Foundation | Susan Feldman Tucker + Melinda R. Smith

05/10/2018 - 06/03/2018
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Curated by Shana Nys Dambrot

Art Share-LA is proud to present “Foundation”, a two-woman show featuring the works of Susan Feldman Tucker and Melinda R. Smith. Together, Melinda, an oil painter, and Susan, a mixed-media artist who works primarily with found wood, explore one of the most important concepts in our lives: Home, what it means, how it defines us, and how the sense of it can elude us.

For “Foundation,” Susan will be taking us into the fully-immersive walkthrough installation, “Virginia’s House,” exhibiting for the first time in a gallery setting. The installation was originally built in Susan’s studio out of pieces of an abandoned house that held a special place in her heart. Now, Susan has disassembled the exhibit piece by piece, and rebuilt it in its entirety at Art Share.

“For 20 years, whenever I would visit my best friend I would eye the little old house that stood next door,” explains Susan. “I knew an elderly woman lived there, alone, and that was all I knew. In my mind, I called her Virginia.” One day, Susan arrived at her friend’s house to discover that “Virginia” had died and her home was being torn down. She says, “I quickly jumped out of my car and went inside the soon to be empty shell and began collecting pieces of the house wood and shooting pictures of the demolition. I went back several times, wandering thru the ruins, collecting debris as I went. I brought it all back to my studio and began making mixed media pieces out of Virginia’s house, using the wood I had found there, along with my images.”

She then continued to actually rebuild much of Virginia’s house in her own studio, in such detail that it was impossible to actually exhibit it anywhere except there—until now.

Melinda will be premiering over a dozen new paintings exploring her own haunting concept of home. “For me, home was always something I rejected, it was a thing to avoid and certainly a thing to never possess,” she explains. “This is not because I had ever had a negative experience of home—my upbringing was a stable, happy one—but because it was most important to me, both as an artist and a woman (who defined herself primarily, and to the exclusion of all else, as an artist), to be impermanent, to stay light on the ground, to never put roots down.”

To this day, at 53, Melinda is still a renter, and has lived in 34 different places since graduating university. Now, she finds the sense of impermanence that has defined her life starting to take on a different feeling.
“Lately, I’ve been painting houses rather obsessively,” explains Melinda. “They each appear abandoned, empty and somewhat haunted-looking. Perhaps they are my houses. Perhaps they are the houses I have never gotten to, houses I rejected, houses I have never reached, never inhabited, houses that stand empty and dark because for many years, I refused to reach them, refused to find them. They could not, therefore, ever be turned into homes. They and I are orphans of sorts. Or maybe they are houses between worlds, as I myself have lived my adult life between worlds, scarcely ever touching down. I cannot say now whether I simply waited too long, whether I will ever attain what I now most desire, the very thing I turned my back on so many years ago with such fierce intent and with, I see it clearly now, self-abnegating abandon: Home. On the hand, perhaps it is nearer than I think, and that is why houses are so insistent in my work right now.”

Foundation will be on view from May 2 – May 27, 2018, with an opening reception on May 5 7-10pm. ArtShare is located at 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013.