Project Description


Andrew Fisher, Rain 2, 2015, 24K Gold Leaf, Canvas, Steel Bars, Thread, 39.5 x 52 Inches

Winter – Saturday, December 10, 2016 5-7pm
Facebook Event Page Link

Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce Winter, an exhibition of works by Andrew Fisher, Betty Merken, Jimi Gleason, Lisa Bartleson, and Miya Ando on view from November 30, 2016, to January 28, 2017. The gallery is located inside San Francisco’s newest art complex Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street. On Saturday, December 10, from 5pm to 7pm the public is invited to the exhibition reception. Join the Facebook event page here.

The season of winter has often provided artists with material for exceptional and spellbindingly beautiful works of art. The very nature of how we perceive this season invokes a stepping back, a meditation on atmosphere, and a desire for transformative solitude. The four artists included in this exhibition have long been concerned with the representation of light, often evoking the shifts of perception that nature can provide. The subtle nuances of each of these artists’ work allow us a moment of dreamlike tranquility, a time to contemplate and experience our own white silence of space. Though much of the work featured in this exhibition utilizes deep resonant color and tone, the message is one that we can all value in these uncertain times–to pause, to reflect, and to embrace the beauty of the external world.

Andrew Fisher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Sculpture, Drawing and Metal Arts from the California College of the Arts. His studio practice is focused on painting, sculpture, and the design and crafting of extraordinary furniture and light fixtures. Simultaneously, he has achieved wide recognition for his achievements in interior design. Fisher’s past work includes several series of tapestries crafted from coffee filters, used to make coffee and then painted, cut and quilted together; a series of works on paper incorporating discarded plastic tarps; monoprints; and paintings on canvas. His current work blends his love of metal and sculpture. Using canvas, steel, and paper, Fisher creates intricately sewn tapestries which he paints and gilds with 24 karat gold. He also creates dramatic sculptures in steel and brass – again, completely gilded with 24 karat gold. Andrew Fisher lives and works in San Francisco and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.


Andrew Fisher, Oval in Square and Square in Oval, 24K Gold Leaf, Canvas, Steel Bars, Thread,
31.5 x 37 Inches Each

Betty Merken is an American painter and printmaker. Her work can be found in several galleries and numerous private and public collections in the United States, Asia, and Europe, and in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor), the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. Merken has been honored with fellowships from the BAU Institute in Otranto, Italy and New York and the Civita/Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy. She is the co-author, with Stefan Merken, of Wall Art, Megamurals and Supergraphics (Philadelphia: Running Press, 1987).


Betty Merken, Slab Series, Ultramarine, Straight Up, 2016, Each slab hand deckled, hand inked, and hand printed on Rives BFK paper. Base: Anodized aluminum, Total dimensions” 19 x 14 x 14 Inches, Printed dimensions: 9 x 10 x 10 Inches

Jimi Gleason was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated with a BA in Fine Art from UC Berkeley in 1985, later moving to New York. Upon his return to California, Jimi worked as a studio assistant for renowned abstract painter, Ed Moses. His work is included in many important private and public collections, both here and abroad.


Jimi Gleason, Pearl Thira, 2007, Acrylic on Canvas, 66 x 54 Inches

Lisa Bartleson now working in the San Francisco Bay Area, continues the legacy of Southern California painting’s rich abstract history utilizing a personal technique and process that further elucidate the key elements of the Light and Space aesthetic. The Sphere body of works consists of repetitive, meditative mark making and luminous color strips. Bartleson paints in a methodical fashion starting from a saturated dark color and slowly adding in measured amounts of a lighter color. She then uses a pearlized color to deepen and strengthen the luminescence. After painting, she cuts the paper in one-inch squares and layers them in the same order as they were painted. Bartleson uses a reductive vocabulary of form and color to make work that is infused with light. The nuanced surfaces of her paintings are at once intense and calming, moving and still. This results in works with a field of discrete transitions between hues of color. In each of these works the focus is on a horizon or center point of luminescence to draw in the viewer in hopes of evoking a meditative state of seeing things differently and more clearly.

In early 2016 Lisa Bartleson moved from Los Angeles to Petaluma, drawn to the city’s diffused light, vast open space, and small town feel, reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest where she was born and raised. In February 2017 the artist will be exhibiting her body of work The Memory Project at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, California. Her work is currently in the exhibition Work Over School: Art From The Margins of the Inside at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. This exhibition focuses on artists who have developed great conceptual and technical skill through nontraditional means.


Lisa Bartleson, Sphere 0216.37, 2016, Mixed Media and Resin on Panel, 37 x 37 x 3 Inches

Miya Ando received a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. Ando’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world, including a recent show curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum. She has produced numerous public commissions, most notably a memorial sculpture in which she utilized a 30-foot tall piece of steel which had fallen from the World Trade Center buildings. The sculpture is permanently displayed in front of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. A Critic’s Pick in Artforummagazine in 2015, Ando is also recipient of numerous awards including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. Her large-scale installation piece Emptiness The Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) was featured in Frontiers Reimagined, a collateral exhibition of the 2015 Venice Biennale, in the Museo di Palazzo Grimani.

Miya Ando, Light Blue Silver Mandala, 2016, Pigment, Urethane, Resin, Stainless Steel, 36 Inches


Exhibition Statement – Winter (PDF)