Airport, please! to the Long Museum (West bund) Shanghai to experience Full Moon, a solo exhibit by Jennifer Guidi

by leslierankowfinearts

Long Museum
Shanghai West Bund


The Long Museum(West bund) is proud to present Full Moon, the first institutional solo exhibition in China by Los Angeles based artist Jennifer Guidi, from July 1st until August 21st, 2022. The exhibition is a survey of the artist’s work to date and also premieres a number of important new paintings: Full Moon epitomizes Jennifer Guidi’s practice and the evolution of her artistic process.

Shanghai is a favorite city and Jennifer Guidi a favorite artist so the trip seemed inevitable. One of the great privileges of being an art advisor is the opportunity to meet with astonishingly accomplished collectors, and to have them share their lives with you. I remember planning a trip to Shanghai and being joined by a beloved Hong Kong client who took me around Shanghai and invited me for lunch to his colonial  house that had won an architectural price for its thoughtful restoration. I remember great clients telling me of the joy of their having their first child and sharing in their daughter’s many accomplishments throughout the years. One of the sad things about the pandemic is adjusting to the necessary social distancing, the inability to hop on a plane to visit and the strictures on air travel, art fairs and galleries and the misunderstandings that only email communication encourages.

Jennifer Guidi
Full Moon
Long Museum Shanghai


The LRFA Blog was introduced to the work of Jennifer Guidi by an enthusiastic client and an effort to acquire a work evolved into a dialogue with the artist’s dealers and auction specialists and a deep appreciation of her practice and paintings, both on the primary and the secondary market.

Jennifer Guidi
Installation Full Moon exhibit at Long Museum

Jennifer Guidi’s immersive work operates within both the physical and metaphysical world. Her abstract compositions refer to the natural world literally and visually as she mixes sand with paint to depict arresting natural and cosmological phenomena. Her surroundings of Los Angeles, where she set up her studio after graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, are palpable through her work: the immense skies of California filled with the fleeting color of sunrises and sunsets, the particular hazy light of Los Angeles that blurs colors together and casts deep shadows and the mountains she passes daily on the way to her   studio. Her practice is however deeply rooted in what also lies beyond physical surroundings, in the spiritual and metaphysical worlds. Each of her paintings is an ‘energy source’ indebted to the power of vibrations, and her works incorporate recurring symbols related to Western and Eastern religions, ancient civilisations and the esoteric sciences. Guidi’s very process of creating these serene, repetitive works is akin to a meditative practice. Reveling in external and internal symmetry in her work, such as sunrise and sunset, light and dark, these ideas sit alongside a scientific study of geometry and color theory, creating works that are not only visually in harmony but are epistemologically balanced too.

Jennifer Guidi

Always drawn to sand as a material, Guidi experimented with translating sand to canvas as a permanent material, taking a few years to find the recognizable pattern that is now synonymous with her work. The highly textured works are created either by pressing divots with a dowel into a thick layer of wet sand, the ‘sand mandalas’, or by starting with a smooth sand layer and painting the mandala on top, the ‘universe mandalas’. A formative moment for her composition when ‘everything changed’, came after watching Tibetan monks make sand mandalas, where patterns radiate from one central point. Guidi moved from using horizontal lines as the foundation of her composition along which she placed random marks, to making concentric repeated and formulated holes that radiate from a central focal point. They appeal to our somatic senses, the regular indentations capture the artist’s corporeal presence in the work and encourage awareness of our own bodies’ movement. The meditative sense of calm Guidi reaches when creating the work suffuses through, drawing us into her harmonious and immersive compositions. The tangibility of Guidi’s movements and state of mind within the works makes them in part a self-portrait, with her presence forever fixed amongst the grains of sand.

The artist’s fascination with light is inextricably tied to her attentiveness to color. The visible light spectrum is formed of all the colors of the rainbow, each wavelength of light vibrates at a different frequency to produce a different color. This idea forms the basis of her chromatic explorations and drew her to a study of chakra methodologies, an idea from early Hinduism. Chakras are energy centers within the human body, each giving off a different vibration, like the colors in the light spectrum. ‘Chakra’ in Sanskrit translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, linking the spiritual idea to that of the nineteenth-century invention of color wheels and broader color theory that associated specific color pairings with emotions and explored in detail connections between nature and color. Reading through these multiple lenses Guidi’s investigation of a rainbow spectrum of color is therefore more than an exploration of pure pigment, but rather a reflection on emotion, shape, nature and philosophy.

Jennifer Guidi
Full Moon: Long Museum

The circle predominates Guidi’s work, geometrically present in the repeated holes, and symbolically representative of the sun and moon. Other shapes recur throughout her work, as an exploration of pure geometry and for their diverse symbolism. Triangles represent California’s mountains and refer to the allusions surrounding Ancient Egyptian pyramids. Guidi is drawn to the symbol of the serpent, relevant to ancient mythologies and mysticism. Their particularly complex symbolism represents rebirth, creativity and immortality through shedding of the skin and as the rod of Ascelplius, the Ancient Greek god of healing, and consequent use as a symbol of medicine. Guidi uses shaped canvases to explore these shapes and meanings, grouping symbols together in tandem and opposition to create dialogue between their formal lines and forge new meanings. These works are an innovative take on the traditional composition of diptychs and triptychs in paintings, using entirely separate canvases to create these formations, constructing works that lie somewhere between painting, sculpture and design.

JENNIFER GUIDI “FULL MOON” EXHIBIT July 1, 2022 – August 21, 2022

The title of Jennifer Guidi’s exhibition, Full Moon emphasizes the cosmological and mystical roots of her practice; the moon is like life: constantly changing; it is representative of peace, prosperity, harmony and luck; the full moon is a time to be receptive and to connect, which we are motivated to do throughout the exhibition. We are encouraged through engaging with her mandala-like works, not only to travel outward to be transported into distant landscapes and watch sunsets through her eyes, but also to travel inward to connect with our minds and spirits. During the full moon we are guided by unusually powerful light, symbolizing, much like the balance strived for in her work, a moment of unity between two dualities, where light can be found in darkness.

Jennifer Guidi
at work


Colors charge us externally and internally. I translate these colors into works every day. On an intuitive level, I am guided by the colors in nature.
—Jennifer Guidi

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Born in Redondo Beach, California, Guidi received a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On moving to Los Angeles, she was immediately struck by the city’s distinctive hazy light and blocky 1950s architecture. Basing her early paintings on her own photographs of local domestic interiors, she became increasingly interested in the colors and textures of her subjects’ walls. Following a 2012 visit to Morocco, she began to pursue a more abstract approach, drawing inspiration from the heavy stitching and irregular undersides of the country’s handmade rugs. She made her first abstract “dot paintings” that year, applying small dabs of white paint to black grounds.

Jennifer Guidi
Long Museum West Bund

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Guidi began incorporating sand into her panels in 2013, using sticks found on the beach in Hawaii as simple mark-making tools. She then developed a system of underpainting in which she first applies a thick layer of sand to the surface of the canvas; while this is still wet, she makes marks with a dowel in controlled and repetitive movements, often adding sand and paint along the edges of the divots. The result of this intensely physical process is a hypnotic swirl of saturated color that is at once contemporary and timeless, prompting consideration of the diversity of cultural and corporeal meanings that have been assigned to shape and pattern.

Jennifer Guidi
The Priestess

Guidi also often explores visual manifestations of duality—light and darkness, abstraction and figuration, science and mysticism—finding symmetry and balance in seeming opposition. This is apparent even when her work returns to representational elements, as it does in the twinned serpentine canvases of To Protect and Hold You Up (2019). (Such imagery has appeared in Guidi’s work since 2013, when she produced a series of “snake stick” sculptures that reference the serpent as a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and sticks as totems of strength, healing, and magic.)

Jennifer Guidi
To Protect and Hold You Up

These diverse interests recur throughout Guidi’s oeuvre, suffused as it is with allusions to spirituality and the metaphysical, and drawing as it does on various practices originating in Eastern tradition. After watching Tibetan monks make a sand mandala, she moved from using horizon lines as the foundational element of her compositions to preferring a central focal point. She has also alluded to chakras (a system of corporeal energy centers with origins in early Hinduism) alongside Enlightenment color theory. Citing the influence of predecessors including Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Martin, and Hilma af Klint, Guidi makes work that also resonates with images and methods far beyond the Western art-historical narrative.

Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series created by Gagosian Gallery highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.


Jennifer Guidi shares a selection of music she listened to in the studio and speaks about its connection to her meditative painting process.