Pascal Guevara and Simon Tran – 2015 Wendy Sussman Painting Awards Exhibition

The Worth Ryder Art Gallery presents:

The 2015 Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting Exhibition


Pascal Guevara & Simon Tran (a.k.a. ghost ghost teeth)

Wednesday, April 8th – Friday, April 24th, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 8th, 4 – 7 pm

Worth Ryder Art Gallery, 116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12 – 5 pm
Free, Accessible, and Open to the Public

This year’s annual Wendy Sussman Memorial Prize in Painting features the work of Pascal Guevara and Simon Tran (a.k.a. ghost ghost teeth), selected for their outstanding achievement in painting.

Pascal Guevara, “Spacetime Spirit Twix”, Oil on Canvas, Dimensions variable, each 18.5″ x 13.5″ or 13.5″ x 18.5″, 2015.

About his brightly hued figurative abstractions, Pascal Guevara says:

Starring the subjects of my elderly dog and a debris pile, this work is a colorful amassing of my understanding of spacetime and particle physics. Continuing to work with color and texture, the work is on a smaller scale than past works and is intended to be viewed as two polyptychs consisting of six and eight parts.

Born in Los Angeles and living in Whittier, Pascal Guevara brings to his work a prior knowledge of and a personal take on an expansive range of subjects and interests.  These include arts education, astrology, calculus, Catholicism, chemistry and organic chemistry, dance, drag performance, gender and queer studies, music composition and theory, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, reality tv, spirituality, sex and body positivity, and trashy pop music.

Simon Tran (a.k.a. ghost ghost teeth), “Pray for Fire”, acrylic, spray paint, house paint, on found wood panels, dimensions variable, 2015.

Simon Tran (a.k.a. ghost ghost teeth) frames his work in terms of process and personal history:

“Meaning emerges from building compositions through spontaneous gestures and multitudes of color.  I start paintings not knowing what the end result will be.  Through the process of painting, time slows down and my mind wanders.  I start to think of childhood memories and how they are translated today.  I think about my parents.  I think about what they had to go through in their lives so I could be here today spending my time painting.  My parents immigrated to the United States because of the Vietnam War.  I wonder about the trauma that happened in the country that I am from but have never been to.  Within my work I investigate the atrocities that occurred during the Vietnam War, specifically the use of rainbow herbicides. The color in my paintings is viral and invasive while moving across the surface. The organic shapes simultaneously retract and coalesce.  Deconstruct and reconstruct.  Buried in the mix is a personal narrative that I do not really want to engage with, but scars the surface either way.  From the dark scars, color rings bright and emits hope.”

Simon Tran was born in Long Beach and now resides in Berkeley. He is finishing up his BA in Art Practice and will be graduating in Spring 2015. He has a five year old daughter who thinks everything he paints is either a rainbow or a mountain. At this moment he is concurrently exhibiting both at The Compound Gallery, Oakland (solo) and Pehrspace, Los Angeles (group). He will be showing in an upcoming group show at Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle in May. He is currently represented by The Compound Gallery.

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The Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting, in honor of figurative painter and inspirational professor Wendy Sussman who taught at Berkeley from 1989 until her untimely death in 2001, is made possible by a generous donor.

There are two main components to the Sussman Prize:

The Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting is awarded to two undergraduate students each year.  Students are selected in the spring.  Each student receives a generous honorarium  and an exhibition in the Worth Ryder Art Gallery the following spring.  This year’s winners are Sara Emsaki and Ozzie Juarez.

The Wendy Sussman Memorial Painting Lecture is presented each Spring. A visiting painter gives a public lecture, and visits the MFA studios. The 2015 Awardee is Bay Area painter Pamela Wilson-Ryckman, who will be presenting a public lecture from 7:30 – 9pm on Monday, April 20th, 2015, in Kroeber 160. 

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