Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Isabelle de Borchgrave at Serge Sorokko, Suhas Bhujbal at Dolby Chadwick:

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, whose "Pulp Fashion" exhibition of historical gowns made of paper was the Fine Arts Museums most-attended show in 2011 is back in San Francisco with a smaller show of Fortuny pleated dresses, textile-like paintings and new bronze clothing sculptures at the Serge Sorokko Gallery.

Isabelle de Borchgrave began her studies at the age of 14 at the Centre des Arts D√©coratifs in Brussels.  She went on to establish her own studio designing dresses, jewelry, and accessories, and later specialized in designing fabrics. Following a 1994 visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, she dreamed up the idea of paper costumes, for which she has become world renowned. 

Isabelle de Borchgrave: "New Paintings and Sculptures" is a departure from the work shown at the Legion. Instead of the monochromatic palate of the earlier show, the works at Sorokko feature pieces in vibrant colors, tribal patterns, and ethnic textiles

Borchgrave. Petite Chapeau
Works on paper are meticulously hand painted with bold patterns and then folded into an origami-like, accordion-style canvas. Elaborately painted life-size kimonos pose across from de Borchgrave's paper pleated Grecian dresses modeled after Fortuny's famous pleated silk Delphos gowns. And across from those fragile forms are dense corsets of worn patinas. Small scale sculptures of jewelry-like neckpieces are juxtaposed with larger-scale bronze works.

In de Borchgrave's art, the starting point is almost always the same: sheets of paper one meter by one and a half meters (3.3 feet by 4.9 feet), which she sets to work on with her brushes and paints on an enormous linen-covered table in her studio in Brussels. "Her colors, reports The New York Times, "are very much inspired by her travels: reds from the roses of Turkey, earth hues from Egypt, blues from Greece...Borchgrave produces astonishing effects of scintillating color, weight, transparency and texture. Her renderings of diaphanous gauzes are especially astonishing."

The exhibit is an expertly curated display of the artist's range and unique ability to transform a common medium into the otherworldly. Givenchy puts it beautifully, "Isabelle is one of a kind. She plays with paper as a virtuoso plays an instrument."

Best of all for those with a bit of spare change -you can now buy the dresses at a mere $45,000 per item.

Exhibit on view through Sat. April 20 at Serge Sorokko Gallery, 55 Geary St., sorokko.com

Suhas Bhujbal at Dolby Chadwick: The Indian born artist, more known for his geometric compositions, has new work which fuses his previous fascination with urban landscape with luminous figurative works.

 Bhujbal. Getting Ready for the Day

During a 2011 trip to Cat Island in the central Bahamas, artist Suhas Bhujbal found something he craved: peace and quiet. The island's lifestyle -- one in which people gather on the beach and enjoy each other's company -- reminded him of his childhood in India. "I appreciate the simplicity in life," he comments. "I paint what I see, experience, and feel. It is really about falling in love in that moment and bringing that on the canvas in a visual form."

Bhujbal. Hanging Out.

 Suhas Bhujbal: "Dialogues" from 
April 4 -- 27, 2013
. Dolby Chadwick Gallery. 
10 Post Street
San Francisco. http://www.dolbychadwickgallery.com


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