Smith Andersen North is pleased to present the art of Shingo Francis and Bryan Ida. Francis and Ida paint abstract shape, line, and color to create geographies based on memory and our feeling of place. Memories disappear, reappear, and blend, leaving emotional traces of environment, time, and personal history. Between specific memories we free-associate and drift, creating new landscapes from those we have already experienced. This is the world of Placing Memory.
Shingo Francis focuses on the natural environment and its relationship to emotional and psychological states of being, including the experience of memory. Francis frequently explores the relationship between the solitude of a natural setting, such as the ocean, and the inner silence of meditation. His most recent work is based on references to the horizon.
Bryan Ida is inspired by Southern California, whose freeways, buildings, waterways, natural beauty, and even filth resonate in his memories. As he pushes to find essential visual elements, distant ocean and desert become horizons, providing locations into which foreground forms emerge and find their places. Just as the environment that inspires him diminishes and decays, so do his memories, transforming remembered landscapes into the refined abstractions that populate his work.
Francis and Ida were introduced to art in the studios of the abstract expressionist painter Sam Francis, Shingo's father. Their strong childhood friendship continued into adulthood, and between 1996 and 2000, Francis, Ida, and Felicia Page ran The Hatch Art Space in Los Angeles. Francis relocated to Japan in 2001, which ended the project. Nevertheless, their lives continue to interweave, thanks to strong early ties.
Shingo Francis lives and works in New York and Yokohama, Japan. He received his BFA from Pitzer College, Los Angeles, and was awarded the SICF Fumio Nanjo (director of Mori Museum of Art) Award in 2003. Francis participated in residencies at Art Omi in 2006, Montalvo Arts Center in 2009, and MARMA Berlin in 2012. His work has been shown at galleries, museums, and onsite installations in the United States and overseas, including Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Japan; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; The Durst Organization, New York; The Sewonha Art Center, Seoul, Korea; Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland; Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Schmalfuss Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; BankART, Yokohama, Japan; and The Painting Center, New York. Solo shows have been at The Bogart Salon, Brooklyn, New York; ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid; Hino Gallery, Tokyo; Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, South Carolina; and Galerie Paris, Yokohama.
Bryan Ida lives and works in Southern California. He studied electronic music composition at San Jose State and Sonoma Sate University. In 1988, he became Sam Francis' studio assistant, first working in Palo Alto and then Los Angeles. Francis' mentorship is the foundation of his work in visual arts. His paintings have been shown at Blue Whale, George Billis Gallery, and Bandini Art in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Art Association, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica; Hang, San Francisco and Palo Alto; and many other venues.
Top: Shingo Francis, Into Space (storm red), 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 23 5/8 x 35 1/2 inches.
Bottom: Bryan Ida, Paradise Cove, 2013. Mixed media, 36 x 84 inches.