I explore the paradoxical interaction of human nature and the natural world. We live within and are dependent on nature, yet because of our “nature” as investigators, inventors, builders, and molders of our environment, we degrade it. Radiant cities offering beauty, creativity, entertainment and opportunity, also emit blight and waste. Digital realms allow illusions of floating free of earth,and other creatures, yet we still seek feelings of awe, soothing, and primal connectedness we find in nature.
My work invites viewers to feel both realities – the sublime and the degraded – as they occur in our present moment. I draw my inspiration from natural patterns and objects, as well as cities. Artists like Bruegel, Turner, Mark Bradford, William Kentridge and Anselm Kiefer inspire me because they embed human structures in landscape to make us deeply feel the often tragic, sometimes joyful, contradiction of our nature within the environment. I would like viewers of my paintings to be drawn in by beauty to contemplate what is appealing and disquieting within.
Janet Bogardus is a San Francisco Bay Area painter and mixed-media artist. Since 1989, she has exhibited her work in California and New York. Born in Montreal, she spent her early life in many different countries, including Czechoslovakia, Algeria, Canada, Germany, Viet Nam and France. Living in a variety of environments and cultures has attuned her to the ways landscape and history intertwine, a focus which can be seen in all her work.
She completed a PhD in English Literature in 1974 at Rutgers University. In 1990, she received an MFA from San Francisco State University with a concentration on printmaking and artist books. While in the program, she was awarded a Stilwell Fellowship for creative achievement. She received an Anne Flanagan/Kala Institute of Art Fellowship, and in 1993 was nominated for the San Francisco Art Institute Adeline Kent Award. She has taught college-level studio art, writing and modern art history, as well as seniors and children California Arts Council grants. Currently she teaches drawing and mixed-media classes at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been shown at the Alternative Museum in New York City, and at such California venues as the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, the Benicia Center for the Arts, Manna Gallery, Kala Arts Institute, the Marin Foundation, the Sandra Lee Gallery, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Pro Arts Gallery, the Palos Verdes Art Center and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. Her paintings, artist books, and commissioned works are included in a large number of private collections in California, Mexico, and Boston.
Her work can be viewed by appointment at her studio in Novato or at: www.janetbogardus.net