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“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 Gawne’s 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 the soul.
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

SUSANNA MEIERS
Curator El Camino College Art Gallery

Click on Picture to view enlargement
Illuminated Glass Sculpture

Touche, 22x8x8, 2003
Borosilicate Glass, Knoble Gasses, Electronics

Blue Bamboo,
108x48x20, 2000
Uranium Glass, Knoble Gasses, Electronics

Anemone, 20x9x9, 2000
Borosilicate Glass, Knoble Gasses, Electronics
 
Neon

Rainbow Doorway,
90x67x30, 1991
Neon, Acrylic, Willow

The Big Orange
, 44x66x9, 1985
3-D Painting with Neon

Crab Walk , 30x44x5, 1998
Krypton, Acrylics, Wood
 
Encaustics


The Bed, 24x22, 1990
Encaustic on board


The Little Man, 19x16, 1990
Encaustic on board
 
Oil Paintings

Light Structure, 30x70, 1991
Oil on canvas

 


Mooring II , 36x84, 1990, Oil on canvas
 
Drawings

Mil Mascaras, 48x36, 1974
Graphite & wash on paper & velium

Mil Mascaras, 48x38, 1994
Graphite on paper

Figure, 48x40, 1994
Graphite on paper
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 Last Updated On: 1/13/06