Inez Storer. Keeping My Head Above Water

30 May 2024 – 19 Jul 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Save Event: Inez Storer. Keeping My Head Above Water1

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Nancy Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present "Keeping My Head Above Water" by Inez Storer.


Inez Storer was born in 1933 in Santa Monica, California, to parents who had fled Germany as Hitler was rising to power. In the late 1920’s her parents became involved in the burgeoning film industry in Hollywood, which deeply influenced the artist, who now lives in the Bay Area in Point Reyes, northwest of San Francisco.

Storer’s work does not fit tidily into any label, category or movement. She has been called a “Story Painter,” a label that she shares with a few other Bay Area artists. While her work is about storytelling, her paintings are an amalgam of layers that invite many kinds of viewing. We enter into these works of magical realism, worlds she invents, finding familiar characters and strangers, recognizable iconic images. Most of the paintings incorporate some text. Storer’s interesting life is mingled with postcards, pictures, old letters and bits of text she has been collecting forever. She calls this aspect of collage “channeling,” a way of making up for her mother’s silence when she was growing up. Tableaux of ambiguity play out between isolated figures and objects. Her child-like figures—often women--carry an undercurrent of darkness, mystery, charm and secrets. Secrets were a way of life with her parents planting seeds of fantasy and surrealism in her works that plum the depths of her personal life.

Having grown up in Hollywood with her father as an art director for Paramount, she learned early about creating stage sets, what she calls “filters for creating stories,” thus, many of her paintings have theater curtains right and left. Storer writes: “America combines the ships that I have been painting and the “disaster” image seemed to me to be a PERFECT metaphor of my own anxiety about too much water, with a little figure as an example of how helpless we can be in “natural disasters” and also it is about high drama.” About Levitation, she says: “bottom line I have always been yearning to go to India and have been drawn to their paintings etc. I have collected what I could find/afford and have been making images of my fantasies about that country through the years.” In Swimmer and Painting with Matisse we see the artist’s personal view of nature, a fantasy wonderland filled with flowers, leaves, and lots of green, positive vistas. Many of her new works are devoted to the devastating effects of Climate Change, as in Where Have All the Birds Gone.

Inez received her BA from the Dominican University in 1970, and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and the College of Marin. She has received numerous grants and awards, among them the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. She was twice a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States at the Reno Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Monterey Museum of Art, the Fresno Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Missoula Montana Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia National Museum of Jewish History, among other institutions. Her works have been collected by numerous museums, among them the de Saisset Museum, the DeYoung Museum, the Lannan Museum, the Oakland Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Jewish History Museum. She resides in Northern California.

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Inez Storer


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