Jean Marchese Gallagher holds a Doctor of Arts in Studio Art from New York University as well as a MFA and BFA in painting from the University of South Carolina. Gallagher has shown her work in the Northeastern US at NY’s P.S.1/MOMA, the Alternative Museum, Henry Street Settlement and Rochester’s Pyramid Art Center and as well as the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts, Newport Art Museum, Boston General Hospital and the University of Massachusetts. Exhibitions in the Southeast include the Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Columbia Museum of Art, Spirit Square Center for the Arts, Clemson and the University of Tennessee as well as other institutions. In the West, her work has been viewed at California’s Museo ItaloAmericano, Huntington Museum of Art, Redding Museum of Art, Works/San Jose, HIGHWAYS, Hawaii’s Gallery Iolani in Oahu as well as numerous other university, alternative spaces and galleries throughout the West. Her work is part of the permanent public art collections of UC Medical Center in Davis, the Georgia Regents University Medical Center, the University of Tennessee, Lauren Museum of Art, Southwest Texas State University Art Collection and more. Internationally, she has shown her work in Germany at the Kleine Gallery in Chemnitz. She has been a recipient of numerous grants inclusive of the National Endowment of the Arts Interdisciplinary Artist’s Grant, Hawaii’s State Foundation of Culture and Arts Grant, North Carolina Arts Council and South Carolina Arts Commission artist grants as well as funding from PS.1 and Artists’ Space in NY. Her work has been reviewed in over thirty publications including Atlanta Art Papers, ARTWORK, and Camerawork and featured in Frank Popper’s 1997 book: Art of the Electronic Age (Thames and Hudson) and Arba Sicula, Journal of Sicilian Folklore and Literature and is contained in a variety of catalogs inclusive of the Georgia Museum of Art and the NY Kress Foundation’s: The Kress Project and the South Carolina State Art Collection, SC Arts Commission.
My recent paintings vacillate between abstraction and realism, as each seemingly functions differently as a pictorial language; yet emotionally for me, are the same. I mix symbolic figurative portrait, atmospheric perspective and surface to respond to an experience in a way that is specific and nonspecific at the same time. Figurative elements merge or align themselves to that which is psychologically unexplainable, but hopefully felt by the viewer at a deeper level.
These acrylic on canvas diptychs about extreme weather in northern California, balance the figure on one panel and abstraction on the other. They either resonate together as one image, or play off of each other emotionally and at times, as a form of narration. The split image lends itself slightly to sculpture…as one picture plane is juxtaposed to another, seemingly denying the entire narrative.