OCEANSIDE — “Transitions: Works by Francoise Gilot
” at the Oceanside Museum of Art shows 45 pieces by Francoise Gilot that span the years of 1961 to 2006. Gilot is recognized for her uplifting oil paintings and works on paper that utilizes color relationships, mythology and symbolism.
“The reactions that have happened so far is hopefulness from Francoise’s paintings,” Mel Yoakum, exhibit curator and the director of The F. Gilot Archives, said. “There is a positiveness about the exhibit. You come out with a feel good positive energy.”
A walk through the exhibit gives viewers a look into the cyclical themes and progression in Gilot’s work.
“The title of the exhibit speaks to the pieces,” Yoakum said. “The word ‘transitions’ was selected carefully. Francoise’s work circles around and always moves forward.”
Gilot’s complete body of artwork spans more than 70 years and includes 1,500 oil paintings and 5,000 works on paper. “She devoted her entire career to her painting,” Yoakum said. “She truly knows how to put paint on a canvas.”
Gilot began painting at age 17 and still paints today at age 90. Her early contemporaries included abstract painters Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
“Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Mark Chagall, George Brock, she knew them and was part of the circle,” Yoakum said.
The exhibit shows her most recent 30 years of work. “From 1961, was the point in her career she brought together earlier inspirations and influences,” Yoakum said. “She is one of the most famous moderns we know. She gave it her own hand.”
Gilot had a notable life in addition to her artwork. She had an early relationship with Picasso and later a 25-year marriage to Jonas Salk, the polio vaccine pioneer.
“Transitions: Works by Francoise Gilot ” is on display at Oceanside Museum of Art through Nov. 13. It is the first exhibit of Gilot’s work in Southern California, which was her home for 25 years.
Yoakum will give a lecture tour of the exhibit Sept. 25 and share his knowledge of the artwork and the stories behind the works. He has a 22-year professional relationship with Gilot . Over the years he has had hours of conversation with Gilot about the influences for her work.