Franco • Art Project presents Invisible Structures: The Artworks of Richelle Gribble and Janna Avner. Invisible structures convey the unseen organizing forces of greater sociological and ecological changes occurring in daily life. The paintings, prints and drawings of Richelle Gribble and Janna Avner yield hidden, interconnected forms, mappings and underpaintings, which dissolve relationships of the figure-ground. Their immersive webs of life, aerial perspectives, holograph-like landscapes and deconstructed still lifes remind us of the holistic environments we collectively share. These artists reflect on how the figure or “self” is less a discrete entity, but part of the greater ecosystem of totemic forces contributing to tangible and virtual systems of organization that connect and transform the world around us.
Janna Avner’s oil paintings expose layered underpaintings which create the illusion of depth on the two-dimensional surface. Janna creates still lifes, figurations and landscapes that locate form and color in virtual spaces to consider how form is constructed in virtual and augmented reality software and to inspire aesthetic decisions in the materials she uses. Such materials are refraction gradients (holograms), geometric pigment, metallic spray paint, resin and other reflective mediums. These mediums allude to Robert Rauschenberg's non-medium specific combines while incorporating, to alter, three-dimensional illusions of unrealistic and realistic depictions of traditional subject matter. One of the artist’s primary goals is to dismantle mimetic representation so as to create, either formal experiences of color or alternative realities, by immersing viewers in each work to probe the imagination and elicit emotional and psychological responses.
Richelle Gribble explores invisible structures in nature, revealing networks that structure life. As stated in the Hopi Prophecy of the 16th century, “the land shall be crisscrossed by a giant spider's web.” Artist Richelle Gribble interprets the web relative to the modern world as a connective form that brings together species, links information in the World Wide Web, and organizes populations in urban planning. The web is identified in Richelle’s traced aerial maps from above, physical eco-prints of captured spiders’ webs, hand-woven translucent textile and etchings. This invisible connective thread links our social interactions and ecological interdependence. Richelle’s work also references the Voronoi Tessellation, which is found in the wing of a dragonfly, foam bubbles, cells of a leaf and farmlands from above. This form is one of the most efficient structures to organize dense populations within a confined area. Richelle similarly identifies in her work the tree network, a branching structure found in neural networks, the Purkinje cell, slime mold, organizational charts and our family tree. These invisible structures are timeless, yet evolving as we become increasingly globally connected.
Janna Avner is a professional painter who curates shows, exhibits paintings and writes as much as time permits. Her research centers on the relationship between empathy and art, as well as technology’s effects on the physical body that lead to self-exploration and self-understanding. Since graduating from Yale in 2012, Janna continues to inspire her friends and community through art that speaks to the human condition in today’s polarizing political climate and to facilitate means of psychological transcendence. Janna has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times and the Paris Review. Her writings on artificial intelligence were selected for “What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent Our Future,” a 2017 best-of-anthology by Unnamed Press.
Richelle Gribble creates mixed media paintings and drawings, prints, videos, puzzles and sculptures that contemplate the intersection of humanity, technology, and nature. Richelle has exhibited at solo shows in Los Angeles, New York, Japan, and international orbit around Earth etched on 4 satellites and launched on 2 rockets as part of her conceptual series Overview. Winner of 2016 Grand Prize Award for solo exhibition and representation at JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY with inclusion in Art Market San Francisco, Texas Contemporary, and Miami Project art fairs. Richelle has completed 13 art residencies as part of her project The Nomadic Artist, where she travels the world to reflect social and environmental changes across the globe. Awarded residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Awagami Factory, Kala Fellowship, and many more. Richelle has completed 14 solo shows and 46 group shows within the past 4 years. Work presented in a TEDxTrousdale talk “What is our Role within a Networked Society?” and published in The Creator’s Project, The Atlantic, Artillery Magazine, and VICE. She earned her BFA in Studio Arts from the Roski School of Art and Design with dual minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the University of Southern California, in 2013.