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MFA, Claremont Graduate University

American artist Yvette Gellis lives and works in Los Angeles, California. After attending UCLA and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA, she received her M.F.A. in 2008 from Claremont Graduate University.

Born and raised in the Chicago area, the vast open terrain in contrast to the urban sprawl sets up structures for painting that echo or reiterate the impermanent and mutable states depicted in her work. Or put another way, her painting is not simply static, an illusion or picture of an event, but allows for participation in the event itself. While ever conscious of historical precedents, she strives to expand upon the boundaries of painting.

Gellis combines the flatness of abstraction with perspectival figuration in a deliberate effort to confound a sense of space. The site-specificity of her installations, whether indoors or outdoors, challenge traditional ways of viewing painting or experiencing the landscape, or an interior architectural space. Transgressing these traditional boundaries of the medium, Gellis references the effects of these historically defined spaces to provoke the unsettling sense of space with also the insertion of cut fragments, thick paint and collaged elements to rupture the notion that a frame can contain the landscape or an architectural interior experience.

Gellis creates metaphors for imbalance and imminent devastation, thrusting the viewer into an imperiled environment. What results implies a contest between humanity and nature: “There is something beyond the physical world where thoughts transmute into “things” objects, formations in literal space and time.”

Ms. Gellis has exhibited nationally and internationally including: The Pasadena Museum of California Art / The Landesgalerie Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria / CAMAC, St. Jacques Eglise, Dival, France / The Torrance Art Museum, California / Soulangh Cultural Park and Museum, Tainan / The East-Gate Museum, Cao Shan Dong Men Art Museum, Yangmingshan, Taipei, Taiwan / Los Angeles International Airport, LA Department of Cultural Affairs and at The 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica / Jason Vass Gallery, Los Angeles / Brunnhofer Gallery, Austria / Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona / Nancy Toomey Fine Art, San Francisco / FOCA Fellows of Contemporary Art, LA / Cerritos College Art Gallery, CA and Kim Light LIGHTBOX, Los Angeles, CA.

Ms. Gellis has been awarded artist residencies with exhibitions in Taiwan, France, Austria, Arizona, and the 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica. Her teaching experience covers all ages and includes The Buckley School, Crossroads School, University of LaVerne, Otis College of Art and Design, and she is currently a Professor at Pepperdine University.


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