Jacob Magraw-Mickelson & Rachell Sumpter "Home Again Home Again" @ Park Life, SFJuxtapoz // Wednesday, 28 May 2014
We have long been huge fans of the works of Jacob Macgraw and Rachell Sumpter, and are very excited that they have both brought their works to San Francisco in "Home Again Home Again," a collaborative show at Park Life in the Inner Richmond.
Jacob Magraw will be showing embroidery pieces on cloth along with painted, gouache works on paper. His paintings are vibrant slices of memory, the subject of which are left up to the viewer. Figures rarely appear, but their presence is everywhere. Tools, monuments, and shelters litter the paper. Each piece is drawn first in pencil to work out form and perspective then colored in. The paintings are small and detailed. In keeping each piece small (approx. 12” x 10”) he’s able to cover more ground but retain a level of detail that is central to the feeling of a personal history. The individual sizes are less important than the volume of total work. He sees the entirety of his work as a catalog, a collection of impressions gathered from a deep well of emotional history.
The embroidered pieces are stations for thought and interpretation. The basic shapes and divisions are easily lived with. The hope is that each piece can reflect long enough for personal interpretation to transfer and be contained with the shapes and patterns.
Rachell Sumpter paints scenes of colored splendor dropped into scenes of desolate wilderness. Using layered gouache and pastel, she paints scenes that are of community and of isolation. There are melting mountain tops, ghosts and graves; vast monuments and tiny moments that speak to the legacies a generation leaves and the promises it makes. Sumpter borrows imagery from religious and political traditions, from dream, from our threatened natural world. Yet amid these artifacts, memories and future relics there is a human closeness and physical intimacy. This spirit lends optimism to what might otherwise seem like an elegy. In this bleak and changing landscape there are celebrations as well as lamentations. Using a deceptively simple strokes she creates an iconography for the longed-for and the feared; a mythology of mystery, pleasure, and the foreshadowing of loss.
Rachell Sumpter and Jacob Magraw split time living in Sacramento and a tiny island at the top of Puget Sound with their children. Both received their BFAs from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Home Again Home Again marks their first show at Park Life Gallery.