Launch LA is proud to present By Water By Fire, a new exhibition of work by California artist Marie Thibeault. Thibeault examines the power of natural forces pitted against the vulnerability of architectural structures. In this ongoing conflict between man and nature, both our natural and built environments exist under the strain of environmental collapse.
Within this group of paintings, Thibeault explores the consuming qualities of fire and water, both increasingly destructive forces affecting our precarious ecosystems. Although fragmentary, such appropriated imagery expresses ongoing environmental events such as floods and wildfires. As a reference to the industrial landscape surrounding the ports of Los Angeles, the inclusion of these locations impacted by trauma or extreme transformation express themes of flux, change and environmental instability. Color is both symbolic and associative and clearly the most expressive element in the work. The paintings are the result of a sustained contest between structural references and their exposure to intense color fields, that creates both a linearity and an atmospheric presence in the work.
Ultimately, Thibeault arrives at a sense of balance and stasis, in order to allow the viewer a space in which to hold and to contemplate the intense changes taking place in the environment, and in particular, within this place in this moment in history.
Thibeault’s work has been recently featured in exhibitions such as The Feminine Sublime at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and Color Vision, at the Huntington Beach Art Center. Recent solo exhibitions include Illuminations at Von Fraunberg Gallery in Dusseldorf, Neon Babylon, at Elena Shchukina Gallery in London, Engineering at George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco, and Broken Symmetries, Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, CA. She recently completed a residency at Two Coats of Paint in New York, and twice participated in the US Thai Exchange Program at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Her work has been reviewed in several publications, including Artilery Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, and Art in America.
Thibeault received her BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from UC Berkeley. She is currently a Professor of Art at California State University Long Beach where she teaches painting and color theory.