De Buck Gallery is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of works by Los Angeles based painter Kelly Reemtsen, entitled America’s Sweetheart. The exhibition will be on view from November 7 – December 21, 2013, and marks Reemtsen’s premier exhibition at the gallery. An opening reception will be held on November 7 from 6-8 PM, which the artist is scheduled to attend. The exhibition will be accompanied by the launch of a new catalogue of Kelly Reemtsen’s work, entitled “I’m Falling.”
Elegant women dressed in vintage finds and armed with tools and common household items, Kelly Reemtsen’s paintings create a paradoxically edgy air of nostalgia. There exists a sharp contrast in much of Reemtsen’s work between the bright and cheery figures, and the utilitarian and sometimes ominous accessories they carry, such as chainsaws or axes, coupled with a recurring headless anonymity. The titles of these pieces, “Forget Me Not,” “Here Comes Trouble,” and “On a Short Leash” among them, add to the ambiguity between violence and domesticity in these works, though at the same time many of her figures are nothing but ebullient. Reemtsen’s accessorizing of her figures, with objects, clothing, titles and even the blank palettes provided by the heavy white impasto of her backgrounds, serve to highlight the coexistence of traditional femininity and strength in the modern identity of women.
The paintings in this exhibition are complemented by a series of Reemtsen’s pill sculptures. Larger than life, the pastel pills – Xanax, Prozac, Advil, and others – come to resemble candy, but like the women may hold darker hidden meanings despite their cheerful appearances. Reemtsen specifically uses pills that are often taken by women, making medication as much an accessory of a fluid idea of womanhood as hoses, shovels or oven mitts.
Kelly Reemtsen studied Fashion Design, an area that clearly resonates in her work today, as well as painting at Central Michigan University and California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and is included in many collections including the corporate collections of 20th Century Fox (Los Angeles) and Bon Appetite (San Francisco). She was most recently an Artist in Residence at the Venice Printmaking Studio in Italy. Kelly Reemtsen currently lives and works in Los Angeles.