California Dreamin’: Paintings by Melissa Chandon & Matt Rogers
in the Main Gallery from August 30 through October 28, 2018
Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 1 from 5 – 7:30 pm
Above: Melissa Chandon, Green Woody at the Beach | 60 x 72 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017
Melissa Chandon and Matt Rogers’ joint exhibition at the Napa Valley Museum Yountville embodies the idyllic “California Dream” of freedom and vitality. Paintings of palm trees, lifeguard stations, and woody-style station wagons carrying surfboards set against expansive blue skies capture the indelible collective memory of the relaxed, carefree beach lifestyle that took hold of imaginations around the world in the 1960s. With their vivid dream-like palettes and sense of light and air, Chandon and Rogers have each earned reputations for depicting the essential character of the Golden Coast. This exhibition – which also includes rare woody cars, surfboards and other elements of surf culture – unites the artists’ visions, celebrating a moment in time when the world collectively dreamed of the fun and sun of 1960’s California, and embraced its spirit of love, peace, and connection.
Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 1 from 5 – 7:30 pm is FREE for members; $20 for Non-Members.
With animated, Pop-inspired colors and pared-down compositions, Melissa Chandon’s paintings push everyday scenes toward the brink of imaginative, dynamic abstraction. In her vibrant, graphic world infused with California light, landscape breaks down into basic elements—what she calls “core essence”—while shadows and reflections take on a life of their own. Chandon’s lifelong fascination with the American vernacular continues: “I am still captivated by the ideal of the holiday or vacation,” she notes. “Or perhaps it’s just simple pleasures that I relish. The simple row boat, the backyard pool, the tail-fin of a highly designed car from my parents’ generation.” In her paintings, as in the objects and scenes that inspire her work, color, form, and design fuse into brilliant images that have the air of vividly remembered places.
Matt Rogers’ landscapes are fantastical confections whose cotton candy trees and vertiginous depths take us far from realism.Having lived in California his entire life, he is aware of its precariousness, that it represents the California dream — sunsets and palm trees — but also devastation. The California landscape is subject to earthquakes, fires, and mudslides, which Rogers has experienced firsthand. In California, sunshine and noir are always two sides of the same coin. Utopia coexists with dystopia, and beach culture rubs shoulders with counterculture—a paradox that infuses many of Rogers’ paintings. In his work, we can sense his deep understanding of California’s complicated, dark, bright, beauty.
Melissa Chandon and Matt Rogers are represented by Caldwell Snyder Gallery, a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international painters and sculptors of the 21st century.