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Hayley Barker: Last Morning at El Centro


Jun. 30, 2023 - Aug. 30, 2023

Opening Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm


CVG Foundation is pleased to present “Last Morning at El Centro,” a solo exhibition by Hayley Barker. The show marks the artist’s first exhibition in Asia. Barker paints from photographs and close observation as she renders locations to which she feels deeply connected. This technique allows the artist to avoid mimeticism, instead using delicately applied layers of oil paint to build colors as ethereal and complex as her subjects. Nooks of her homes and various temporary residences appear throughout her canvases, and she’s cultivated a garden to use as a subject for her work. The paintings in the CVG Foundation exhibition hail from a larger, ongoing series in which Barker reflects on her Southern California environs and her origins in Oregon. Throughout the canvases, lush tangles of vines, effervescent leaves, and radiant flowers burble around garden paths and other markers of domestic architecture, suggesting the vivacity of the setting and of the painter’s practice itself. Barker’s fantastical palettes and verdant subject matter may evoke Post-Impressionist masters such as Pierre Bonnard. Yet the artist has developed a style all her own, featuring varied linework and brushwork, seams of exposed linen, and a playful approach to composition and depth. The show marks the end of a chapter for Barker, who recently relocated to another neighborhood and home. The transition spurred a new appreciation for the wildlife and grounds she’d leave behind on El Centro, her old street. The painter’s days at her former residence—and at her parents’ home, which she captures in “My Folk’s Place”—may be past. The plants she’s rendered may bloom and decay. Yet Barker has forever encoded memory and meaning in her imaginative paintings. Her light touch and large scale indicate fragility and strength all at once.