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“Still Summer” Exhibition: 6 Questions With Rachel Gregor

Join Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery from November 11 – December 2nd, 2023 as they proudly present “Still Summer”, a solo exhibition that gives us a glimpse at Rachel Gregor’s unique perspective on girlhood and its underlying strength. Rachel Gregor tiptoes the line between realism and whimsy with a fine and elegant brushstroke. You will notice something solar about her approach. As if, it was touched and powered by ray of lights. Indeed, the girls and young women she paints, seem to be in conversation with each other and the viewer in a world where mischievousness and fervor seem to coexist.

Don’t forget, you can view past and present exhibitions as well as all available inventory by visiting the gallery website.

Still Summer by Rachel Gregor

Rachel Gregor, “Still Summer”

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 11, 2023 | 6-8 pm

Exhibition Dates: November 11 – December 2, 2023

Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery

2754 S La Cienega Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90034

If you would like to receive a price list, please contact Hashimoto Contemporary at la@hashimotocontemporary.com | General Information, please email info@hashimotocontemporary.com

Phone: +1 310-730-6164

Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm

Pond bathers by Rachel Gregor

I hope that my work goes beyond being about a single subject, that it can be multifaceted, so that way I don’t have to strive towards or worry about what the viewer takes away.

RACHEL GREGOR

Your exhibition ‘Still Summer’ is ongoing, how are you feeling with such an exciting endeavor? How has the reception of your work been so far?

It’s been such a wonderful experience! It’s incredible whiplash though, to be an artist, working solitarily in your studio for months or even years, producing work in a very quiet, slow environment to then unleash it all at once to a room full of people. You’re not really sure what’s going to happen, you’re so used to the work and you’ve spent so much time with it, you know what you’re proud of and what you think could have been better, but it no longer matters.

I kind of got to see the work anew in that regard, it takes on a whole new life outside of the studio. The reception has been good so far, it’s always flattering when other painters come to your show because they are interested in your work, that’s a huge compliment, and I got to meet some really neat painters.

You offer a pretty unique and contemplative vision of girlhood… were you, Rachel Gregor, inspired by your own experiences? Or perhaps works of fiction that explore ‘coming-of-age’?

Both! Some of the work does reference very specific moments of my own experiences, but usually it’s more so a sensation or an amalgamation of those experiences. I’m also very drawn to literature and classical allegorical figures so that gets blended in when I’m world building as well. For example, in the piece “Mudtrout (Ophelia II)”, the figure can be seen as Ophelia, the briefly mentioned love interest in Hamlet who is an allegory for innocence, femininity, and has grown to become this complicated symbol for desire and the male gaze.

It’s an homage to the moment when she drowned in a creek bed after being driven to insanity. At the same time, this is also a scene from my own life. I remember going down to this isolated patch in the swamp on my parent’s property. We called the pond down there ‘Mudtrout Pond’. I took off my clothes and laid on the wet sod trying to suntan, because that was something I thought I should do, and as I laid there I realized how pointless and uncomfortable the whole ordeal was.

What do you, Rachel Gregor, hope those attending ‘Still Summer’ can take away with them after viewing your work?

Beyond trying to guide the viewer towards a certain sensation, I know that what the viewer takes away is totally out of my control. I’m not trying to be didactic with my work, I think that would be incredibly exhausting, and honestly would probably be disappointing. I have my own intentions for building a narrative, a fragment or a glimpse of a moment, and I hope the viewer can relate, empathize, or perceive that intention in some way, because that means that what I’m doing as an image maker was successful.

I dislike it though when the relationship between viewer and artist becomes a guessing game, like you get a gold star if you can name what a painting is “about”. I hope that my work goes beyond being about a single subject, that it can be multifaceted, so that way I don’t have to strive towards or worry about what the viewer takes away.

I really enjoyed working on the piece “Still Summer”, the painting that the show is named after. It was a pleasure to work on it for as long as I needed to.

rACHEL GREGOR

I absolutely adore ‘Stickleback’, it is my favorite from the show! I was wondering if you had any favorite pieces from this collection? If so, which ones and why?

It can be so hard to pick a favorite sometimes! I really enjoyed working on the piece “Still Summer”, the painting that the show is named after. The painting itself had a really nice material feel for me, so it was a pleasure to work on it for as long as I needed to. The gouache built up really nicely after a few layers so towards the end it laid down really lovely marks that were a joy to make, the palette really came together too.

At first it felt really stark and garish but the more I built it up, the more everything melted and harmonized. I really enjoyed working on the figures in that piece as well. I think it goes without saying that I love the figure not just as a means to a narrative or image making but in a very academic sense as well, so it’s just fun to have challenging poses and full, multi-figure compositions.

Sometimes, I was able to figure out exactly what kind of moment or character I needed to present for everything to feel cohesive. Other times I had no idea what I needed.

Rachel gregor

Tell us, Rachel Gregor… What was the creative process like for creating the works featured in “Still Summer”? Any highs or lows you can share from the time spent working on this exhibition?

I had been building this body of work for a year or two before the exhibition was planned. Once I knew it was going to be presented in a solo show, I was able to then nail down more specifics about what the overall thesis of the show was going to be. I decided the place and time for the moments shown was this purgatorial summer vacation, and from there I was able to find the missing emotional beats I needed for the body of work as a whole and I could work out compositions that filled in those gaps.

Sometimes, I was able to figure out exactly what kind of moment or character I needed to present for everything to feel cohesive. Other times I had no idea what I needed, I would take a blank piece of toned paper and do a figure drawing, either from myself or I would look at sculptures from antiquity and do a sort of study.

I would then have to sit with that figure drawing for quite a long time before I could slowly figure out where they were, what they were doing, and as I filled in those answers I would start to understand the personality of the piece and the figure being depicted. Then other attributes would fall into place like “how would she do her hair, how would she respond to someone saying this, or how would she feel about that?” then I slowly mold in the expressions on their faces, which are often very subtle.

Sometimes this process is a beautiful back and forth discovery and it’s exciting, other times it feels sluggish and difficult and like I’m beating my head against a wall. Pushing through that slog is always worth it though, when I come to that magical conclusion and everything fits together all at once.

What’s next for you, Rachel Gregor? Any new projects or opportunities in the works that you can share with our readers?

After working so long with gouache I’m eager to get back into oil again. I love the back and forth discoveries that can happen in the studio when you work with different material processes, so I’m excited to see how my approach with oil is going to change. I have some future exhibitions planned with Hashimoto so of course keep an eye on Instagram for upcoming show announcements!

Mudtrout Ophelia II by Rachel Gregor

About Hashimoto Gallery //

Hashimoto Contemporary is a contemporary art gallery originally founded in 2013 by Ken Harman Hashimoto. In 2023 the gallery announced two new partners, Dasha Matsuura and Jennifer Rizzo. Hashimoto Contemporary provides a platform for artists whose identities and subjects have been historically relegated to the margins, as well as artists whose practices fit neatly into the canon of art history. You can find them at the Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco), the Lower East Side (New York City) and Culver City (Los Angeles) where their three spaces organize new exhibitions monthly.

About the artist Rachel Gregor//

Rachel Gregor lives and works in Kansas City, MO. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 and has studied abroad at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Zürich, Switzerland, and group exhibition participation nationwide.

Rachel Gregor Social Media Accounts

Website | Instagram

Hashimoto Contemporary Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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