LIBBY BLACK A Light That Never Goes Out
SERENA COLE Let Me Look At You
May 13 - June 30, 2016

Gallery 16 is proud to announce our first solo exhibition with Bay Area artist Libby Black. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in San Francisco since 2012. In this body of work the artist presents her incredible paper sculptures which invite viewers to decode a catalogue of influences both past and present. A Light That Never Goes Out will feature her signature paper, hot glue, and acrylic still life sculptures as well as a series of paintings and drawings.

Black’s constructs are a blend of fantasy and reality. She reshapes objects from her life into a series of still lifes that, in effect, become self-portraits of the artist. They share the humility and humor of Black’s past works while providing thought provoking commentary on larger societal issues. These works are simultaneously biting, funny, and deeply introspective.

I am interested in having the work chart a path through personal history into a broader cultural context to explore themes of identity, impermanence and the glitzy emptiness of desire and greed. Making this work is a way to take pleasure in re-creating objects while also coding my identities (as a daughter, a lesbian, an artist, a mother, a dreamer, a fan, a lover) into the compositions.  – Libby Black, 2016 

Libby Black’s recent museum exhibitions include New Image Sculpture, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Workout Room, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and New Art for a New Century: Contemporary Acquisitions 2000-2010, Orange County Museum of Art, CA. Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA at the Oakland Museum of California; Bay Area Now 4, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The 2004 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art; The Superfly Effect, Jersey City Museum, NJ; Art on Paper 2008, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; and Smoke and Mirrors: Deception in Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Gallery, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Gallery 16 is proud to announce our first solo exhibition with Bay Area artist Serena Cole

Cole has become well known for her work as a portraitist. As a painter, she utilizes the traditions of draftsmanship and portraiture to emphasize the idea of individual experience and alienation. She is interested in what the tropes of modern identity reveal about our collective psychology, the culture of consumption, escapism, and the complexity of fantasy. Her skills as a portraitist put her in the vanguard of artists working in the medium today. She combines watercolor, gouache and gold leaf to render opulent and disquieting portraits.

I’m fascinated by the idea that we all want to be someone else, but the person we want to be also wants to be someone else.  – Serena Cole

Cole's work has been included in exhibitions at Phillips de Pury, New York, NY,  Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco,  and Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA and private collections around the country.