Whitney Bedford is a Los Angeles based artist who currently is in the middle of a storm. She has recently been creating fairly large paintings of stormy waters and shipwrecks, full of lightning and ghost ships. The result of this storm is currently the subject of her new show, currently on view at Suzanne Vielmetter in Culver City.
Bedford is sharing new drawings and paintings in this solo show, that explore this artistic sub-genre. The pieces on view take the “ship on the sea” painting trope and adds a modern twist to them, with purples and yellow greens and turquoises and pinks as accent colors at the helm of them and ships that are a little more abstract, figurative characters sailing the black seas. Instead of showing water wars and dueling ships, the works are more atmospheric, evoking a sense of loss, aimlessness, and darkness that stormy nights at sea and lonesome ships out to sail experience.
It also should be noted just how large these paintings are. Of course, a great deal of them are forty or fifty inches in length which is quite a large size, yes. But, like the top image–her 2011 Untitled (Radiant)–the piece is six feet tall by ten feet wide. Similarly, the directly above Untitled Lightning (Seagris) is eight feet tall by twelve feet wide. These works are her largest works to date and, rightly, are quite impressive.
Bedford’s work is up at Vielmetter in Culver City through December 21st. If you happen to stop by, works Bedford has done in collaboration with artist Dane Mitchell will also be on view (which are paper and sculpture works). The two worked also worked with French perfumer Michel Roudnitska to create a scent “intended as a medium to quantify vast distances.” To further these works focused on sea changes, the scent is actually made from marine items like seaweed and contents from the belly of a whale.