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The Restoration, 2006
La Cena Pasada, 2002
La Cena Pasada (detail), 2002
Forty First, 2002
Brian Gross Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition by Bay Area multi-media artist Lewis deSoto. The opening reception will be held on September 7 from 5:30-7:30 pm. In deSoto's first show at Brian Gross Fine Art, Selected Works will include conceptually-based sculptures, prints and photography.
Lewis deSoto is known for the seeming ease with which he integrates the history of the past with the modern world of today, infusing his work with a wide array of influences from anthropology, art history, sociology, and religion. In the work he presents here, he re-contextualizes art historical references with personal memories of growing up in Southern California, the car culture and Catholicism. In The Restoration, for example, the artist melds genres, staging a contemporary scene based on the paintings of Johannes Vermeer with a factory stock 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix and presents the piece as a photographic light box.
La Cena Pasada (The Last Supper), a sculpture consisting of 13 1/24-scale customized cars, is based on Da Vinci's fresco with each car symbolizing a figure in the original tableau. The work is a precursor to full-scale automobile projects, such as The Restoration, and the two sculptures Conquest and Cahuilla, which are currently on view in No Reservations, a group exhibition at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut, exploring the influence of Native American history and culture in contemporary art.
The unique print Drive Trace 1 is the first in a series which traces trance-like drives the artist performed in the 1970's. In other works, ideas of tracing, mapping, spatial and interpersonal relationships are explored in digitally produced prints of pigment on paper in subtle tones. In the Memorium series, deSoto investigates memory and the memory of space. Each piece is a reconstruction of a house or space where the artist has lived and is based on perceptions and impressions from experience rather than measurement. The artist states, "Within these images is a desire to remember and simultaneously forget what has happened there."
Lewis deSoto is also a major installation artist. Large-scale commissions have included: San Francisco International Airport (1998); City of San Jose, Animal Care Center (2004); the upcoming Lake Merritt Estuary project, Oakland, California (with John Roloff); and City of San Francisco, Laguna Honda Hospital History Project (2007).
The artist currently lives in Napa, California and is a professor of photography at San Francisco State University. Born in San Bernardino, California in 1954, he later received his B.A. in 1978 at the University of California in Riverside, and his M.F.A. at the Claremont Graduate School in 1981. He has exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico, and his work is in numerous public and private collections including Bank of America, San Francisco, Des Moines Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Microsoft Corporation, Bellevue, Washington, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Neuberger Berman, New York, San Jose Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum.