Monique Prieto was born in 1962 in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works. Her last exhibition in New York was at the Pat Hearn Gallery in 1998. Prieto is widely regarded as one of the most influential younger painters working today – her abstract paintings are admired for their ambiguous interpretations, humor, generous spirit and overall integrity.
Shifting away from previous, more crowded "scenes", Prieto presents "situations" of two or three hand-painted "figures" on a field of canvas. These figures of metaphoric color meet each other with the myriad levels of intensity that we are familiar with through everyday relationships. The paintings, ranging from the intimately scaled to the nearly monumental, demonstrate Prieto's belief in the ability of paint to represent itself, as well as our hopes and fears.
Prieto received a BFA from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1987 and completed an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1994. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1994. Prieto will exhibit four recent paintings in an international exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg titled "Painting Pictures: Painting and Media in the Digital Age", opening in the spring of 2003. Her work is included in the following public collections: Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art; Newport Beach, California; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Also on view in the front gallery will be a new large marble sculpture by Saint Clair Cemin entitled WIND. Like Monique Prieto, Cemin has an affection for modernism that is often referenced in his work. Born in 1951, Cemin grew up in Cruz Alta, the heart of Brazil's cowboy country. In 1974 he moved to Paris where he studied for four years at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He relocated to New York in 1978. After seeing a Joseph Beuys retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 1979, he started making sculpture. His diverse background is reflected in his work that combines sophistication with naiveté, refinement with rawness, classicism with playfulness, and sensuousness with rigor.
Our current exhibition, CHAMBRE CLOSE, 1991, a series of photographs by Bettina Rheims and QUARTERED METEOR, 1969, a sculptures by Lynda Benglis remains on view through Saturday, November 16.