Light out of darkness, rippling, riveting, hypnotic and transcendent,
says Candice Gawne of her more than 30-year immersion in incandescence.
And this is precisely the realm in which she works, whether in her sculptural
neon forms or sensual canvases where space and emotion are defined in
terms of emanation and reflection.
Utilizing both natural and man-made light sources, the painter/sculptor,
fiercely examines the aesthetic and psychological tension between darkness
and light. In rich canvases, where moonlight ripples over black water
or where an electric bulb burns away darkness in a desolate corridor,
Gawne lays bare unconscious truths.
Reminiscent of Van Gogh, the brilliant light fields and auras of Gawnes
oil paintings reveal intense search and
bursts of personal revelation. Her skeins of thick
paint are pulled, layer upon layer, with a sharpened chopstick,
over grounds of solid hues, to reveal shimmering lights beneath the
surface and moments of ecstatic consciousness. The dazzling light, contained
only by fluid darkness endows the work with a remarkable presence that
is both physical and meditative.
In the 1980s, not fully satisfied with simply painting light, Gawne
began to sculpt light directly with neon tubing.
From that time through the present, she has explored botanical and sea
images in neon. With neon I can draw a lyric line of light
like that, that moves through water. Neon is living, changing color
that radiates off the walls, fills the space, saturates my eyes, and
bathes my body with its energy, says Gawne.
In the late 1990s she began a series of fully
three-dimensional glass forms, which contain the noble gasses, krypton,
argon, neon and xenon. Powered by electricity, these luminous anemones
pulse and glow in a darkened zone.
Born in Santa Monica, California, Candice Gawne studied art at El Camino
College and UCLA. She began her work in the area of life
drawing but rapidly moved towards painting after her years in college.
Initially inspired by her father, a landscape architect, and by her
theatrical mother, Gawne presents a dramatic, heightened view of nature
where lunar beams and solar rays seek to light the dark recesses of
She has exhibited her paintings and neon sculptures in galleries and
museums throughout the United States and in Germany, Israel and Japan.
El Camino College Art Gallery is delighted to be able to present a survey
of her work in Seeing in the Dark. Please visit her website to
view additional work: www.luminousartworks.com
Curator El Camino College Art Gallery
Borosilicate Glass, Knoble Gasses, Electronics
Uranium Glass, Knoble Gasses, Electronics