Jean Conner: Inner Garden chronicles the artist’s prolific yet under-studied career, spanning 1954 to the present day, and showcases her work across a range of media. The 60 works included, many exhibited here for the first time, depict Conner’s interests in nature and spirituality. Influenced by the legendary Bay Area botanist Ida Geary and nineteenth century French Symbolists Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon, Conner’s works display her animated imagination through the use of religious symbolism, dream-like imagery, flora and fauna. Given Conner’s reticence to share her work publicly and the outsize role her husband, artist Bruce Conner (1933-2008), played in the art world, her contributions have gone largely unnoticed. Inner Garden is among the first museum presentations devoted to this historically overshadowed artist.
Taken as a whole, the exhibition emphasizes the artist’s intimate relationship with themes of nature and the imagination, connections that emerge most profoundly when looking at the arc of her career. Conner’s work connects the visible with the invisible and looks to nature as a space in which the world can be known and understood. The artist continues to defy categorization, forging a path defined by her own unique approach to artmaking, and its link to the routine activities of daily life.
Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children. Free for members.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue including contributions by Natasha Boas and Robert Conway.
Beginning on June 22, docent tours will occur every Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.
This exhibition is generously supported by The Herbst Foundation.
Additional support is provided by Ron Casentini, Daniel and Susan Daniloff, and William Otton.
Aztec Warrior, 1990, Watercolor, 30 x 22 in. Untitled, 1961, Oil painting, 25.75 x 21.75 in. Untitled, 1968, Oil painting, 23 x 19.25 in. Flight of the Condor August 13, 2017, 2017, Collage on paper, 12.24 x 9 in.
All works courtesy the Conner Family Trust and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco; (c) Conner Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]
About the Artist(s):+
Jean Conner (b. 1933, Lincoln, Nebraska) lives and works in San Francisco. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and her MFA from the University of Colorado Boulder. Conner’s work has been included in various solo and group exhibitions and resides in numerous public and private collections, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Conner is represented by Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco.