‘Rebekah Goldstein: My Reflection in the Water’ to Open at Denny Gallery




Rebekah Goldstein, ‘When This Kiss Is Over It Will Start Again, 2020’; Oil one shaped canvas. 49 x 69in/125 x 175cm. Image courtesy of the gallery

Denny Gallery will open its doors to the exhibition ‘My Reflection In the Water’ from March 31 to May 6, showing paintings by San Francisco-based artist Rebekah Goldstein.

Goldstein, known for her fluid imagery and forms, which coil and curve, has recently shifted her practice beyond the traditional dimensions of painting, to explore shaped canvases which depict space and form evoking the human figure. She draws influences from architecture, furniture, textiles and other tangible objects which find bodily shapes as their nodal point for marking out space. By using the structure of the canvas in composition, Goldstein’s paintings transcend beyond a depiction of form and space into veritable objects in their own right. With their varying shapes and perspectives, each piece finds its own presence of being, yet as paintings they have the ability to bend space and defy gravity.

Rebekah Goldstein, ‘Play It Once Again, Play It All Night Long, 2022’. Oil one shaped canvas. 77 1/2 x 55 in/197 x 140 cm. Image courtesy of the gallery

The title of the exhibition My Reflection in the Water comes from one of the paintings in the exhibition. It speaks to the idea that form is mirrored back, yet changed and abstracted. With mirroring there are also notions of repetition and continuation – the looping of an idea. Looping, in the context of Goldstein’s work, becomes key in its linguistic terms of being both the description of shape as a curve or bended form, and also as a commentary on how the visual elements in her work interact. It also importantly describes her larger practice which is built on layering, reworking and redefining the composition which ultimately feeds back on itself.

Goldstein sees the work in the context of her own body and has an instinct that as viewers we do the same. Our reading of the works are within the terms of our own subjectivity and therefore we seek out recognisable elements of our own shapes as individuals and a collective and in Goldstein’s work find them reflected back at us. We start to notice a crossed leg or the shape of an arm with its hand on a hip. We also identify shapes which help narrate our own world such as a window, a road or a drawn curtain. Equally we search the painting for its formal attributes of lush painterly strokes, textures created through marks and bold, striking colors. These elements of shape, form and color allow us to navigate Goldstein’s paintings in subjecthood and objecthood and notice how they reflect the world around us through these interlacing attributes.

Rebekah Goldstein ‘Everyday Doppelgänger, 2022’ Oil one shaped canvas. 52 x 52 1/2 in/ 132 x 133 cm. Image courtesy of the gallery

Just as I ask myself “what is my relationship to my body?” I try to create paintings that raise questions for which there are not straightforward answers. “What am I looking at? What angle am I looking at it from? What is its scale? How is it holding itself together?” While these questions may seem formal, they are metaphors for how we look at the world around us, how we feel in our bodies, and how we orient ourselves to a given environment……. Rebekah Goldstein

Goldstein has shown widely across the Bay Area including venues such as CULT Aimee Friberg, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Guerrero Gallery, Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Berkeley Arts Center and Bedford Gallery. She has been awarded residencies at the Sam and Adele Golden Center for the Arts, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Arad Arts Project. Her work is part of the permanent collection of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, the Fidelity Collection, Google, as well as many notable private collections.

Rebekah Goldstein: My Reflection In the Water will be on view from March 31 to May 6, 2023 at Denny Gallery, 39 Lispenard Street, NYC. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, March 31st from 6-8pm.