The University of California, San Francisco-Mission Bay Memory and Aging Center is an apt setting to exhibit paintings by Potrero Hill artist Sofia Carmi, who produced the works while healing from the recent loss of her long-time husband, artist Brent Bushnell.
Abstract art often attempts to connect the inner world of feelings and memories with the outer world of expressive colors, shapes, and textures, a process that Carmi finds stimulating. She referred to the creative metamorphosis of raw pigments into a meaningful painting as an “alchemical” process of transformation. Her paintings are a way of sharing this experience with others, with the hope that viewers will engage in their own metaphysical “dialog” with the work.
Carmi developed her work thematically. “Rhapsody” is about the flow of life; “Boneland” refers to structure and its relation to space. Both themes are tied together in the experience of life in a physical body.
Carmi has been painting since she was 16. Her work is colored by her experiences growing up and traveling to many countries before settling in San Francisco in 1985. She describes herself as a “modernist,” and has been strongly influenced by existential philosophy. The feeling of existence in the modern world, combined with questions about the nature of life and the universe, provide the essential context for her work. Her goal is to put feeling and spirit into her art so that its essence can be felt by others.
Sofia Carmi’s work can be seen at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, 675 Nelson Rising Lane, Gallery 190, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. She will hold a lecture March 15 from noon to 1 p.m. at Room 338, Sandler Building, UCSF.