Heather Robinson and Rachel Znerold
August 5 – September 29
Secession Art & Design’s 6th anniversary show featuring Heather Robinson and Rachel Znerold gives a lush and vibrant glow to summer. Geometric forms mingle with gold leaf as the late afternoon sun lights the gallery. Abstract landscapes invite the outdoors in.
In 2001, Heather moved to San Francisco and became a successful freelance designer. When the dot-com collapse came, it was the opportunity of a lifetime, and she began doing what she most wanted: art, full-time. She began with a focus on collage, which followed naturally from web design — bringing together existing elements in a pleasing and distinctive way. At a time when our culture is seeing a resurgence of traditional crafts — lace, crocheting, embroidery and other handwork – Heather is integrating these crafts into her rich and varied canvases. She has been making her art in her studio at Secession Art & Design since it began in 2007.
In these paintings, Heather incorporates materials and techniques from traditionally feminine, labor-intensive decorative arts. She starts with a textile and applies many layers of paint and medium. Some layers are random and uncontrolled, some emphasize the fabric’s ornamental aspects, and some are translucent or pulled away completely to reveal what’s beneath. She then overlays all this with a gold leaf geometric pattern, striving to strike a beautiful balance between the orderly and the chaotic.
As a painter, one-of-a-kind eco-fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel makes her life out of making art. With a degree in Fine Art and Advertising from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she became a resident artist at Rembrandt Yard and taught painting, fashion design and performance throughout Boulder. Now a member of the Mission District’s vibrant art scene, she is passionate about using art to build strong community and a culture of social activism.
“From colorful community gardens lining the streets of the Mission, to secret worlds nestled high on Bernal Heights, this urban flora feels a little something like home – a place to lift your gaze to admire the delicate blooms coexisting with concrete and savor a silent moment amidst the buzzing of the city. These highly textured abstract paintings, embellished with textiles, embroidery, and beading, are meant to conjure thoughts of untamed luscious greenery alongside crumbling walls and big-city grit. There’s something familiar here – some essence of the wild – a hint of the expansive hours spent roaming the overgrown mountain forests of my youth.”