Bella Foster

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Artist Statement

I collect images from books and magazines, as well as draw from the places I inhabit and the everyday things around me, to create intimately scaled gestural interiors and still life paintings. Elements from historical paintings are grouped with depictions of the common studio items around me, and a surreal narrative imbued with symbolism emerges. A brush stroke from a color field painting is emulated and transformed into a lamp, a tablecloth becomes a surreal oceanic landscape, and a rock becomes a confused figure on a table. I return to certain themes and objects frequently. Pencils from my studio, and my tape dispenser, become heroes in the painted world. Like turning pumpkins into stagecoaches, I cast these mundane objects around me as characters that interact with various historical references, and my painting practice.

I consistently draw from a variety of images of the female body; Paleolithic fertility figurines, Manet’s Olympia, Henry Moore’s sculptures, and Picasso’s many images of women. The female figure in art is both an objectified image as well as a archetypal symbol of receptivity and creative power. Taking fragments and pieces from these images of the female body is a way of embodying the images myself. Eyes are another recurring element in these works. I am fascinated how they activate an image, and evoke a self conscious awareness. The actors in the paintings look back at the viewer, look at each other, and at themselves, affirming that they are also participants in the act of perception.


Solo Exhibitions

South Willard, Los Angeles, CA
“Interior” Art Since the Summer 69 Gallery, New York, NY

Two Person Exhibitions

“Still Life”, Bella Foster and Elwyn Palmerton, Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Group Exhibitions

“Fort Greene” curated by Adrianne Rubenstein, Venus over Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Canada Frieze booth curated by Katherine Bernhardt
“Housebound” Heiner Contemporary, Washington DC
“Material” Salon 94 Gallery, New York, NY
“Objects, Furniture, and Patterns” Art Since the Summer 69 Gallery, New York, NY
“MMVIII”, V and A gallery, New York, NY
“Grand Union” curated by Jordin Isip and Roger Stevens Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“Mystery Meat”, curated by Jordin Isip, Future Prospects Gallery, Cubano Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines
“On the Beach” curated by Justin Lowe, Printed Matter, New York, NY
“Greater Brooklyn” curated by Alex Dodge and Glen Baldridge, CRG Gallery, New York, NY
“Where are we going? Where do we come from? And where are we going?” curated by Katherine Bernhardt, Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
“Girls Gone Wild” curated by Katherine Bernhardt, Bronwyn Keenan, New York, NY 2003 “The Kids are Alright” curated by Joe Bradley, ATM Gallery, New York, NY
Gen Arts Summer Arts Festival, New York, NY