Rooted in the California Bay Area counterculture of the 60s and 70s, Judith Linhares (b. 1940) composes folkloric, figurative paintings from confident, abstract brushwork, utilizing broad strokes and brilliant fields of color to gradually develop her subjects. Harnessing portentous yet quotidian symbols, her uniquely irradiant paintings celebrate the female body and communal experience. Fueled by the permissive, psychedelic atmosphere of the 1960s, Linhares continues to investigate the relationship between the conscious and unconscious – her dreams often providing her work with their mythic narratives, characters, and kaleidoscopic compositions that pulsate with color.
Andrew Paul Woolbright notes: “The center of the zebra in Walk Against the Wind (2021) forms a vertical pinch of space, a ridge with falling, steep slopes that reveal a sensitivity to John McLaughlin and optical drama....Linhares attempts to express something beyond the way things are perceived, even beyond how they feel, and ultimately towards the way they impress themselves upon us. It’s a subtle but important shift away from Expression to the certain phenomenological conditions of perception that the AbEx painters were concerned with, of activating the body with the eye. This is Linhares’s contribution to contemporary figurative painting: reminding us how a mark can make you elongate and stretch to follow it up the center of the canvas, make you bend with the gesture or feel its twist in your stomach or its tingling in your spine.”