction with nature.

The work reads like poetry of the physical world, with painting acting, literally and metaphorically, as a bridge between the mind and body. Painting is transformative, externalizing interior life, conflating memory and invocation until it no longer matters which is which or which was first.

EDUCATION

New York Studio School 1980-1982 Drawing and Painting
Yale University 1976-1979 BA Fine Arts/Art History

EXHIBITS

The Art Loft Fine Arts 1997-1998 Honolulu, Hawaii
MWP Editorial Fall, 1997 Los Angeles, California
(Curated by Sadler Fine Arts
Mad River Post Fall, 1997 Santa Monica, California
(Curated by Sadler Fine Arts)
Fresh Paint Fall, 1997 Los Angeles, California
LA County Museum of Art
(Sales & Rental Gallery) April, 1997 Los Angeles, California
Gallery Hawaii 9/96-11/97 Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Pacific Ocean Digital 1994-1995 Venice, California
William Turner Gallery June, 1992 Los Angeles, California
International London Art Fair 1991 London
Scott Hansen Gallery February, 1991 Los Angeles, California
New York Studio School
Alumni Show May, 1990 New York
Avalon, Solo Exhibition January, 1989 New York
Jill Vickers Gallery January, 1989 Aspen, Colorado
Gruenbaum Gallery
Group Show June, 1988 NewYork

AWARDS


Juried Show
First Place/Painting June, 1994 Londonderry, NH
Palenville Interarts Colony
Artist-in-Residence July, 1989 Palenville, NY

COLLECTIONS


The Finish Line Productions, Santa Monica, California
Phyllis Coleman, Attny., Los Angeles
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Strauss, Los Angeles
Mimi Webb Miller, Mexico and United States
Ms. Robin Karfo, San Francisco
Mr. Joseph Clarke, New York
Ms. Annette Holloway, New York
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Jeffers, San Antonio, Texas
Mrs. Marjean Bailey, New Hampshire
Cathy Carlton Casting, Los Angeles
Mr. John Kidde, New Jersey
Mrs. Nancy Sokoloff, Maine

COMMISSIONS

HBO Movie November, 1997 Los Angeles
Elizabeth Weiner Gallery December, 1995 Los Angeles

 




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