March 31 – August 13, 2023
Opening March 31 6-8pm
Sarah Blaustein: Present Tense
“These are not just physical works. There’s a radiance here, as though we’re looking at visions of saints, not of the saints themselves, but of what they see when they behold the world ecstatically.”
The ICA San José is thrilled to display a series of site-specific, bodily works by painter Sarah Blaustein. Installed in the front gallery, the work creates a full-sensory experience of being surrounded by her paintings. Present Tense, a series of sensuous, lush paintings, is made with permanent materials. The works evoke the feeling of giving life, creation, and the human condition. A viewer can get lost in the use of bold color, the seemingly wet, saturated surface and the push and pull of the picture plane. Using deeply saturated pigments and water, Blaustein paints the sensations she feels but can not see.
Working with the ICA San José, this spiritual installation is intended as a semi-Rothko Chapel, or sorts, conceived for long-looking solace and reflection. In this immersive space, the viewer may feel more present in their own thoughts, sensations, and be aware of their own humanity. Like a big exhale, the works bring one into the here and now.
Sarah Blaustein’s exhibition Present Tense at the ICA San José has been made possible thanks to generous support from the City of San José’s Office of Cultural Affairs; along with significant support from Applied Materials, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; along with additional support from SVCreates. In-kind support has been provided by Kelly Moore Paints.
About Sarah Blaustein
Blaustein was born in 1982 and grew up in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied at the New York Studio School, Art Students League of New York, Syracuse University in Florence, Italy and the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Some galleries that she has exhibited at include Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, CA), Paul Thiebaud Gallery (San Francisco, California), Berry Campbell Gallery (New York, New York), Prince Street Gallery (New York, New York) and Hackett Mill Gallery (San Francisco, California). In 2022, she showed a new body of work Sum of Sensations at a private viewing at Pace Gallery in Palo Alto for a salon event with Alexander Nemerov, the Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University. In Jan 2023, she showed a select body of work at a private salon hosted by Jennifer Stockman, the former Head of the Guggenheim Board, where Alexander Nemerov spoke about her work. She exhibited her work at FOG Fair through Berggruen Gallery in January 2023. In March 2023, she will exhibit her work at the Institute of Contemporary Art San José and in May 2023 she will have a solo show at Berggruen Gallery (San Francisco, CA).