Houseguest: Gabbiani Opens at the Hammer Museum

February 25, 2009

Series Invites Artists to Curate from the Collections

On view at the Hammer February 15 - May 24, 2009

Los Angeles, CA – The Hammer Museum presents the second exhibition of Houseguest, a new series in which artists are invited to curate a show from among the Museum’s diverse collections. For this exhibition, Los Angeles-based artist Francesca Gabbiani explores the subjects of witchcraft and sorcery, themes that are often subtly evoked in her own work. She browsed through the collections of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum, and UCLA’s Departments of Special Collections at both the Charles E. Young Research Library and the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. Gabbiani pursued her research with an eye for mysterious and macabre images, illustrations of poisonous and deadly plants, as well as representations of unearthly figures like fairies and elves. The eclectic selection of prints and illustrated books range in date from the Renaissance to the present. In this installation, Gabbiani proposes a personal and intriguing exploration of mystical powers and magical spells.

Francesca Gabbiani was born in 1965 in Montreal, Canada. In 1969, her family moved to Switzerland, and in 1992 she graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Geneva. She studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 1993 to 1994, and received her M.F.A. in 1997 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Gabbiani’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Geneva (MAMCO), among other venues, and in 1991 she was part of the Hammer Project series. She recently had solo exhibitions at Patrick Painter Inc in Santa Monica, Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin, Monica de Cardenas in Zuoz, Switzerland, and Sara Meltzer Gallery in New York. Gabbiani currently lives and works in Los Angeles.