For four years, American artist Gail Roberts, based in San Diego, photographed and then painted the flowers in her Californian garden. The result: an installation called Color Field comprising 128 canvases of identical size, organized in spectrum with reference to the gradients found in nature. This installation is on display in the superb space of the Quint Gallery , in La Jolla, the artsy district of San Diego, until November 6, 2021.
Beyond the aesthetics of the installation, the work illustrates the importance of protecting nature's biodiversity in a context of climate crisis. In these paintings, each flower, large or small, popular or not, drought tolerant or water-hungry, native or foreign, invasive or fragile, edible or poisonous, is given an equal role in a “democratic” approach to part of the artist who gave the same importance to all these flowers.
Quint Gallery is pleased to present an installation of new paintings by San Diego-based artist Gail Roberts. Created over the past four years, Color Field includes 128 equally scaled paintings of flowers, weeds, and native plants in Roberts’ garden surrounding her studio. Color Field refers to gradients found in nature which Roberts has ordered and classified by hue for the installation. The exhibition will open to the public on September 8 and will continue through November 6, 2021. There will be a reception on September 11 from 6-8 p.m. and an artist talk on October 9 at 11 a.m.
Gail Roberts, Professor of Art at San Diego State University, has been awarded the 2010 San Diego Art Prize, a California Arts Council Fellowship, and residency fellowships in France, Costa Rica and Ireland. She has completed public art commissions at the Chicago Public Library, Lux Art Institute, and the San Diego International Airport.
Art Review In Art Ltd, 2012
at the Carnegie Art Museum
Article taken from magazine, Art Ltd – March/April 2012 edition
Gail Roberts is a representational painter of great skill and subtlety who employs her considerably facility with the brush to probe the limits and boundaries of painting’s traditional genres. In this show of mostly quite large still lifes (from 40 by 40 inches to as big as 68 by 72 inches), Roberts uses two seemingly un- related objects—birds’ nests and books—to convey a playful, slightly dark sense of wonder at the interpenetration of nature and culture in the urban parts of southern California. Roberts has been collecting and painting nests since at least 2004, but the introduction of the books, which she often groups by theme or title, injects a semiotic element that pulls the work further in the direction of Surrealism. The words these books carry complicate her images in interesting ways and engage the viewer in the process of constructing the works’ meaning. The marvelous and suggestive One Flew Over shows a stack of three books—”One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”—supporting a particularly expressive and joyous example of a freeform nest. As in many of the images in the series, the whole stack of things floats somehow on a beautifully rendered reflective liquid surface.
The Carnegie Art Museum has done an excellent job installing the show, and the second floor gallery, where the larger pictures are hanging, makes an especially strong statement. These giant canvases with their supersized, exuberant nests appear nearly three dimensional, and the intricate weave of their materials lends a certain frisson to the recognition of such familiar sources as tattered newsprint, bits of shopping bag, and dryer lint. In addition to demonstrating a ravishing command of scale and detail, Roberts comes across as an enigmatic and independent thinker whose work challenges assumptions even as it pleases the senses. With “Entanglement,” Gail Roberts has built a new kind of nest in the Carnegie, woven with patience and tenderness, but built out of surprising, even jarring fragments of disparate worlds.
Award Recipients for 2010
Gail Roberts with emerging artist David Adey Current artworks by Gail Roberts are trail-markers for our times.... In the series Accumulations, Roberts has documented her own collection of patterns or trailmarkers, a word originating in Europe.... The paintings continue to be a vehicle for inquiry and commentary regarding her reflections on nature, culture and our temporal existence.
from: San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles - April 2011, p.104
Responding viscerally to her surroundings, painter Gail Roberts creates works of art that depict the world in detailed, unsentimental beauty. Often working in series — highlighting everything from landscapes to people in mid cell-phone conversation — her art has been exhibited around the country and internationally and is part of the permanent collection of, among others, the San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Oakland Museum of California....