Bay Area curated by Kim Anno: Aida Gamez & Carrie Lederer

6 May - 1 August 2010

Aida Gamez
As a Mexican American artist growing up in the inner city schools of Downtown Los Angeles, I became aware of the differences in the class and culture of American experience. This led me to take to traveling where I ended up on the island of Rhodos in Greece.  There meeting international artists, Germans in particular, I began to make art as a primary commitment in my life. I returned to California to study art at the California college of the Arts. A few years later I attended the University of California at Berkeley and received my MFA. Currently, I making highly rendered and expressive drawings of manipulated toys, and stuff animals in particular. These echo a feeling of loss, beauty, the psychological dilemma of childhood and the transition to adulthood. The animals float in an ambiguous space and are beginning to perform gestures and form relationships. 


My studio is in West Berkeley, California where I also live. I am an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and Diablo Valley College.

-- Aida Gamez



Emotional disruption is what guides my art-making, an interest developed through personal experience and passion. Specifically, it is the disruptive and disturbing combination of beauty and deformity that is the focus of my recent work.

The purpose is not to produce an either/or response to the clashing aspects of my work. Rather, I am striving to evoke a simultaneous sense of beauty and disturbance, a single uneasy feeling of attraction and repulsion.


In a practical sense, my three-dimensional work deals with what is visible on the exterior versus what is hidden inside, whether that be the disorders lurking within a normal-looking child or the emptiness inside an attractive package. My work attempts to illustrate or reference the inadequacy of perceptions built solely upon appearances and first impressions


Carrie Lederer
Carrie Lederer is an artist and curator, and has been producing artwork and exhibitions for thirty years. Ms. Lederer was raised in Detroit, Michigan and attended Michigan State University where she received a BFA in sculpture and a BA in Art Education. She has exhibited her work nationally including exhibitions at Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, Braunstein/Quay Gallery, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, and The Lab in San Francisco; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose; Pictogram Gallery and Ev Gallery in New York City; and Melanee Cooper Gallery in Chicago. Her exhibitions have been reviewed in local and national publications including ArtNews, San Francisco Chronicle, ArtWeek, San Jose Mercury News, Art Issues Magazine, and Diablo Magazine. Ms. Lederer is the recipient of the prestigious Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Award, and her work was included in New American Paintings catalogue, published in 2005. In 2006 she was commissioned by Art Source of San Francisco to create a public art installation in the lobby of 101 California Street in downtown San Francisco. Carrie Lederer currently lives in Oakland, California with her husband Steven Pon who is also an artist, and their son Tommy.


About the work:

For over twenty years I’ve been making work that relates to one subject—the origins of life and especially of our lives as human beings.  My recent paintings and sculpture depict turbulent gardens informed by nature’s riotous colorful beauty, or the deep space of our universe filled with a Byzantine intricacy of stars, snowflakes, and snowmen.


The work conveys the order beneath the confusion found in these two worlds—the garden and universe—both of which are astounding, capricious and anarchic.

The science of fractals and patterns of chaos are particularly important to my work. 
A fractal is a complex geometric figure made up of patterns that repeat itself—each time on a smaller scale, and each smaller version is referred to as a “self-similar ” form. 

At first glance they seem to be a tangle of order/disorder or violence/beauty. I’m drawn to nature’s intrinsic capacity to create and reproduce pattern—as both a source of imagery and working process for my own art. 


Fractals basically tell the story of the wild transformations in nature that take place on a daily basis, and they give order to a chaotic world of energy and change. My paintings, sculpture and installations are a response to these natural wonderments.

My daily, up-close encounter with nature is the fifty-foot journey through our family garden, from home to the studio. I am continually captured by nature’s sheer lunatic exuberance—a spectacle of complexity -- beautiful, simple, and seemingly haphazard.

—Carrie Lederer

Installation Views