S Cube Gallery 346 North Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 Catalog © 2011 S Cube Gallery Essay © 2011 Peter Frank Catalog design by Jared Linge All images and text courtesy of the artist or gallery.
ON THE EDGE
statements in black and white
“I want to stay as close the edge as possible without going over. Out on the edge you can see all sorts of things you can’t see from the center. Big, undreamed of things – the people on the edge see them first.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse V
BLACK AND WHITE AND EDGE ALL OVER By Peter Frank What can you do without color? Look at Henri Matisse, whose Fauvist passion for color has made him everyone’s favorite 20th century painter. Some of his most enchanting (and, yes, popular) works are the ones he drew with simple (if curvaceous) black lines on white surfaces. “Shape,” the lines say, “is a kind of color.” Black and white, of course, are also colors. And so is every shade of gray between them. They are colors without hue, their tones and values that much more exposed. Artworks rendered in a blackwhite spectrum seem that much more naked, visually and spiritually, and at the same time that much more powerful for their starkness – the charcoal that succeeds the tree, the ink that follows the blood. At the very least, there is a sense in a black-and-white work that the artist is trying less to seduce us – or, worse, lie to us – than speak, even whisper, certain truths to us, urgent truths, or at least truths displayed with a certain urgency. The lushness and voluptuousness of at least some of the works in this exhibition would seem to demonstrate otherwise; but what they demonstrate is not that you can “lie” in black-and-white, but that the sexiest thing in pictures is line, and that sexiness doesn’t get in the way of forthrightness. There is also a lot of surface incident in a lot of the work here, testifying to another (if not unrelated) level of sensuousness, a level that speaks of the world’s tactile effects, and our sensitivity to, even need for, those effects. We crave even the ones we think don’t feel good (or look good, for that matter), and art like this, conjuring scorched earth and tree bark and fault lines, reminds us of as much. Some of the work here is pictorial, some of it is material, and some of it seems to hover in a middle position, neither showing us things that aren’t there nor presenting stuff that is emphatically there, but depicting stuff that is sort of there, sort of not – the illusion of non-illusion. Think about it: this magical suspension between the real and the unreal, the suggested and the factual, is hard to propose in color. Colors argue for themselves. They define what they infuse: that scarf is blue, that blood is red, those eyes are green. With color beside the point, everything before our eyes easily becomes part of something else, something larger, something that means more than “redness,” “blueness,” “yellowness.” (“Blackness” and “whiteness,” after all, represent as well as embody absolutes, the absence and the presence of all colors, respectively. Of his all-black paintings, each composed of nine equal-size squares of slightly different black shades, Ad Reinhardt said, “I’m simply painting the last paintings anyone can paint.”) “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue?” asked the title of a series of paintings by Barnett Newman. Newman posed the question rhetorically, or seemed to: in fact, he himself had clearly wrestled with it existentially. He rendered the greater part of his vast, empty canvases in black and white, and when he posited his vertical “zips” in yellow against red, it meant – it worked as – something else entirely. The abstract expressionists, notorious for flinging paint, in fact agonized over everything from composition to color; they were equally notorious, for instance, for criticizing one another for prettiness and decorativeness when the colors got too vivid, and they wrestled with Matisse’s example a lot more angrily than with Picasso’s. Well, so do artists nowadays. Color can still be a way for a weak artist to cheat his or her way out of a lot of
problems – although the audience cheated probably does not comprise his or her fellow artists. No, artists are tough customers when it comes to color. But, then, we’re all tough customers when it comes to black and white. The general audience, its jones for the rainbow unsatisfied, wants magic to come out of the artist’s ink-stained hand. The “professional” audience wants to be surprised, to be made to make a double-take, to be shown a visual turn of phrase that distinguishes that artist from all the other artists looking for solutions to problems they’ve set themselves. Maybe that’s magic, too. Everyone is looking for the white rabbit to pop out of the black hat. Photographers have it at once easier and harder. Their medium, after all, is not simply an artistic one, but an indexical one, a medium on which we depend for information as well as beauty. Trouble is, none of us believes (at least any more) that the camera doesn’t lie, and yet we still want to believe what we see. Color photography invites – and at the same time challenges – our credulity one way, black-and-white photography another. At this point, in fact, given what we’re used to seeing, color photography looks more like “everyday” truth, black-and-white more like heightened, “ultimate” truth. But both kinds of photography are simply their own truth, not ours. More importantly to this show, the seemingly heightened truth of black-and-white photography helps make black-and-white look more like art – which is unfair to both color and black-and-white work, discounting the aesthetic significance of the one and placing an extra burden on the other. As in photography, black-and-white work in all other visual disciplines does not maintain a moral, or for that matter technical, superiority over its color equivalent. You can do things in black and white you can’t do in color; but, obviously, the reverse is true as well. Why the artwork gathered here is gathered here, finally, is not to prove a point but to exploit one: black-and-white art in any medium is something distinct from its colored counterpart(s), and maintains certain affinities with black-and-white work in very different media. (One of Georges Seurat’s conté crayon studies, for instance, looks at least as much like a still from an early video-artwork by, say, Peter Campus or Joan Jonas as it does like Grande Jatte.) As a result, for all its disparate forms and textures and sizes and substances, “On the Edge” maintains a consistent “feel” throughout. There’s a lot of exciting envelope-pushing going on here – and no one artist pushes in quite the same direction as any other – but, it’s fascinating to see (or, perhaps, to feel) that they’re all pushing with the grain. Los Angeles October 2011
NINO BAUMGARTNER b. Bern, Switzerland EDUCATION Hochschule der Künste, Bern SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2010 2009 2008
A.R. Penck / Nino Baumgartner, KATZ CONTEMPORARY, Zürich, Switzerland Hyperactive Summerlab, CAN Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel Back Yard, Galerie Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne, Switzerland Full Vacuum, LIVE IN YOUR HEAD, curated by Jeanne Gillard and Laurence Schmidlin, Geneva, Switzerland Landschaft, VISARTE Galerie, Bern Zeit geht vorbei LOGE, Stadtgalerie, Bern Conspiracy, Kunsthalle, Bern When Form Follows Attitude, Galerie ARTREPCO, Zürich No You Couldn’t, Galerie Milieu, Bern Formsachen #5 - Nino Baumgartner, Kunstraum Oktogon, Bern Ein Mass der Dinge, NOMAD, Bern Mentor of a Lightening, Planke / Kasko, Basel, Switzerland
STATEMENT Baumgartner’s oeuvre centers on the topics of tension, statics, movement and gravity, an orientation that displays a strong influence from his past as a skateboarder. His relentless, intuitive examination of spaces and architectural structures, and his exploration of his own physical abilities and constraints including his playful way of using tension and gravity amount to a new urban perspective. Baumgartner generally uses raw materials such as plywood, glass, metal or bricks for his work, and applies them in various artistic forms of expression. His oeuvre incorporates sculptures, drawings, and performances, and he consciously opposes the rigid boundaries between these different media. The artwork Broken Glass III is made of bulletproof glass. A tenuous network of lines and fissures orginating from a heavy blow runs across it. Ink was trickled onto the glass finding its way through the rifts and creating an unpredictable dark pattern. Nino Baumgartner’s involvement with the characteristics of his materials and the consequential possible tensions accentuates a further aspect of his creative process which is outside the control of the artist.
Nino Baumgartner, Broken Glass III, bullet-proof glass and ink, 24 x 48 inches
SHAY BREDIMUS b. Omaha, Nebraska EDUCATION Laguna College of Art and Design, MFA Painting, Laguna Beach, CA Emily Carr University, BFA Painting, Vancouver BC Academy of Art, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Mesa Community College, Associate of Arts Degree, Mesa AZ SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2004
Small Works Show, Prographica, Seattle, WA Face to Face, William D. Cannon Gallery, Carlsbad, CA Indelible Marks (Solo Exhibition), Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City, CA West Coast Drawing , Drawings VIII by Koplin Del Rio Gallery, curated by Norman Lundin, Davidson Gallery, Seattle, WA Shay Bredimus: The Rhetorical Body, San Luis Obispo Art Center, San Luis Obispo, CA LA Art Fair, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA Not Without Form: Recent Drawings and works on Paper, Donna Beach Fine Art Gal- lery, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV Contemporary Realist Painting and Drawing: 16 Graduates/ 19 Mentors, Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City LCAD MFA Group Show, curated by Peter Frank, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA MFA Solo Exhibition, 1-5 Gallery, Los Angeles BFA Solo Exhibition, KD6 Gallery, Vancouver BC.
STATEMENT A figurative painter, Bredimus employs languid and gestural marks using tattoo ink on drafting film to portray spontaneous and personal moments of his models. His classical training in portraiture is evident, to which he has added aesthetic influences from Japanese tattoo, and Ukiyo-e prints. Shayâ€™s intention is to convey the fleeting effects of light and shadow as it moves across the figures in his portraits. This effect is established with the combination of quick and deliberate marks, along with letting the ink drip and fall randomly. In this practice Shay does not control the medium rather the medium directs him. His large drawings display aggressive application to enhance the spontaneous aspects of the drawing process. This quality is important to display Bredimusâ€™ distinct perspective as an artist, and individual fingerprint as a human being. Shay has chosen to work on Duralar drafting film for its effortless movement and translucency, and because it allows for the use of layers of pigment to create depth of field in the picture plane with out the aid of horizon lines or backgrounds. The translucent drafting film also allows him to use both sides of the surface to add additional atmospheric elements.
Shay Bredimus, Silent Treatment, tattoo ink on drafting film, 48 x 72 inches
JOHN CHANG b. Shanghai, China EDUCATION Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA Shanghai Light-Industry College, Shanghai SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011
Embrace the Chaos, San Diego International Airport Public Project/Installation, San Diego, CA Mill Fine Art Gallery (Solo Exhibition), Santa Fe, NM Embrace the Chaos, Gallery-Gray, Mankato, MN The Gap (Solo Exhibtion), Alexander Brest Museum, Jacksonville University, Jack sonville, FL Crosscurrents - Paintings and Works on paper, Togonon Gallery, San Francisco, CA East Meets West, Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY Gathering, Fresh Paint Art Gallery, Culver City, CA Summer Group Exhibition, Andrews Art Museum, Andrews, NC Identity (Solo Exhibition), Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, Gainesville State College, Oakwood, GA 3ByOne, Istituto Europeo, Firenze, Italia New Visions, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO Project 210 Show, Project 210 Gallery, Pasadena, CA
STATEMENT My work expresses the duality of my Chinese and American experience by juxtaposing traditional and unconventional symbols and images through the application of mixed media. Deconstructed Chinese Calligraphy layered over segments of world history and references to modern pop-culture depict my personal transformation. My use of calligraphy here contrasts the customary usage of Chinese Calligraphy. Where the latter creates a conformed expectation of structure and beauty of brushwork, my expressive characters allow for a freedom of interpretation.
(opposite) John Chang, Untitled 16, acrylic, ink, and collage on canvas, 36 x 72 inches
John Chang, Untitled 4, acrylic, ink, and collage on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
CARA COLE b. Toronto, Canada EDUCATION University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2004 2003
An Immortality of Bliss (Solo Exhibition), Becker Galleries, Vancouver, Canada ARTIFACT, Contact Photography Festival 2011, Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto SPLASH: Beautiful, Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Lurid (Solo Exhibition), Arin Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA Group Exhibition, Becker Galleries, Vancouver, Canada Opening Exhibition, Becker Galleries, Vancouver, Canada Nevada Now II, Humboldt Gallery, *Curated by Diane Deming for the Nevada Museum of Art, Winnemucca, NE Life in Slow Motion (Solo Exhibition), University of Wisconson Gallery, Madison, WI Brutal Instincts (Solo Exhibition), Dust Contemporary Art, Las Vegas, NE Life in Slow Motion (Solo Exhibition), Peppers Fine Art Gallery, Redlands, CA Cara Cole & Kung Jeon (Two-Person Exhibition), Dust Contemporary Art, Las Vegas The Sky Above, The Mud Below (Solo Exhibition), Chidlaw Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
STATEMENT In Gods and Heroes, I appropriate from a wide variety of scientific textbooks. I cannibalize and collage this existing imagery, to create stark visual poetry out of unlikely combinations of scientific â€œspecimens.â€? The resulting narratives are unsettlingly intimate. Chidren, naked and isolated on fields of black, move toward or shiver away from aggressive natural elements. The children are frozen in dances of fear and fascination. These dramas unfold on a heroic scale. This body of work evolved out of he mingling of two streams of thought. First is the recollection of greek myths which explained the workings of the universe, particularly tales in which Gods preyed on mortals, seducing or attacking humans in the guise of natural elements: a swan, a heavy mist, a shower of gold. The second is the inspiration of modern scientific texts, in which every conceivable aspect of the universe -- from the most minute biological entity to the most colossal cosmological event -- is meticulously, obsessively and tirelessly documented. Both creative endeavors (the mythological and the scientific) are driven by a most passionate human desire, to unlock the mysteries of creation and destruction, growth and decay, life and death, so we will no longer be forced to surrender to elemental forces beyond our control and have ultimate control over our own destinies.
Cara Cole, Eclipse, c-type print, 48 x 120 inches
VIRGINA COLWELL b. Beatrice, Nebraska EDUCATION Ohio State University, Columbus, OH Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA Bates College, Lewiston, ME SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2008
Confluence(s), Urban Arts Space, Columbus Sublime Terrible, Galeria ECOH, Mexico City, Mexico Fergus Fellowship Exhibition, Hopkins Hall Gallery, Columbus Washington Project for the Arts Experimental Media Series - New Media Prize Final ist, various venues including The Phillips Collection and The Hirschorn Museum, Washington D.C. College Book Arts Association (Juried Exhibition), SoFA Gallery, Indiana Univer- sity, Bloomington, IN Family Affair, Video Channel Cologne, New Media Fest 2010, Cologne, Germany Visualizing the Experience of War, Urban Arts Space, Columbus Future Photon, Silver Image Gallery, Columbus Spring Juried Exhibition - Honorable Mention, The Ohio Arts League, Columbus Recent Arrivals, Hopkins Hall Gallery, Columbus 6a Mostra Sonora i Visual, Centro Cultural Convent de Sant Agusti, Barcelona Mexico Suena: Printmaking in Mexico, Centro Cultural Casa Lamm and Galeria Debora Arango, Mexico City
STATEMENT News of [the massive earthquake that hit Lisbon, Portugal in 1755] quickly spread throughout Europe and had a profound effect on eighteenth century European culture. The philosophers of the day began a prolonged debate about manâ€™s understanding of nature and established natural disasters as a metaphor of the sublime. Meanwhile artists began an aesthetic exploration of the sublime that reached its zenith in romantic landscape painting. The televised images of Hurricane Katrina, the Pakistan earthquake, African droughts, and the southeast asian tsunami can be interpreted as the aesthetic decedents of romantic landscape painting. Similar to the eighteenth century philosophers, current intellectuals are debating manâ€™s relationship to nature in light of global warming and disaster response and prevention. However, for all the re-runs of disaster documentaries on the Discovery Channel and all of the late night news debates, there is a scarcity of contemporary art that critiques our understanding of nature, catastrophes, and the sublime. Considering the mounting importance of addressing our future relationship with the natural world, I see a renewed need for visual art to examine these issues with contemporary media.
Virginia Colwell, Avalanche 3, Braille type embossing and pencil on paper, 25 x 33 inches
CHERYL EKSTROM b. Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania EDUCATION New York Studio School, New York, NY University of California, Los Angeles, CA California State University, Long Beach, CA California State University, Fullerton, CA Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Collecting Eames, JF Chen, Participating gallery in Pacific Standard Time, Getty Foundation Project (Piece purchased by Ms. Beth Rudin DeWoody) The Elegance of Ugly (Solo Exhibition), Art Cube Galley, Laguna Beach, CA San Francisco Fine Art Fair, Walter Bischoff Galerie, Berlin, Germany Art San Diego, Walter Bischoff Galerie, Berlin, Germany Shoot! - Modernism Week, Imago Galleries, Palm Springs, CA OsCene 2010, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach New Mythology, Pharmaka, Los Angeles SuperMarket, Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach Los Interni & Décor, Limitless Potential of Design Art & Architecture, Museum Villa Haiss, Zell, Germany Los Angeles Art Show, (Walter Bischoff Gallery, Berlin) Santa Monica, CA Talent, Allan Stone Gallery, New York
STATEMENT Discarded remnants, created either by man or by nature, are the vehicles from which Cheryl Ekstrom creates her allegorical sculptures, re-appropriated from found objects. Ekstrom gives these remnants new purpose by composing the elements of her work in such a way that the material is transcended into a visual contemporary fairytale, turning timeless objects into timeless art. “I am a story teller – always have been since childhood… Even though I didn’t get around to telling them until later in life,” Ekstrom explains. “I’m fascinated by metamorphosis and the existential idea that human beings and nature are all designed to change.” The artist’s meticulously executed timeworn surfaces add to the story-telling quality. In her piece titled “Misplaced Heart with the Wolf at her Back,” for instance, Ekstrom constructs a narrative of lament and regret, but also of tenderness. One cannot help but construct their own personal narrative of a time when their heart may not have been in the right place. Although the autobiographical content of the piece remains ambiguous, the imagery is clear – a Victorian dress that the artist once purchased and wore from a flea market is encased in black wax and resin. A dull copper-toned heart fabricated in a similar fashion is nailed to the upper right chest while on the other side of the piece, the dress bunches around a wolf-like skull poised menacingly up the garment’s back. Working in the context of turning functional objects into non-functional art has allowed Ekstrom the freedom to be as inventive as she wants to be while being able to constantly derive inspiration from her creative excavations.
Cheryl Ekstrom, Misplaced Heart with the Wolf at her Back, wax, resin, and found objects, 60 x 20 x 13 inches
DENNY EKSTROM b. Monterey Park, California EDUCATION North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2008 2006 2004 2001 2000
Scape Gallery, Corona Del Mar, CA San Francisco Fine Art Fair, Walter Bischoff Gallery, Berlin, Germany Santa Fe Art Fair, Walter Bischoff Gallery, Berlin Museum Show, Museum Villa Haiss, Zell, Germany New Mythology, Pharmaka, Long Beach, CA Museum Show (Solo Exhibition), Museum Villa Haiss, Zell Los Angeles Art Show, Santa Monica, CA Art Karlsrunhe, Rheinstetten, Germany Pharmaka, Los Angeles, California Chicago Art Fair, Walter Bischoff Gallery, Berlin Peter Blake Gallery (Solo Exhibition), Laguna Beach, CA Vertical (Solo Exhibition), Laguna Beach Irvine Valley College (Solo Exhibition), Irvine, CA
STATEMENT Denny Ekstrom’s family-owned Cardinal Industrial Finishes in El Monte is where he gets his custom acrylics used in his paintings. Having a technical understanding of the components of paint has been instrumental in Denny’s success in his work, creating paintings that are as much wallsculpture as they are color-field paintings. “When I left the compnay and took up painting full time, my background gave me a real edge. I know the chemistry of paint, how it moves, reacts,” he explains. This knowledge has allowed Ekstrom to imbue each of his paintings with a certain character not typical in non-objective color-field paintings - The works have a soul, a temperament, readable in the attitude of the cracks, buckles, and pinches. They breathe like cracked earth. The surfaces are at once ancient and undeniably contemporary. “I saw a black and white Robert Motherwell painting in a magazine,” Ekstrom says, “...I attempted to duplicate the seemingly simple design but when I finished, it was jut a black oval on a white canvas with no emotion radiating from it. It’s what I’m still working on 20 years later, to create a monorealisitc image that generates feeling.”
Denny Ekstrom, The Last Painting Anyone can Paint, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 84 inches
MAURA FALFAN b. Mexico City, Mexico EDUCATION Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. National School for Painting, Sculpture and Etching (E.N.P.E.G.) “La Esmeralda”, Mexico D.F. SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Rastros, ECOH Galeria, Mexico D.F. It’s All Good - Apocalypse Now!, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Postcards from the Edge - A Benefit for Visual AIDS, CRG Gallery, New York, NY It’s a Wonderful Tenth, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn Speaking to a Kitchen Mouse, Steuben South Gallery, Pratt Institute, New York Politics and Media, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York Inflating-Refinement, Aswoon Gallery, Brooklyn Tiempo Recuperado, Galería Emilia Cohen, México, D.F. Creacion en Movimeinto. Jóvenes Creadores generación 2005-2006, Centro Nacional de las Artes, México, D.F. Looking Like Something to Look At, Galería Mumbo Jumbo, New York Dust in the Wind, Galería Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, Nuevo León Barajar Y Dar de Nuevo a la Pared, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, México, D.F.
STATEMENT The idea of the vestige as a sign referring to an absence has been the subject matter of my work. Understood as a mark, imprint or gesture, the vestige has taken the place of a scar, an absence, and more recently: the presence of the nonexistent. Through the use of the stain as an empty signifier, I have developed a body of work that can be characterized -in formal terms- as being either abstract or directly factual. Interested in the possibility of transformation and personal catharsis, I have welcomed an ominous quality in my work and promoted a sense of mystery through the use of an enclosed symbolism and a particular atmosphere. I believe in making a body of work that is strong because of its obscurity, a work that represents the unattainability of something lost and reveals a lack that will never be completely filled.
Maura Falfan, Fantasmas II / Ghosts, charcoal on canvas, 39 x 39 inches
ORION FISHER b. Mesa, Arizona EDUCATION Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA Florence Academy of Art, Florence, Italy SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2010 2009 2008
Process, J+K Gallery, Arcadia, CA Muzeumn, Mod Melange, Los Angeles, CA Art Maze, Gallery Godo, Glendale, CA futureproof (Two-Person Exhibition), Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach Symbolic Still-Life, Phoenicia Association, Phoenix, AZ ONE, Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach New Paintings: James Miller and Orion Fisher, Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach Best of the Best: LCAD Juried Exhibition, Laguna Beach 10th Annual Realism Juried Online Exhibition, www.UpstreamPeopleGallery.com
STATEMENT Though my work is informed by tendencies towards photorealism and the long-standing tradition of the painted portrait, I am not engaged with representation in the classical sense. Iâ€™ve opted for transition and mobility over fixed positioning, choosing to operate in the space between common motifs. Catching a glimpse of a painting at this in-between state is my intention. It is here that a given mark may be either abstract or image-bearing depending on its context and perception. It is my hope that my work will linger here, in the place where things are unsettled and uncertain the place where dismantling a picture can be as rewarding as resolving it, and maneuvering freely between the two functions is the most rewarding of all. Paint is amorphous by nature; it is up to the painter to give it form and provide meaning. I want interaction with the work to continue endlessly, never arriving at a predetermined destination. Ultimately, I am working toward enabling an active and subjective relationship between the viewer and these paintings. This feeling arises not as a result of sentimental ties to what may be familiar, but because interaction with the paintings themselves are real.
Orion Fisher, Reclaimer 1, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
PHIL KIM b. Santiago, Chile EDUCATION Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA Santa Monica College – Santa Monica, CA Universidad Catolica de Chile (Catholic University of Chile) – Santiago, Chile SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008
BLK/MRKT Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Upstairs at the Market Gallery, Los Angeles Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery, Santa Monica Galerie Rheeway, Los Angeles LA ART MIX, Gallery Godo, Glendale, CA RAW, Long beach, CA Mod Melange LA, Michelle Moross Gallery, Los Angeles I Am Gallery, Los Angeles Phil Kim Solo Exhibition, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Long Beach, CA Fleeting Memories (Solo Exhibition), FT Art Gallery, Los Angeles
STATEMENT The Unbearable Exquisiteness of Being explores the search for the self through profound existentialist dogmas and the consequent self-awareness of each individual. The work is set to understand rather than the existentialist ideas of Friedrich through a parallel philosophy explored Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being Taoism, Confucianism and Sexual Desire as catalysts for our actions.
challenge Nietzsche in Milan by using the main
Shih T’ao explains, “the oneness of brushstrokes is the origin of all things.” This oneness of being is reflected by the single chair shielded by four delicate, rice paper scrolls, which respectively symbolize the “heaviness” and “lightness” of our being. Furthermore, this meditational state of existentialist philosophies is initiated by the awareness of the audience as they enter the installation by taking off their shoes, thus creating a ceremonial cycle of contemplation of the self.
Phil Kim, The Unbearable Exquisiteness of Being, Sumi ink on Kinwashi rice paper and altered leather chair, 96 x 36 x 36 inches
DAINA MATTIS b. Los Angeles, California EDUCATION Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008
Syracuse University Alum Exhibition, Dumbo Art Center, Brooklyn, NY Kentucky National 2011, Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray, KY Ekphrasis, Mod Melange, Los Angeles, CA Daina Mattis, Frances Keevil Art Gallery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Daina Mattis: The Wall, SU Art Galleries, Syracuse Meet & Greet, Spark Gallery, Syracuse The Figure Now - 2010 International Juried Exhibition, Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery, St. Louis, MO Selected Works, Frances Keevil Art Gallery, Sydney, New South Wales Drawing, XL Projects, Syracuse Australian Lithuanian Art Exhibit, Bankstown Town Hall, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Sotto Voce, Fairhaven Mausoleum, Juried Exhibition, Santa Ana, CA Feminism Rhetoric, Spark Gallery, Syracuse
STATEMENT German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence, “starts out from infinite repetition as a gloomy picture of the chaos that results in a world without absolute meaning... the creator is displaced, the center is everywhere, manifest in all things in an eternally present moment... meaning and order are freed and an authentic nothingness presents itself to be embraced and willed towards art.” Pushing Mud embraces the mundane and banal in use of materials, techniques, and subject. Murky figures toil away over the vast delicate whiteness of overlaid and compressed paper leaving the viewer to inquire what it is they are clearing. Easily dismissible as vacant, negative space, the paper, delicate yet ubiquitious - a contradiction in its metaphysics - serves as both surface and subject, form and function within the piece and its utilitarian aspect has been pushed to an impractical size. Drawing, which is typically intimate, has become monumentalized. The paper is a concrete object and has a physical presence while the lean forms of the figures are created. Layering multiple pieces of paper deals with the fragmentation of planes psychologically as well as physically. Blankets of paper often compact any existing physical space, heightening the material’s significance sharing separate yet parallel planes. The image reveals itself in bits and pieces, creating a subtle, fragmented memory blanket. Upon a more intimate encounter of the surface, the seamless edges, sensitive to the anatomy of the figures, come into focus the same way memory contracts and expands.
Daina Mattis, Pushing Mud, oil, graphite, and screen print on paper, 117 x 204 inches
ANUAR MAAUAD b. Mexico City, Mexico EDUCATION Universidad de las Americas, Puebla National School for Painting, Sculpture and Etching (E.N.P.E.G.) “La Esmeralda”, Mexico D.F. SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008
1, 2, Volumen, Polyforum Siqueiros & ECOH Galería Emilia Cohen, Mexico D.F. Subasta Arte Vivo, Museo de Arte Moderno, México D.F. Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, ECOH Galería Emilia Cohen, San Diego, CA La Plasticidad Propia Ded Arte, Museo de Arte de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora Obra Reciente de Anuar Maauad, ECOH, Ciudad de Mexico Play House MoMA, collective exhibition of Mexican art and design, Ciudad de Mexico Seleccion Cuadro, Arte Emergente, Ciudad de México Arte Emergente, Poliforum Siqueiros, Ciudad de México Arte Emergente, Estación Indianilla, Ciudad de México Representation of Mexico through the Papalote Children’s Museum, Hot Art Fair, Basel, Suiza Papalote Museo del Niño, Cuernavaca, Morelos
STATEMENT As both a childhood cartoonist and someone who holds a degree in architecture, Anuar Maauad’s cast resin sculptures maintain a solid structural understanding, executed with a tounge-in-cheek attitude. He enjoys the creative process from start to finish - describing, conceiving, modeling, and structuring, but takes assistance on the technical processes such as sanding and polishing (especially in the case of his monumental Caterpillar, which measures nearly 20 feet in length) in order to focus on production. Maauad’s Estrella wall sculptures are exhibited singularly, as a triptych, or even as en entire installation. The shiny, black surfaces both define and distort the structural elements of the piece, changing the folds into ethereal forms that generate a sense of movement as the light finds its way amongst the crevices and buckles.
Anuar Maauad, Estrella, resin, polyester, and graphite, 39 x 39 inches
JAMES MILLER b. Spokane, Washington EDUCATION Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2009
Ekphrasis, Mod Melange, Los Angeles, CA Gallery Artists: Selected Works, George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles Incognito Benefit Show, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA OsCene, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA Mod Melange LA, Mishelle Moross Gallery, Los Angeles futureproof (Two-Person Exhibition), Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach One, Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach Venice Art Walk, Venice, CA Incognito Benefit Show, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica Best of the Best: LCAD Juried Exhibition, Laguna Beach New Paintings: James Miller and Orion Fisher, Tosti Studios Gallery, Laguna Beach
STATEMENT My current work deals with the construction of psychological and pictorial atmospheres defined by intersecting themes of artifice, absence, and the sublime. This investigation begins with a formal interest in pictorial space, as experimenting with strategies of flattening and expanding illusionistic depth and of drawing awareness to the pictureâ€™s format; while setting a stage for narrative possibilities to emerge. Often referencing artificially-generated models and diorama scenarios within the studio, my images represent controlled assemblages and observations that are liberated from references to scale and locale found in the natural world. As such, I hope that while I deal with the concerns of picture making, my work may be received as a phenomenological experience of location and time. In Lovesongs, the paintingâ€™s formal and narrative structures evolved through a combination of abstract painting, the construction and observation of set-pieces, and realistic references to personal and found photographic sources. For me, the painting presents a compressed space in which memory is contingent with hallucination; abstractions materialize as physical backdrops recede into obscurity.
James Miller, Love Songs, oil on linen, 25 x 35 inches
NORMAN MOONEY b. Dublin, Ireland EDUCATION National College of Art and Design, Dublin Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, Ireland SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009
Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, ECOH Galeria, San Diego, CA Maritine Chaisson Gallery (Solo Exhibition), New Orleans, LA Rastros, ECOH Galeria, Mexico D.F. Hello World, Milavec Kakimi Gallery, New York, NY Windseeds, Beyond Sector, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Abu Dhabi Traces, Emilia Cohen Gallery, Mexico D.F. Wall Flowers (Solo Exhibition), Causey Contemporary, New York, NY Star, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI Fire Works, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ Art on Paper, Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ Non-Objectif Art, Robert Goff Gallery, New York Carbon Drawings, Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York Falling Short of Knowing, Collectors Contemporary, Singapore
STATEMENT Norman Mooney’s carbon drawings exhibit a physicality inherent in the process. The immediacy and aggression used in creating the pieces from applying the mark to the paper and panels using a lit torch is hidden in the quiet, atmospheric surfaces that the artist achieves by then sanding and sealing the drawing and repeating the process to attain the desired saturation and depth. These drawings are an examination of the ways in which material is tranformed by media and also the ways in which it can be controlled and manipulated to create non-objective narrative qualities using minimalist forms. Mooney’s most recent work, including his Stars and Wall Flowers also examine the expectations of form, but do so with a pronounced and dramatic presence. Cast aluminum “spines” stand freely on the ground or protrude from the wall, looking at the same time lethaly sharp and light as air, reaching dimensions of up to eight feet in diameter. The surreal forms seem almost animated, their hard edges evoking concepts of expansion and contraction and are as much defined by the cast shadows they create in a space as by the material itself.
Norman Mooney, Wallflower, galvanized aluminum, 48 inches in diameter
HENRIK ULDALEN b. Oslo, Norway EDUCATION Olso University College, Olso, Norway SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen and Annmette Klit, Galerie Contour, Skagen, Denmark Beautiful Maladies - Artist Exchange: Expat Artits in Norway, Norwegian Artists in NYC, NO, New York, NY GalleriV58, A rhus, Denmark 2010 Anniversary Exhibition, Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo Scandinavian Fusion, Galerie Contour, Skagen Henrik Uldalen, Morten Thyholt og Trygve Asheim, Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo 2009 Galleri Ramfjord (Solo Exhibition), Oslo Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo 2008 Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo 2007 Asker Kulturhus, Asker, Norway STATEMENT When first looking at a figure painted by Henrik Uldalen, the viewer is at first captivated by the seductive qualities of the craftsmanship - immaculately painted with a keen awareness of form, palette, and anatomy. Upon a more investigative look, one realizes that the technical vituosity displayed is conceptually contradictory to the ambiguity of the scene. While the viewer is treated to a retinal feast of expertly observed skin-tones and fabric surfaces, there is no discernable narrative quality to what the figures are doing amidst the vast white spaces that they are depicted in. There are moments in the work where the whiteness of the background is introduced into the figures in a distorting manner with bold, deliberate brushstrokes, claiming them as ultimately a part of that space. The figures invoke associations of fashion magazines and advertising, though they are not portrayed as idealized, allowing us to see them as individuals. At the same time, however, all the individuals portrayed have their eyes closed, indicating that unline fashion or advertising, we are not meant to connect with them. They are not â€œsellingâ€? us on anything. Whatever transcendental experience they are involved in, it is meant to be observed and never fully understood while at the same time subtly demanding that we keep questioning anyway.
Henrik Uldalen, Untitled, oil on panel, 32 x 43 inches
SEBASTIEN VERDON b. Neuchâtel, Switzerland EDUCATION Bern University Of Arts, Bern, Switzerland SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009
The Green Powder, Lokal-Int, Biel/Bienne Skyrider, L’OV, CAN Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel Interzone, Olm Space, Neuchâtel Saturnales 1st Edition, M . S . S . V . Project, Chaumont Miroir Magique, Janet, Le Havre Afrikanismus, Marks Blond Project, Bern Hyperactive Summerlab, CAN Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel Plattform10, ewz-unterwerk, Selnau, Zürich Carte Blanche: Paradis-Plage, Musée Jurassien des Arts, Moutier Why We Worry, Supernova Gallery, Riga Une Exposition de Photocopies et Peintures de Ordenateur, Les Caves du Palais, Neuchatel Mit Aussicht, Kunsthaus, Langenthal
STATEMENT Sebastien Verdon plays on our current expectations of what comprises an image. While a majority of his body of work does this utilizing a particular space to invoke his “punchline,” the kicker in Synma is the process of art-making itself. An electrical fan is suspended from the ceiling, manipulated in such a way that the felt-tip marker that hangs from it creates a series of swirling scribbles on the paper beneath it. After an amount of time, the arbitrary scribbles begin to take shape, creating a circular form with atmosphere and organic linequality. The outcome is always unique, but also inevitable as dictated by certain intentiparameters within the piece’s components. The process is a dialogue of control and uncontrol of artist and material -- and is the same dialogue had by any watercolorist deciding to what degree they can manipulate the movement of pigment and water on paper.
Sebastien Verdon, Synma, installation with electric fan and marker, dimensions variable
TODD WILLIAMSON b. Cullman, Alabama EDUCATION Belmont University, Nashville, TN Cal State Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS 2011 2010 2009 2008 2008
Thoughts From a Mind Like Mine, George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles Two Solo Exhibitions, Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX Ippodo Gotenyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Roma Contemporary Art Fair, Rome, Italy Ippodo Gotenyama Gallery, Tokyo Todd Williamson, George Billis Gallery, New York, NY Blurring the Lines, Belmont University, Nashville Visionaire (With Ed Moses), Shanghai, China Proposte per una Collezione, Art 1307, Naples, Italy Beyond the Line, LA Contemporary, Los Angeles Biennale delle Arti dellâ€™Unita dâ€™Italia, MAUI Museum, Caserta, Italy Trauma di Luce, Asst.cult. Arte Giapponese, Milan, Italy
STATEMENT My work is an expression of my emotions and the way that I see the world and how it affects my life. It deals with sex, violence, beauty, and freedom. It is an extension of myself and what I think about everything around me. Color has a strong emotive power that pulls from the soul. It brings out our deepest, darkest secrets. Colors can calm and warm your soul or they can insight you to violence or deeply felt passion. The lines in my paintings work as constraints and hold the emotions to a readable place on the canvas. They act similarly to staffs on a page of music holding each note in place and giving it structure. In this respect, my work can be read like sheet music giving the viewer a small glimpse of whom I am.
Todd Williamson, Undreamed of Things, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Published on Oct 28, 2011