Karen Smidth | Outside In: Exhibition on view April 19 - May 31
Karen Smidth spent the first 25 years of her life in Denmark. She moved to the Bay Area 34 years ago. Her first years were filled with a longing for her country, but soon she succumbed to everything California had to offer her as an artist and traveler.
She notes that “painting has helped me commit to California and the countryside in general. I will never tire of this landscape. Its expanses of open land and total quiet. The light, the shapes and colors, the fragrance and music of the landscape. It is a deliciously endless gift to be here.” Celebrating the landscape as only a foreigner can, Smidth reminds us to explore and relish the beauty that surrounds us.
Smidth is influenced by many European painters. Paul Gauguin plays and important role in her new figurative series with a backdrop of lush, tropical fauna. The electric palette of Pierre Bonnard's paintings inform Smidth's use of color. Since moving to California, Richard Diebenkorn has become both a source of inspiration and a challenge in mapping out the geometric qualities of a painting including the horizon lines and placement of shapes. All together Smidth draws from her wealth of exposure to the arts in Europe and her ever inspiring second home in California.