Galerie Richard


As the New-York poet and critic John Yau, so aptly put it, “Clearly, Besemer is not satisfied by reminding us that a painting is both a surface and a thing. Such painting would smack of airless academicism, and Besemer is about as far from this kind of airlessness as one can get. Her paintings are insouciant and mysterious, subtle and bold. They establish visual continuities between what is seen and what is hidden, between the straight and the curved, and between the stiff and flowing. They open a door onto a realm where speculation and revision, metaphysical thoughts and insights into cultural history, can begin.”

Besemer gives painting back its autonomy (the term ‘painting’ understood to mean both artistic expression and the material itself). The history of painting is also the history of its liberation : its liberation with regards to placement and physical support as we have developed from mural painting to painting on wood and then on framed canvas, and liberation with regards to the limitations of natural pigment colours which have been surpassed by acrylic paint.

Besemer creates works using only acrylic paint which acts as a support in itself. The works in the series “Sheets” are layers of acrylic which form a thick sheet of paint which is attached directly to the wall. Using curved lines Besemer creates the illusion of complex relief which acts as a great contrast to the flat reality of the acrylic. Here she exhibits two works from the famous series “Folds” ; a series shown at the Biennale of the Whitney Museum in 2000 and in the other big American museums. They are thick acrylics made up of many layers of paint and contain detail on both sides of the piece which is then hung over a metal bar. These paintings float freely in the space, the motifs on each side of the painting join together creating one single design. The two works demonstrate optical compositions, one with coloured diagonal lines and the other with coloured curved lines which draw out infinite visual spaces.

In the new series “Slabs” Besemer reaches the extreme ambiguity fundamental to painting as a visual illusion. She takes part in this history of art which goes dizzyingly from baroque to OP’art. Besemer works from a computer-generated image as she builds up layers of paint and colour. By the simple act of gravity the colours form horizontal layers. These slabs are then sculpted or moulded into curves which reveal various coloured levels. Besemer had to overcome a number of technical problems when creating these works, one of which being getting the paint to dry, the series therefore took two years to be completed. In previous works the relief was created by the play on colours and lines. Today it is the relief which creates the play on colours and lines. The relief creates the form. It renders visible the different colours. Since the curves of colours themselves create the illusion of relief, faced with a reproduction of the work or standing at a distance, one could paradoxically believe the work to be flat.

1957 Born in South Bend, IN
Lives and works in Santa-Barbara, CA


1983 MFA, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
1981 BFA, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowegan
Yale University Summer Program, New Haven, CT

Awards and Honors

2004 The Graham L. Sterling Award, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

2002-03 The Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome, Italy

2001-02 The George A. and Eliza Howard Foundation Fellowship in Painting

1999 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Emerging Artist Award Nominee, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, New York
American Express, New York City, New York
Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills, California
Progressive Corporation, New York City, New York
Panza Collection, Lugano, Switzerland
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina
Prudential-Bache Securities, New York City, New York
Chase Manhattan, New York City, New York
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona
The University of Arizona Museum, Tempe, Arizona

Selected Public Collections

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
American Express, New York, NY
Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills, CA
Progressive Corporation, New York, NY
Panza Collection, Lugano, Switzerland
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC
Prudential-Bache Securities, New York, NY
Chase Manhattan, New York, NY
Sony Corporation, San Francisco, CA
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
The University of Arizona Museum, Tempe, AZ

Solo Exhibitions

2022 StrokeRollFoldSheetStabGlitch, The Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Cal State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

2019 An Abundance of Errors, Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

2014 Angles Gallery, Los Angles, Los Angeles, CA

2013 Sine Language, Nevada Museum of Art, NV

2009 Slabs + Sines, Galerie Richard, Paris, France

2008 Sine, Sine Everywhere a Sine, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2005 Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2004 Cohan & Leslie, New York, NY

2002 Cohan Leslie + Browne, New York, NY

2001 Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1999 Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1998 Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1996 Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1995 Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA

Group Exhibitions

2019 The Light Touch, Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Painting Into Three Dimensions, Galerie Richard, New York, NY

2014 25 years, Galerie Richard, Paris

2013 Hors Frontières – Abstrations, Galerie Richard, Paris

2011 Creating the New Century: Contemporary Art from the Dicke Collection, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Ohio

2010 Permissions, Highways Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2009 In Bed Together, Royal T, Los Angeles, California
Small is Beautiful, June Lee Contemporary Art, Seomi & Tuss Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
Synthetics, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
PULSE Miami, Galerie Richard, Paris

2008 Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
California Video (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2007 La vida privada: Coleccion Josep Civit, Centro de Arte y Naturaleza, Fundacion Beulas, Huesca
Proteus Gowanus Gallery (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg) Brooklyn, NY
Festival Miden (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg), Kalamata, Greece
Experimental Film and Video Festival (EXiS) (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg), Seoul Art Cinema & Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea
Renderyard Film Festival, (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg), Roxy Theatre, The Escape Gallery, London, UK
18th Festival internacional de curtas-metragens de Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Compass of Resistance International Film Festival: Radical Reels: Five Minutes of Mayhem! (“Strip” with Erika Suderberg),
Cube Microplex, Bristol, UK
Video Art Start From Zero, Festival Miden, Alekton Artspace, Athens, Greece
Lines, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX
Summer Stock, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2006 SouthwestNET: Painting, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Hotel California, The Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, California

2005 Pardners, Domestic Setting, Los Angeles, CA
New Works on Paper, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Op…ish; An Attempt at hyper-extension of the pure visual experience, Sampson Projects, Boston, MA
Projects, Boston, MA
In the Abstract, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
L.A, Lucas Schoormans Gallery, New York, NY

2004 New Geometries, The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA

2003 One Word : Plastic, Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC

2002 Annual Exhibition, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy
Sight Mapping, APT Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Vignettes : Modern and Contemporary Art from Colorado Collections, Colorado University Art Gallery, Boulder, CO
Sight Mapping, Konsthallen-Bohuslans Museum, Udevalla, Sweden Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland
Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain
The Corcoran Biennial, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
ColorLove, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, KS
prima facie: New Abstract Painting, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
New In Town, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Summer 2002, Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York, NY

2001 furur scribendi: Works on Paper, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
MCA Chicago Benefit Art Auction, Chicago, IL
The Dreams That Stuff is Made Of, Selections Show, Frankfurt International Art Fair, curated by David Pagel, Frankfurt, Germany
Works on Paper, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

2000 Glee, The Alrdrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, FL
Inventional, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Works on Paper from California, Judy Ann Goldman Fine Art, Boston , MA
Luminous, IKON, ITD./ Kay Richards Contemporary Art, Santa Monica, CA
The Next Wave : New Painting in Southern California, Escondido Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA
Muscle : Power of the View, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO
CAART, Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills, CA

1999 Millennium Madness, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Pasadena Adjacent, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Hot Spots : Los Angeles, Houston and Miami, The Weatherspoon Gallery, Greensboro, NC
The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
Postmark: An Abstract Effect, Site Santa Fe, NM
Local Color, The Harris Art Gallery, The University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

1998 Polysemy, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Color Fields, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., Los Angeles, CA
10 x 20, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
8.1-29.98, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
6130, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Salvo, White Box Gallery, New York, NY

1997 The Box, Marcia Mateyka Gallery, Washington, DC
Push, Miller Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Sex Industry, Stux Gallery, New York, NY

1996 On and Off the Wall, The Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman College, Orange County, CA
Red, Newspace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
After, Post Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1994 Constructed Views, Woodbury University Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Flow, Cerritos College Fine Arts Gallery, Cerritos, CA

1993 10 x 10, Stephen Rosenberg Gallery, New York City, NY

1991 Save the Penis, New Langton Arts Center,San Francisco, CA
Paper Trail, Stephen Rosenberg Gallery, New York, NY
The Central Image, Stephen Rosenberg Gallery, New York, NY
Paintings, Opus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


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