Bella Foster

Los Angeles, CA, USA. 1975

Bella Foster is known for her intimate paintings of interiors, objects and people rendered primarily in watercolor and gouache. Her works create a moment of ethereal reflection on the artist’s life and surroundings. She collects images from books and magazines, as well as draws from the places she inhabits and the everyday things around her, to create intimately scaled gestural interiors and still life paintings. Elements from historical paintings are grouped with depictions of the common studio items around her, and a surreal narrative imbued with symbolism emerges. A brush stroke from a color field painting is emulated and transformed into a lamp, a tablecloth becomes a surreal oceanic landscape, and a rock becomes a confused figure on a table. She returns to certain themes and objects frequently. Pencils from her studio, and even her tape dispenser, become heroes in the painted world.


She consistently draws from a variety of images of the female body; Paleolithic fertility figurines, Manet’s Olympia, Henry Moore’s sculptures, and Picasso’s many images of women. The female figure in art is both an objectified image as well as an archetypal symbol of receptivity and creative power. Taking fragments and pieces from these images of the female body is a way of embodying the images herself.


One person exhibitions of her work have been presented at The Pit, Glendale, CA (2018, 2020), Canada, New York, NY (2017), South Willard, Los Angeles, CA (2015), and Art Since the Summer of 69, New York, NY (2010), and a two-person exhibition with Elwyn Palmerton was presented at Southfirst, Brooklyn, NY in 2008. Foster’s work has been featured in thematic exhibitions such as Palo Santo, Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA (2018); Fort Greene, Venus Over Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Material, Salon 94, New York, NY (2012); Greater Brooklyn, CRG Gallery, New York, NY (2005); and Where are we going? Where do we come from? And where are we going?, Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (2004). Recently Foster has been featured at David Zwirner online exhibition “Platform: Los Angeles” (2020).


Bella Foster is represented by The Pit in LA and is part of a collaboration between both galleries.



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