Current Exhibition

Davina Semo and Deborah Remington
July 13 - September 29, 2019
Opening reception July 13, 5-7 PM

(L)  Davina Semo,  Messenger , 2019, polished and patinated cast bronze bell, whipped nylon line, wooden clapper, powder-coated chain, hardware, overall dimensions variable;  (R)  Deborah Remington,  Sussex , 1976, oil on canvas, 79 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches.

(L) Davina Semo, Messenger, 2019, polished and patinated cast bronze bell, whipped nylon line, wooden clapper, powder-coated chain, hardware, overall dimensions variable; (R) Deborah Remington, Sussex, 1976, oil on canvas, 79 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches.

Parts & Labor Beacon is pleased to announce its forthcoming exhibition, Davina Semo and Deborah Remington. Featured in this show are new bronze sculptures by San Francisco-based artist Davina Semo and a selection of historical paintings by Deborah Remington dating from 1964-2003.

Davina Semo’s wax cast bronze works embody a range of opposites: they are light and shadow, concrete and metaphysical, and demand viewers’ engagement, conscious or unconscious alike. Wall-based Burst, Web, and Ripple (all 2019), recalling domestic mirrors in scale, offer the viewer an entry point to the artist’s material and conceptual vernacular. Here one’s reflection persists, warped and battered, in the image of the work. Drawing an analogy to a contemporary mindset ruled by anxieties and unease, Semo challenges us to perceive ourselves through the lens of such rough, hard beauty. Hanging bells assigned titles like Siren (2019) and Shadow (2019) are positioned throughout the gallery as though floating through space. These works, sourced from an ongoing series, draw the varied and complex history of the bell, a device used throughout history to both sound a warning and call people together, into focus. Measuring nearly three feet in height, perforated by various constellation-like compositions relating directly to those appearing on the wall-based pieces, these works continue to insist upon some mode of corporeal engagement. Each is equipped with a wooden clapper for ringing; ready as they are to express a call to action, or perhaps to syncopate one’s own quietude and internal thoughts, these bells are “not a bell without ringing.” Three darkly patinated bells hang like specters – all silhouette of a shoulder or torso – while two more, bronze and brilliantly polished, offer the viewer an unusual and disrupted reflection of their surroundings.

In an essay published for Deborah Remington’s 1984 survey exhibition at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, art historian Dore Ashton writes that the artist’s “mysterious imagery...has never ceased to startle viewers in its gemlike hardness, its equivocal allusions, its baffling symmetries, its theatrically heightened light.” Mining ages-old mirror imagery, Remington’s works refuse to reciprocate the viewer’s repeating gaze. Seemingly polished and intact, the mirror-like forms depicted in such works as Saratoga and Sussex (dating from 1972 and 1976, respectively) reveal themselves as illusionistic and empty, nearly unsettlingly devoid of any reflection, upon closer consideration. Throughout, untethered geometric forms radiate outward from the center. Wrought most often in candy-apple red, deep cobalt, and grey gradients, these spaces alternately seem to emit and absorb light. Remington’s perception-bending spatial effects imply multiple dimensions simultaneously, perhaps alluding to an inner, cerebral, mysterious space. It is in the later works on view, Maligant (1996-2003) and Eridan (2001), that the image of the mirror shatters. Referring to her own formative visual ethea while making decisive visual allusions to the body, Remington reengages the Abstract Expressionist gesture in her later works.

Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington, DC) earned her BA at Brown University in 2003 and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 2006. Semo has shown extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including solo exhibitions at Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) and Marlborough Chelsea (New York). Group exhibitions include Hair and Skin at Derek Eller Gallery (New York), TOUCHPIECE at Hannah Hoffman Gallery (Los Angeles) and Show Me as I Want to Be Seen at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco). Davina Semo lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Semo is represented by Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) and Marlborough Gallery (New York).

Deborah Remington (b. 1930, Haddonfield, NJ; d. 2010) earned her BFA in painting at San Francisco Art Institute in 1955. In 1954, she and five other painters and poets co-founded the now-legendary Beat hangout Six Gallery in San Francisco; this was the venue in which Allen Ginsberg first read “Howl” in October, 1955. After a multi-year sojourn, first to Japan and then through Southeast Asia and India, Remington returned to the United States in order to pursue a career as a painter. Remington’s work has been shown at Dilexi Gallery (San Francisco and Los Angeles), Galerie Darthea Speyer (Paris), Bykert Gallery (New York), Wallspace (New York), Kimmerich Gallery (Berlin), Mitchell Algus Gallery (New York), and Parrasch Heijnen Gallery (Los Angeles). Remington’s work can be found in museums throughout the United States and Europe including: The Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), Boymans Museum (Rotterdam, Netherlands), and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France) amongst others.

Davina Semo and Deborah Remington opens on July 13 at 12 noon and will remain on view through September 29. An opening reception will take place from 5-7 pm on July 13. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday from 12-6 pm and by appointment.

For images, biographies, and further information, please contact the gallery at info@partsandlaborbeacon.com.