Contemporary Painter & Sculptor
Self-taught artist Gale Hart (b. Lansing, Michigan, 1956) has established an energetic 40-year career experimenting with new techniques and materials often incorporating sarcasm and humor in her work to exaggerate the absurd. Hart’s work serves as a vehicle for her witty and critical eye on the social issues of contemporary life in American culture over the past half-century. She has shown at Context Miami, FL; Context New York, NY; The Los Angeles Art Show, CA; and Art Aspen, CO; and exhibits nationally. Since 2012, Gale has received over five public art commissions for the city of Sacramento, CA and recently completed a major commission for the city of Elk Grove, CA.
Social & Political Issues
The evolution of an ongoing series, Hart's latest sculptures are more ambitious in scale and complexity of materials. In the context of the studio, the spray can is simply one tool among many. Here, they are magnified in scale and covered with a colorful fusion of gestures and images from abstraction to Pop Art and graffiti. Twisted and bent, the cans appear to be crushed, suggesting their emptiness and demise as a useful tool. But a can is not just a can—their grand scale and sensual folds reference classic definitions of sculpture. The process of experimentation and fine tuning reflects an unwavering interest in the impact of form that aligns Hart’s work with earlier masters in the tradition of sculpture. Merging technical mastery, Pop Art and contemporary street vocabulary is her way of examining the historical tradition of multiple mediums.
The bronze hoods are mini monuments to the street artist. They started out as knit beanies, a symbol of toughness meant for concealing the identity of the artist bombing pieces under cover. The beanie is iconic streetwear, uniform of artists, athletes, the hip and the hardworking. However, in the midst of the pandemic and civil uprising the hoods became more ominous as the alchemy of fabric to metal turned more evocative of a reflection on masking and protection. Deep in isolation, pandemic and political meltdown, what began as a journey into abstract painting evolved into striking visceral gestures of coiled, arteries that pulse and slide out of frame.
“While we focus on differences and issues, in the end we all are made up of the same tissues. We are precious and vulnerable.”—Gale Hart