Beth Gilfilen: Two Moons, Aferro Gallery, Newark, NJ

Beth Gilfilen, Underphobic, 2009
Oil on canvas
78 x 64 inches

November 12 – December 17, 2011

These visceral paintings embrace the magnetic tie between maker and object. Beth Gilfilen is interested in how the frequent, rhythmic approach to painting creates a physical and psychological bond with the object. For Beth, painting is a collision of two entities, which are engaged in an alternating power struggle. The title of this exhibit, Two Moons, refers to recent evidence that the earth once had two orbiting masses that became unstable and merged into one. Like the gravitational pull of two bodies in an awkward negotiation, this series of large-scale works capture a compression of time and energy. Through an aggressive search and discovery, multiple approaches to the painting cast a truce between temporal structure and corporeal desire.

Beth Gilfilen earned a BFA from the University of Cincinnati, and a MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has exhibited her works on paper and paintings widely. Her work has been discussed in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Newark Star-Ledger, and published in New American Paintings. She has participated in the Artist-in-the-Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Emerge 9 at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art. Beth was a 2010 Gallery Aferro resident and she recently completed a yearlong residency at the The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Space Program.

According to Gilfilen: “The blank canvas is an urgent lure. I begin with an improvisational, fluid line, instigating a conversation between the material and a seismic mapping of thought. Each approach to the painting is loosely connected through a visual echo that ties together layers of time. A unique, temporal structure emerges. I am interested in the spatial complexity that comes from intense engagement.

Deviation and distraction are as important as order; and an invented, corporeal form can dominate. It is more than an extension of myself, or an appendage. It is it’s own entity, a force that is put into motion with visceral paint. The painting tethers me to physical concerns as the unfolding of the work propels me deep into the space of the mind. Ultimately, I seek that moment when the form, previously unknown, speaks, and I recognize in that shape something that is tangible, yet un-nameable.”