I originally posted this article on January 10, 2013, but recently I discovered a painting by Edouard Manet, called The ‘Kearsarge’ at Boulogne, 1864. I found it on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. I don’t know if Inez ever saw this painting, but the similarities seem marvelous to me. By the way, the Inez Storer show is at Seager Gray Gallery until January 31, in case you have not seen it yet. The two images are at the bottom.
Then at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, the current exhibition is Inez Storer: Made up Stories from an Imagined Past. Inez is an accomplished and fascinating artist who lives near Point Reyes Station in West Marin. Her mixed-media work makes use of digital technologies along with traditional methods of painting, drawing, and collage. Using a story-board flatness of space, she combines illustrative renderings with bits of text. In this way she narrates her personal stories, blending them with popular imagery as well as imagined and real histories. The artwork suggests various aspects of her life, including objects in her daily surroundings, her connections to Russia, and a mixed cultural background that had been kept hidden from her as a child. The work occasionally makes art historical references to the likes of Matisse, Velasquez, and Rauschenberg. Each of the medium- to large-scale canvases or panels is like a page from a travel journal or postcard—layered with notes, stamps, and other markings collected during its journey through time. In Sailing with Matisse to Tahiti, from 2012, a steamship chugs jauntily through a blue-gray sea, with only a simple horizontal line distinguishing sea from sky. An oversized easel with a canvas is stationed on the back deck, suggesting that the Master may be on board. In the foreground a small green sail boat announces the title in its wind banner, as it sails toward a still life with vase of flowers and pot of brushes, curiously floating on the sea—perhaps some jetsam from the ship. A tiny image of a reclining nude is adhered to the upper right corner of the panel, like a postage stamp assuring delivery of the message. Overall, the collection of work reflects a life long-lived, well-travelled, and mulled over with wry amusement. A reception for the artist will take place on Friday, January 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will be on view through January 31. For more information check their website, www.seagergray.com.