- Catalogue – Martin Durazo
Martin Durazo: Sleep to Dream
January 21-May 17, 2014
Curated by Ciara Ennis
Pitzer College Art Galleries
56 pages, with color reproductions
Essay by Holly Myers
Interview by Ciara Ennis
Edited by Susan Warmbrunn
Catalogue designed by Terry Vuong
Tags: alumni, Catalogues, Lenzner Gallery, Martin Durazo, Past Exhibitions, Sleep to Dream, Spring 2014
- On the Rocks, In the Land
Emerging Artist Series #8: Danielle Adair
September 19 – December 6, 2013
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
The documentary-performance-video installation, On the Rocks, In the Land, analyzes the role of the “tourist-observer,” within contemporary “conflict zones,” and questions how a “tourist” perceives and experiences sites of historic and contemporary political significance. The project incorporates experiences of and around the peace lines of Belfast, the Berlin Wall, the stonewalls of New England, the US-Mexican border in Ciudad Juárez, the separation barrier in the West Bank and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The exhibition explores the notion of “play” as a persistent and ethical form of resistance in relation to the physicality of a “wall” as defined by these specific locations. Meanwhile, in investigating the intersection of place, politics and play in these sites, the project resists the assumption and further enforcement of a dominant narrative.
On the Rocks, In the Land is in keeping with Adair’s practice of assuming a particular role or responsibility during long-term projects to better examine the institutions and narratives by which we live. In an earlier work, FIRST ASSIGNMENT, Adair took on the role of a “war journalist”, as she embedded as “media” with US servicewomen and followed a unit in training, deployment in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and upon their return home. This project involved a number of discrete works, including her artist field guide, From JBAD, Lessons Learned (Les Figues Press), and culminated in a long-form video piece. Adair engages with contemporary issues by actively blurring the distinction between documentary and performance praxis. Through the intimacy and particularity of such experience, On the Rocks, In the Land reveals unfamiliar forms of resistance and protest.
Tags: Danielle Adair, Emerging Artist Series, Fall 2013, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions
- Crowd Control
Emerging Artist Series #7: Tannaz Farsi: Crowd Control
Guest Curator: Tim Berg, assistant professor of art, Pitzer College
January 26 – March 22, 2013
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Tannaz Farsi’s work examines the activity surrounding cultural uprisings and uses liminal moments in our current landscape of events that can speak to individual agency. Farsi’s sources range from the language of advertising to mass-produced, pedestrian objects, such as fluorescent light bulbs, cinder blocks, megaphones and roses, which evoke political protests as well as the globalized economy. This negotiation of the mundane to the historical presents an opportunity to create monuments that aren’t generated through the proclamation of power but by the understanding of human fallibility. Through the relationship of objects, shift of scale and contingency of parts, Farsi embraces the flux of transmission, temporality and site by examining the semiology connected to the construction of meaning in public space.
The work shown in Lenzner Family Art Gallery will explore language and objects that highlight political divisions by transforming recognizable forms to manifest the perceptual and emotional aspects associated with the visual vocabulary of conflict. By translating material from our contemporary cultural archive, Farsi’s practice is invested in producing speculative realities that allow for subjective intervention.
About the Artist
Tannaz Farsi received her MFA from Ohio University in Athens, OH in 2007 and a BFA summa cum laude from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV in 2004. Farsi has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including Losing Themselves in a Distance to Far Away Heights at Disjecta in Portland, OR (2011); Of News and Reclamation at Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, DE (2010); The Future Belongs to Crowds at Ohge Ltd, Seattle, WA (2009); ECHOMAKER at The Barron and Elin Gordon Galleries, ODU University in Norfolk, VA (2009); the Formal Absences of Precious Things at Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH (2008); and Self-Haunted and Synthetic at Siegfried Gallery in Athens, OH (2007). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including In Light Richmond at 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA (2012); The Long Now at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, OR (2012); Beacons at Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI (2011); The 9th Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, WA (2009); Architecture of Fragments at The New Art Center Gallery in Newtonville, MA (2009); HANDS REMAIN STILL at Tacoma Contemporary in Tacoma, WA (2009); Surreal Systems at Gallery Homeland, PDX Film Festival in Portland, OR (2009); Beginnings and Ends at Gallery 621 in Tallahassee, FL (2009); and 1990 Until Now* at The Winery in Louisville, KY (2007). Farsi was the recipient of Bemis Center for Contemporary Art award in 2008 and Artist Fellowship Grant from Oregon Arts Commission in 2010. In 2011, she was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Travel Grant, the Leon Levy Foundation Grant, the Dean’s Award from the University of Oregon and was the finalist for both The Brink Award of Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA and Contemporary Northwest Art Awards from Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR. Farsi was the artist-in-resident at Bernis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE in 2009 and at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH in 2011. Tannaz Farsi lives and works in Eugene, OR, where she currently serves as an assistant professor of art at the University of Oregon.
About the Curator
Tim Berg is assistant professor of art at Pitzer College and a sculptor. Berg and his full-time studio collaborator, Rebekah Myers, have participated in numerous exhibitions including On the brink at Dean Project Gallery in New York, NY (2011); As Luck Would Have It at Nääs Konsthantverk Galleri in Göteborg, Sweden (2009); All Good Things… at Dean Project Gallery in Long Island City, NY (2008); Hope Springs Eternal at Seigfred Gallery at Ohio University in Athens, OH (2007); and Glacial at Ironton Studios in Denver, CO (2007). Over the years, Berg and Myers have participated in numerous group exhibitions in the US, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden and Kuwait. Their work is included in several private and public collections including the Betty Woodman Collection at the University of Colorado and the Biedermann Museum in Germany. Berg additionally works as a freelance curator and has curated a number of exhibitions including The 67th Scripps Ceramic Annual (2011); Student Exchange Exhibition (2007 and 2004); and Northern Colorado Regional Student Show (2004). Berg received his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2003 and BFA magna cum laude from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2000.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2-4 p.m. at Nichols Gallery
Artist Lecture: Monday, January 28 at 9:00 a.m. in Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Tags: Emerging Artist Series, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Spring 2013, Tannaz Farsi
- In the Shadow of Numbers
In the Shadow of Numbers: Charles Gaines Selected Works from 1975-2012
September 4 – October 21, 2012
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
The Pomona College Museum of Art and Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College are pleased to present In the Shadow of Numbers: Charles Gaines Selected Works from 1975-2012. Based in Los Angeles, Gaines investigates the relationships between aesthetic experience, political beliefs, and the formation of meaning. His work over the last forty years has typically employed systems and rule-based procedures to explore how we experience and derive meaning from art. Gaines is often linked with early Conceptual artists who came to prominence in the 1960s questioning subjectivity and traditional formal and material concerns. However, he identifies more closely with John Cage’s examinations of indeterminacy in both composition and performance and focuses on linguistic tools such as metaphors and metonyms.
In the Shadow of Numbers: Charles Gaines Selected Works from 1975-2012 represents the first collaboration between the Pomona College Museum of Art and Pitzer College Art Galleries. The exhibition consists of photographs, sculptures, video, and drawings from several bodies of Gaines’s work over the last several decades, including the “Explosions,” “History of Stars,” “NIGHT/CRIMES,” “Shadows,” and “Walnut Tree Orchard” series, among others, presented at the two Claremont College venues. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes writings by the artist, Michael Ned Holte, Ciara Ennis, and Rebecca McGrew.
Opening reception: Saturday, September 15, 4-6 p.m.
Pomona College Museum of Art
Performance: Thursday, September 20 at 7 p.m.
Pomona College Museum of Art
The Lone Wolf Recital Corp featuring Charles Gaines will present an evening of electronic, digital, and acoustical sound.
Artist lecture: Tuesday, October 16 at 2:45 p.m.
George C.S. Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College
Tags: Fall 2012, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Pomona College Museum of Art
- Living Inside Is Beautiful: Senior Art Exhibition 2012
Senior Thesis Exhibition 2012
April 26 – May 12, 2012
Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery, Grove House
Robbie Acklen, Elizabeth Bartolini, André Baum, James Cathey, Brandon Fernandes, Zachary London, Dean Pospisil, Leah Quayle, Reid Ulrich
Re-visiting a space of adolescence—Beneath the Bleachers (2012)—examines the effect of my culturally specific upbringing–mid-western, white American, suburban—through an installation that is both psychoanalytical and environmentally impactful. Distortion is inevitable when recalling distant memories. When I do re-call moments from my adolescence, they manifest into an incomplete picture. The dream-like objects I present function as analogies for distorted interpretations recalled from my youth. In my work, I attempt to heighten the viewer’s awareness of their own positionality as participants in our culture’s contemporary scopophilic state. By presenting the standard/traditional object of the bleacher—now made dis-functional and inaccessible—I remind us of the borders of spectatorship that is always functioning, perhaps unconsciously. [clear]
A curiosity of the unknown compels me to create. I strive to reveal hidden luminosity in the intersection of the logical and physical with the irrational and extrasensory. Improvisation is essential to my process, which is explored with music, film, drawing, and writing. These media function as representations for my subconscious urges and unconscious revelations unraveling into the impersonally sacred.
My work is inspired by synchronistic moments: intersections of experiences between others and myself that should not be mistaken as mere coincidence. These collisions often occur when creating energetically and mindfully. For me, they exemplify successful communion with the nature that governs me. These experiences give way to my use of performance to unite spiritual practices and multimedia.
It is intention that distinguishes purposeful performance from everyday life. But the two often blend. T.S. Elliot wrote, “There will be time/ to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.” In my various roles, I aim for congruent authenticity. And what is an authentic performance if not first aligned with an authentic spirit? In lieu of an answer, I surrender to the ritual of synchronistic consciousness, of that which connects not to my personhood but rather to what I do to honor its existence. [clear]
As human beings, we are all interconnected in some way shape or form, and I explore this interconnectivity in my artwork. Each piece I make attempts to answer the question: “How can human beings find themselves in each other?” Using photography and sculpture, I seek to interrogate this question—not to come to a single conclusion, but to examine the many possibilities that it throws up. I reference David Hockney’s collaging style to identify parts that make up the whole, reminding myself of the importance of each fragment. Through these photo collages, I see my subjects in a new light and find reflections between each person. This exploration has been focused on my family, and in particular my mom. I am interested in exploring my connection to her—beyond the obvious (though not insignificant) life-giving relationship. She has been diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare degenerative brain disorder that slowly takes away one’s motor skills. As her physical being slowly deteriorates, her awareness and aliveness are still intact. Through my practice, I get to discover my mother beyond the disease, beyond her body and create myself in the process. While this exploration is not over, I know that I am proud to be a daughter of woman who loves unconditionally. [clear]
My artwork is inspired by my experiences traveling across the United States and more recently, the Middle East. I have always been fascinated by the process of decay and growth on the border between the natural environment and human society. The patterns and textures that result from these conflicting realms of the organic and the synthetic form the basis of my inspiration.
Utilizing film and photography, I document both the purity of natural objects and places, as well as the waste and damage resulting from excessive production and consumption of material goods. The soundscapes that I compose are important in establishing immersive spaces that complement the projected images. Field recordings and synthesizers are the tools used to create an ambient tapestry that embodies the collision of the organic and synthetic.
I use generative software to apply randomized editing and sequencing to forcefully combine and fragment both the audio and video media. The result is a space that metaphorically embraces the timeless beauty of nature while simultaneously introducing the caustic results of rampant industrialization. By applying generative methods to my work, a detachment from linear space and relation is created. The original media is transformed into a cacophony of fracturing elements that coalesce into a unified theme of uncontrollable destruction. [clear]
When I create an artwork, I deliberately use inexpensive materials such as glue-guns, dollar spray-cans, Christmas lights, brown canvas paper and other items that are freely available on the college campus setting in order to bring attention to their accessibility and economic value. Influenced by graffiti writing styles and the “Street Art” scenes in Los Angeles as well as other parts of the world, my artwork draws from urban art practices and incorporates the use of stencils, calligraphy-writing, LED drawing, and other sculptural forms. In my most recent drawings I have become interested in creating complex forms and shapes referencing different angles. I consider these drawings complete when they show a considerable amount of repetition, balance, depth and symmetry. Similar to the role of a DJ whose practice consists of sampling bits and pieces to construct a collective whole, my drawings are only complete once they have integrated the geometric shapes and angels into the complex designs which keeps the viewers eye traveling. [clear]
On The Bald Prophets
“On a smog-encrusted morning late last August, the otherwise innocuous Mount Baldy was abruptly transformed into the most eminent archeological site in the Western Hemisphere. Upon the incidental discovery of a ceramic protrusion, my team and I conducted a routine dig, which resulted in the most significant excavation of my career. Embedded just beneath the sprawl of a few Yuccas lay an archaic time capsule—a cryptic codex of exceedingly peculiar artifacts that had been deliberately embedded in the soil. The most jarring and prophetic of these specimens was a small shield, emblazoned with the ubiquitous corporate logos and industrial scenery of our present era. I was quick to deem the findings a hoax, however, rehydroxylation tests revealed that the object was 800 years old.
Of the progenitor’s culture we know very little. Their cosmology is hardly revealed through the obfuscated objects they bestowed to us. My credentials as an archeologist compels me to speculate and prescribe narrative to these inscrutable peoples, to elucidate their way of life so that we may confidently add another patch to the elaborate quilt of human history. But I remain mystified. Lo, we have dug up the whole mountain, and they have left us nothing more.” [clear]
Expanding the Grove House
My work attempts to expand the unique position that the Grove House occupies socially, historically and physically within the Pitzer community and the surrounding area by modifying the viewer’s relationship to the space. I will create a forum for new connections to be forged within the context of the Grove House, as an experiment in relational aesthetics. I will be collaborating with Grove House community members and the caretaker, Julie McAleer, to present a collection of relational pieces that include a core website, an exhibit of the space, and a series of workshops. The website, will allow viewers to explore a library of information about the house’s history, function and current activities. I will also alter the physical space of the house by restoring traditional furniture and bringing in new objects for the house’s activities.
My guides and workshops will provide information on a variety of skills useful within the Grove House, from how to cook a recipe to how to arrange an internship at a neighboring farm. The overall purpose of these workshops and guides is to enable participants to take action and care for the space. This project encourages viewers to expand of their perceptions of how this collective space is experienced and how it can be altered by each individual. [clear]
I know of no better tactic than the illustration of exciting principles by well-chosen particulars
—Stephen Jay Gould
One of the most basic features of the nervous system is analogy, the ability to form relationships between different sets of information. I believe it is our unusually high propensity to analogy that has driven some of the most valuable developments in human culture. Language came from the translation of images into sounds, and the translation of sound back into images resulted in written language. Thus by translating one set of information into a radically different domain, the way we share and form meaning can be deepened. In my science thesis I argue that analogy has derived from the evolutionary pressure to integrate information across the basic senses. By fusing sculpture and electronics, I seek to explore analogy at the most basic level through the creation of new relationships between our senses. By directly re-organizing the viewers modes of hearing, seeing and touching, these artworks will prompt the viewer to experience the potentialities of the radical reconstruction of our perceptions. [clear]
When we bury our dead, we preserve them in dreams and memories, mirages and choruses. We enter as others exit and so we join stone with soil and wait for grass to grow. In every life led, there is revolution. As we build our monuments, we fail to preserve their victory, their transformations. Instead, we profess to the ear of the future the persistent sensations of existence. When we speak to the living, we speak about suffering, about renewal, about protest. And then we meander.
In every word spoken and image shared a defeated revolution lives. Here and now, I am attempting and failing to revolt against a number of effects. I am attempting to speak about things that can’t be said with a voice that can’t be heard. I am demanding that we share the gift of loss and the life of death.
Tags: André Baum, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery, Brandon Fernandes, Dean Pospisil, Elizabeth Bartolini, James Cathey, Leah Quayle, Lenzner Gallery, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Reid Ulrich, Robbie Acklen, Senior Art Show, Spring 2012, Zachary London
Emerging Artist Series #6: Matthew R. Ohm
January 21 – March 23, 2012
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
— Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road
The work of Chicago-born but now Long Beach-based artist Matthew R. Ohm focuses on our interactions with the natural world and our need to measure, regulate, possess, and control it.
The centerpiece of Vanitas is a large installation of whitewashed tree branches suspended above the viewer’s head, casting multiple shadows upon the walls of the gallery. The artist reassembles the discarded limbs, leftovers from the pruning of trees, in a renewed, if fictive, landscape––creating a memento mori to, and from, the dead branches. The installation transforms the gallery into an environment that references the natural world through a theatrical distillation: nature as hunting trophy. The shadows created by the suspended branches echo the former living plants but only as ghosts. They appear on the walls like a macabre William Morris decorative device, a sepulchral swag. Further pruning levels all the branches to create a flat plane overhead thus lowering the ceiling and enlarging the audience to a domineering scale in relation to nature.
The transforming of trees into skeletal clouds is an absurdist gesture but, arguably, an ad rem response to our abusive stewardship of this planet. With public water sources being sold to private corporations in order that we may purchase, at inflated rates, that which formerly belonged to us; and our relentless encroachment upon, and devastation of, open lands to make room for urban sprawl housing and the raw materials to construct it; is it any wonder that such a fever of willful self-destruction should prove contagious? Mr. Ohm’s editorial environmentalism presents us with such a poetic vision of ecological squalor that we hunger for the next chapter in the serialization of our collapse.
Matthew R. Ohm received his MFA from California State University, Long Beach in 2009. Ohm, an artist, sculptor and woodworker, has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including, A Majestic Oak Is Just A Crazy Nut Who Stood His Ground at Marilyn Werby Gallery in Long Beach, CA (2009); Trying to Bring the Dead Back to Life at Max L. Gatov Gallery in Long Beach, CA (2007); and Sticks & Stones at Marilyn Werby Gallery in Long Beach, CA (2007). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Off the Wall at Palos Verde Art Center in Palos Verde, CA (2011); Anarchy at Post Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (2010); Sub-Transient (collaborative show with Tyler Ferreira) at Arts Visalia Gallery in Visalia, CA (2009); Insights 2009 at the University Art Museum in Long Beach, CA (2009); Foehn Documents at The Constant Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (2008); CSULB Six Pack at the Tahoe Gallery in Incline Village, NV (2007); and The Grand Design at Hokin Gallery in Chicago, IL (2006). Ohm has co-curated Hysteria Updated at Max L. Gatov Gallery in Long Beach, CA (2008), Polytheism at Hokin Gallery in Chicago, IL (2005) and White at Little Known Gallery in Chicago, IL (2004). He was the visiting artist at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV in 2007. Matthew R. Ohm currently lives and works in Long Beach.
Mark Allen is an artist, educator and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a non-profit performance and installation space in Los Angeles. Machine Project also operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from beaches to museums to parking lots. Under his direction Machine Project has produced shows with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in Missouri, and the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. He has produced more than 500 events in Los Angeles at the Machine Project storefront space, and recently concluded a yearlong artist residency addressing topics of public engagement at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Allen has taught at the California Institute of the Arts and the University of California San Diego, and is currently an associate professor of art at Pomona College. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Allen received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts following a residency with the Core Fellowship of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Thomas Lawson is an artist with a diverse, project-driven output that encompasses painting, writing, editing, curating and teaching. He has been showing paintings and developing temporary public works internationally since the late ʼ70s. Lawson was one of three selectors of the British Art Show in 1995. In the spring of 2009, selections from his older works were included in historical survey shows of the ʼ80s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble, France. His essays have appeared in Artforum and other art journals, as well as many exhibition catalogues. From 1979 until 1992 he, along with Susan Morgan, published and edited REAL LIFE Magazine. From 2002 until 2009 he was co-editor of Afterall Journal. In 2010 he launched www.eastofborneo.org, an online magazine and archive. A book of selected writings, Mining for Gold, was published by JRP-Ringier, Zurich in 2005 and an anthology of REAL LIFE Magazine was published by Primary Information, New York in 2007. Lawson has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been Dean of the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts since 1991.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2 – 5 pm
Artist Lecture: Monday, January 30 at 9 am
Tags: Emerging Artist Series, Lenzner Gallery, Matthew R. Ohm, Past Exhibitions, Spring 2012
- phenogenesis: Senior Art Exhibition 2011
phenogenesis: an evolution of expression
April 28-May 14, 2011
Nichols Gallery, Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery
Lauren Conquist Anderson • Maia Ashkenazi • Casandra Campeas • Sophia Galano • Paula Gasparini De Oliveira Santos • Michelle E. Gross • Anja Hughes-Stinson • Evan Kelley • Sarah Lee • Avery Oatman • Morgan Pepper • Marita Pickron • Kamilla Q. Rifkin • Devin von Stade
Lauren Conquist Anderson
I find beauty in simple things: in magic and forts and confetti on a bad day; in children, and face paint, typography, and geography; in memories and mistakes. I collect images, scraps, and found objects from my daily life and incorporate them into my work as a reminder of a moment, a specific place, a collection of happenings. As my life has evolved, so too has my art. When I begin an artwork I am never exactly sure how it will end up. It is a process with unknowns and uncertainties, made up of mistakes and corrections. My work represents my journey: it is about the places and people who have touched me, where I have been, what I have gone through, and who I am because of it. I incorporate the scraps of life because I believe that trash can be treasure, that ambience can be art. I believe in creating work as a way to express yourself and share a part of who you are. I believe in using art as a way to cope with a sadness I do not always understand. This particular piece is about waiting. It’s about the not knowing, the loneliness and the pain, the uncertainty, the fear, and the hoping and dreaming of what is to come. Both of my grandmothers married my grandfathers before they deployed overseas for World War II. They waited four years for them to come home. And then I waited. [clear]
My work blurs the boundaries between form and function. To me, art and design are often indistinguishable, for both deal with composing something beautiful for a purpose, whether the purpose is aesthetic enjoyment, value, utility or conveying a concept or message. My artistic practice is currently wide-ranging, but my goal in the next few years is to narrow my focus. My previous work ranges from artist books and coffee table books, photography, colorful patterns, merchandise and advertising collateral, to found-object jewelry, mixed-media and digital collage, printmaking, painting and drawing. Common themes throughout my work are bright color harmonies, juxtaposition of detail with simplicity and contrast in value, shape and scale. My work shown in Phenogenesis is a series called “Womedia.” It consists of six cover artworks, one piece for each decade from the 1950s until today. Each piece in the series includes a few lines of lyrics from a song from that decade that address how women are represented or stereotyped within that decade. Each piece is displayed on the appropriate audio playback format for its decade. The aesthetic elements used within each piece draw from the visual style of each decade, yet the viewer should note the irony that these pieces were created today in order to look “vintage.” “Womedia” deals with women’s stereotyping issues in the media as well as misogyny in song lyrics in popular music within the entertainment and music industries. [clear]
As a child, I knew photography was something I would love from the moment I picked up my mom’s camera. It didn’t become a passion until high school. My work stems from the interactions I have with my subjects and from my love for texture and detail. Like people, I believe ideas evolve into something unexpected. I enjoy creating an environment that is both a personal and comfortable space for the subject. I am drawn to small objects and enjoy exploring how light and color can add a transitional quality to black and white photography. Through digital photography, make-up and costuming, I examine the varied emotions that occur during a transitional period. I want to experiment with color while retaining the drama a black and white image has to offer. As time moves forward, the body evolves and inevitably deteriorates, through natural or unnatural causes. I picture this deterioration as a disease in itself, similar to the shedding of the skin. My goal is to express a kind of growth and decay through multiple textures and contrast. I want this decay, in part, to represent a resistance to evolution, a refusal to accept that time moves forward regardless of whether we are prepared. Each individual processes change in his or her own way. I believe accepting life changing events contributes to an evolution of the self. Change is inevitable and resistance towards it prevents the individual from moving forward and learning from past experiences. Some individuals focus on the excitement and embrace the journey. As I begin the next chapter of my life, I am joyful yet know it will be a struggle to let go of the past. [clear]
Paula Gasparini De Oliveira Santos (GDOS)
(To Release, Relinquish, Unclasp, Withdraw, Unleash, To Bring Out)
To let go is to surrender and to give in to the forces beyond your control—surrendering does not mean to abandon or run away from what comes our way, but rather to immerse ourselves in everything without restraint. My work is the expression of how I live; it is effortless, though I do not mean easy, but rather without pain. I create images without regret or restraint and continually I paint over them. I value my paintings, but value the act of creation itself as paramount. Because life is transient, I let go of the permanence of images and instead recognize that it is the process of expression that remains with me eternally. My creations are free in form but are directed by an inner order and discipline—that of intuitive feeling. I drown my emotions in paint and words, so that I can free them. I let go in order to understand. My art is my self-expression—the symbols are personal but I share them and by doing so hope to inspire expression in others. I believe in the power of communication and unity, and the endless possibilities that can come from it. We were all born with the luxury of finding ourselves; I believe the power of expression is in all of us, children all over the world are proof. [clear]
My senior thesis comprises three components using mixed media, wearable sculpture, fiber art and painting. The works are produced with unconventional materials and are constructed using traditionally “feminine” crafts such as knitting and sewing. Both the zipper and gown pieces are sewn by hand and machine, and are designed to fit my own body. The wire corset is knit on two different sized wooden needles, and can be adjusted by the back ribbons. These three works seek to question conventional ideas about femininity, domesticity, gender and sexuality. I am deeply influenced by artists exploring similar issues, such as Judy Chicago, Sharon Kagan, Annette Messager, Liza Lou and Cindy Sherman. My work also references historical symbols, such as the corset and formal gown. The zipper-halter-top strives to present a contemporary symbol of gender and sexuality. My artwork conceptualizes these issues through medium choice, subject matter and material. These works are not intended to fully reflect fashion or design, but instead meditate on aspects of gender and what it entails to be a woman. I did, however, choose the routine of dress and wearability as a means to contribute to the subject of gender. Throughout my career at Pitzer College I have attempted to explore this theme, and answer questions pertaining to gender for a young woman such as myself. These three pieces represent what I have learned in classes as well as in my everyday life. [clear]
Michelle E. Gross
The works featured in the exhibition bring together and expose two of my obsessions within an aesthetic dichotomy: decrepit objects and light. I have been deeply inspired by the work of the Minimalist artists, Dan Flavin in particular. Flavin’s candid and innovative use of fluorescent lights challenged the formally dominant concept of a fine art medium. I admire other artists, such as Marcel Duchamp and Robert Rauschenberg, who likewise proved that even the detritus of modern existence could be art. Stylistically, my work shifts from the highly colorful and playful to work that is raw and unrefined. What excites me about used and found objects is that they are infused with an innate sense of nostalgia and history. Removing these objects from their utilitarian past and recontextualizing them into my pieces opens new lines of dialogue about function, design and art. I wanted to create an environment that evokes a different kind of perceptual experience from the one we encounter every day. The gallery space generated by my work is one where light, movement and perception combine to create a sensory experience that is enveloping and aesthetically perverse. I aspired to create a space enveloped in glow, where the interplay of light and our perception were as equally important as the objects themselves. [clear]
My horse’s hooves crushing the grass with every step and the wind whipping through the dead twigs are the only sounds as we traverse a ridgeline trail high above the city. There is a feeling of peaceful, beautiful loneliness, a welcome isolation, when you simultaneously feel above it all, and yet startlingly insignificant and invisible. My passion for horseback riding, exploring and being in nature provides the unique genesis for my work. The inspiration for this body of work springs from long rides into the “wilderness.” I use this term loosely because there are very few truly wild places left, especially in this sprawling suburban area. This is a profound tragedy and something worth considering, documenting and discussing. My goal is to take the viewer with me on a journey to some of my favorite “wild” places; places which have deep meaning and fond memories. My paintings strive to capture these often unseen landscapes, allowing the viewer a glimpse of places they may never have an opportunity to explore for themselves. In addition, my work investigates mankind’s impact on nature by exploring the interaction between man-made objects, nature, and time. Nature slowly deconstructs human artifacts and reincorporates them into the natural landscape. I attempt to capture this phenomenon of the natural decay of these now abandoned, but once useful things, as well as the ephemeral feelings I experienced at the initial discovery of these lonely objects and forgotten places. [clear]
The last two years have seen a large amount of my work focusing on the cultural history of boxing: one of mankind’s oldest yet most vilified sports. The drama of such one-on-one combat is inherent. With the competition exclusively between two individuals, and the brute (or as some would prefer, archaic) skills which value is placed on, issues of race, nationality, religion and even political association have long been brought to the front of discourse, with the boxing match as the vehicle. Throughout its history, boxing has also come under immense scrutiny due to its danger and violence as a form of media entertainment. It is not difficult to locate broadcasted video of a fight in which a fighter dies or is irreparably harmed due to damage in the ring. Some argue that this fact is proof that boxing does not deserve to be deemed a sport and should be made illegal. Defenders of the sport argue that one only need look as far as the news to see far worse violence in equally or even more grandiose depictions. Furthermore, these people argue that boxing provides an opportunity for upward mobility among the dispossessed, who are often victims themselves of predatory managers and promoters. My work for this exhibition investigates the love/hate relationships and seemingly paradoxical views boxing falls under for a media-obsessed, particularly violent-media-obsessed, American society. [clear]
I employ mundane materials that have limited use or are doomed to end up in a landfill and transform them into an artwork that represents the majesty of our natural world. The dichotomy created using discarded materials to represent the purity of nature sparks a conflict of mind for the viewer. I enjoy manipulating material to resemble something of nature without being an exact replica of it. Our creations can never reach the intricate and complex level of nature, but through artistic representation the viewer is encouraged to question the affect of human intervention in this world, especially regarding the changing biosphere and fauna around us. I am greatly influenced by water and the elements of our natural environment. The natural world is extraordinary in its transformative capacity. I believe we have only scraped the surface of astounding life in the ocean and on land and have much more to discover. My work is a commentary on how much influence we have on life we do not even know exists. My work also asks questions and produces wonderment about what we do not know or understand. [clear]
My work explores the paradox between the carefully crafted artwork and one that highlights improvisation and the unconscious. I am inspired by color, texture, energy and rhythm. As a dancer and artist, I work to fuse movement, complex compositional patterns, and an awareness of the body’s anatomical structures into my mixed media work. My passion for art grew out of a yearning to find treasure in odd places and the desire to explore relationships between symbols and their meanings. Linked to themes explored by the readymade and found art, I think art has the capability to distort, comment, recreate, elude, add, deconstruct, and demystify the obscurities and beauty of everyday objects. Inspired by Ferdinand Saussure’s theories on socio-linguistics and the arbitrary nature of words, I experiment with controversial systems of structure and varying modes of analysis and representation. Whether it be combining a digital image with an intaglio print, or working on wood, metal or paper, I am constantly surprised by the versatile and malleable nature of the medium employed in my work. I understand art, not only as a form of individual expression, but as a catalyst for social change that should be made accessible to a range of communities regardless of social and/or economic status. [clear]
Light and time are encapsulating themes in my work. Underwater photography offers a unique opportunity to distort the appearance of reality through water. This spectacle delves the viewer into suspended gravity and distorted optics. Photography was present throughout my life from an amateur perspective. Before starting college, I participated in a Marine Conservation Project in Thailand, learning ocean conservation and scuba diving. This is where I first got an opportunity to explore underwater photography. While at Pitzer College, this evolved to a more serious compulsion. Nights spent out in nature, I explored ideas concerning the surreal more evident in the dark of night than light of day. Night photography opened the possibility of bending expectations within photography, and through this exploration, surreality in darkness of night lead to an obsession with this phenomenon within underwater photography. My committed participation with the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company gives me access to another world of fantasy and wonderment. The combination of these themes creates a surreal experience, fusing dance and water into a photographic experience. I use ballroom dancers to exhibit the control and grace of dancing, combined with the surreality of water to create these spectacles. [clear]
Since elementary school when my mother taught me the very basics of taking a picture with her 35mm SLR, I have become enamored with the process of photographing the world around me. I have always viewed photography as a unique tool enabling me to frame the precise moments, angles and emotions that best capture my understanding and experience of a given instant, rather than simply conveying its physical manifestation. This body of work comprises a series of photographs taken in the past two years while living in the USA, Italy and South Africa. While exploring these distinctly different countries, I was continuously struck by the beauty of socio-cultural particularities in lifestyles, social attitudes and definitions of “norm” that uniquely define daily life in each country. However, I was also very aware from my interactions with passersby and friends that there are some underlying human commonalities—the warmth of sharing a meal with friends and loved ones, music and dance, the desire to explore and learn of the unknown. Although among and even within these countries, the contents of a meal and the definition of family may vary greatly, the underlying actions and motives remain the same. As I explored, listened, and absorbed, I became increasingly aware of common cross-cultural aspirations, experiences and catalysts. I had my camera at the ready and attempted to capture what I perceived as quotidian human experiences in each country—the similar alongside the unique. I hope this collection of jumbled moments and places can inspire the viewer to question their own preconceived notions of “other-ness” as they create for themselves a sense of geographic order in the midst of confusion. [clear]
Kamilla Q. Rifkin
My thesis represents the evolution of food as a theme throughout my work. Food has emerged as a revelatory model for my photography. The elasticity within my subjects—ridged dewy leaves of a red cabbage, gritty millet grains, a brilliantly rubbery albumen of a fried egg—has allowed me to create fantastical landscapes that play with light, shadow, and texture in innovative ways. My work draws inspiration from Edward Weston’s cabbage and bell pepper photos from the 1930s. I am interested in incorporating the practice of dramatizing and eroticizing an inanimate object into my own artwork. From the basic uncooked raw grains on photograms to foods viewed in macro format, I aim to deconstruct the edibles that we are used to seeing on the dinner plate in order to present a new range of images. My goal is to remove each food from immediate recognition, and allow it to reemerge as something more dramatic, massive, abstract. [clear]
Devin von Stade
Maine is home. Though I have spent little of the past eight years there, the landscape and its animals have remained a great influenced on my art. Originally a painter idealizing impressionist and surreal works, I spent the past four years working with ceramics. Having previously been hesitant about working in three dimensions, it was a chance to learn anew through play and guidance. Much of my college education was dedicated to the biological sciences with the arts as an outlet for my creativity, and a place to explore my understanding of the natural world. My interest in veterinary medicine, animals and their inherent differences kindles my imagination. I try to create pieces that have a bit of their own life; works that people will want to touch, as well as others that will cause hesitation as if it were an oversized bug. Through this active process, I hope to show a playful development and classification of my ideas, as they have been shaped through my time a Pitzer. Working with clay for the past four years has been inspiring. Given that much of my college education has been dedicated to the sciences, ceramics has allowed me to exercise my creativity. Exploring the development of my ideas, I slip-cast populations of forms and textures influenced by the casting process. Specific aspects that effected how the molds were made were carried through to the next piece I made. With my focused study on anatomy and biomechanics, animals often influence my thought process and guide my work. I try to create pieces that people want to touch, as well as others that might cause hesitation and repulsion, as if it were a live bug, or in the worry that the creature would be skittish. By delving into this obsession, I focused on the string of consciousness that contributes to my artistic process, considering each branch of potential development. Through this living process, I hope to show the playful development and classification of my ideas, as they have been shaped through my time at Pitzer. [clear]
Tags: Anja Hughes-Stinson, Avery Oatman, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery, Casandra Campeas, Devin von Stade, Evan Kelley, Kamilla Q. Rifkin, Lauren Conquist Anderson, Lenzner Gallery, Maia Ashkenazi, Marita Pickron, Michelle E. Gross, Morgan Pepper, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Paula Gasparini De Oliveira Santos, Sarah Lee, Senior Art Show, Sophia Galano, Spring 2011
- Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears
Guest Curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas
Organized by Pitzer Art Galleries & Claremont Museum of Art
September 30 – December 10, 2010
Nichols Gallery & Lenzner Family Art Gallery
This exhibition has been made possible by a generous grant from Fundación/Colección Jumex and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, San Francisco
Suspended Between Laughter and Tears is an exhibition of video, photography, installations and archived materials from the estate of the late Dutch-born and California-based conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader, who is assumed to have perished at sea in 1975. The exhibition’s title refers to the artist’s exploration of the tenuous point between comedy and tragedy in his work. It is the first large-scale survey focusing on the breadth of his artistic practice mounted in the United States in over 10 years and will include documentation of works that have previously only been seen in catalog reproductions. A publication will accompany the exhibition and will include interviews with Ader’s widow, Mary Sue Anderson.
Ader’s work centers on short-duration acts of physical and emotional release. In the noted film and subsequent photographs titled I’m Too Sad to Tell You (1971), the artist is seen crying directly into the camera amplifying a simple human emotion – grief – into a profound and revelatory experience. Ader also makes use of the force of gravity as a medium in his performance work, as documented in film and photography. His videos, in many respects, bear an explicit physicality, which are the hallmark of many silent films. Other projects, including the unfinished trilogy In Search of the Miraculous (1975), during which the artist disappeared, stretch the boundaries of sentimentalism through existential journey.
Ader frequently referenced Dutch artistic and cultural traditions in his work. Photographs such as On the road to a new Neo Plasticism, Westkapelle, Holland (1971) reveal his interest in Mondrian and the De Stijl movement, which sought simplified compositions to express a utopian harmony. Dutch landscape and still life painting traditions can be seen in videos such as Primary Time (1974), in which the artist arranges and rearranges a red, blue and yellow bouquet of flowers, and in photographs like Farewell to Faraway Friends (1971), where the artists casts himself as a romantic wanderer – linking himself to the paintings of 19th century German artist Caspar David Friedrich – but ultimately setting the tone for his physical acts of searching.
Yet it was Ader’s unique relationship to the city of Claremont, where he lived and studied from 1965 to 1974, which established his importance as a California artist. At his Claremont home, Ader executed some of his most significant works including All My Clothes (1970) and Fall I (Los Angeles) (1970). In his Claremont studio he also produced the experimental installations Please Don’t Leave Me (1969) and Reader’s Digest Digested (1970). His thesis exhibition at Claremont Graduate University in 1967 laid the groundwork for his mature works, as seen in the offset lithograph invitation to the show depicting Ader sitting on the roof of his home smoking a cigar with cartoon-like clouds and sky behind him.
Ader’s modest body of work – considered groundbreaking and visionary – continues to influence a new generation of artists. Suspended Between Laughter and Tears provides a context for his overarching themes and strategies by addressing the living aspects of his practice. In addition to Ader’s original works of art, the exhibition includes specific pieces by artists that reference his concepts and actions. For example, Sebastian Stumpf, from Leipzig, Germany, pays homage to Ader by attempting to overcome gravity instead of succumbing to it in works such as Marcher á l’envers. Los Angeles-based, Mexican-born artist Fernando Sanchez explores the idea of failure and an inability to conquer natural forces through a series of live and web-cast performances.
Understanding that comedy and tragedy are two sides of the same coin, Mexico City-based artist Artemio, references Ader’s I’m Too Sad to Tell You in his video montage The Crying Game where the forced act of weeping in front of the camera lingers between the theatrical and the heart-felt. Photographer and performance artist Martin Kersels, from Los Angeles, plays off of the humor of physical action seen throughout Ader’s work, in his body of photographs Tripping. Katie Newby of Auckland, also brings a delicate balance of melancholy and hopefulness to her temporary installations that, like Ader’s Please Don’t Leave Me, are at once a declaration to be noticed and a fleeting gesture.
Yet the most influential aspect of Ader’s work seems to lie in his final and incomplete trilogy, In Search of the Miraculous. The notion of perishing while attempting something meaningful in art, or the ultimate sacrifice for one’s craft, is a concept that young artists have gravitated towards again and again. Disappearing without a trace, as Ader did while executing this piece, seems plausible in the pre-GPS era of the 1970s, yet Piero Golia (Naples/Los Angeles) accomplished this feat in 2007, and lived to tell the story in his month-long performance Postcards from the Edge. Gonzalo Lebrija, from Guadalajara, follows in Ader’s footsteps on a vision quest in the photographic series The Distance Between You and Me, as he sets a lone course through deserted landscapes. Furthering the mystery of a journey on the open ocean, Rio de Janeiro artist Thiago Rocha Pitta elicits the relationship of man, the sea and the unknown elements at hand in the video The Secret Sharer.
In a marked attempt to gain insight into the artist’s impossible journey, Canadian sculptor Jed Lind acquired a sailboat identical to that used by Ader in his 1975 performance, In Search of the Miraculous, and hollowed it out in a painstaking and methodical act of meditation. Mexico City artist Diego Teo also suggests that an homage to this work must include the ideas of fleetingness and futility, such as in the artist’s own attempt to mark the cultural terrain of a graffiti pit with the title of Ader’s work, only to have it obliterated moments later by a wave of new imagery.
Furthermore, a special screening of Dutch filmmaker Rene Daalder’s documentary on Bas Jan Ader, Here is Always Somewhere Else, will take place during the course of the exhibition. Daalder will also present a selection of videos by contemporary artists utilizing gravity in their work.
Opening Reception: September, 30, 2010, 5-8 p.m.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College
2 p.m., Film Screening: Rene Daalder’s award winning Bas Jan Ader documentary Here is Always Somewhere Else (2008)
3:30 p.m., Discussion: A conversation between Bas Jan Ader’s widow Mary Sue Ader-Andersen, filmmaker Rene Daalder and guest curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas
Tags: Bas Jan Ader, Claremont Museum of Art, collaboration, Fall 2010, Lenzner Gallery, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Pilar Tompkins Rivas
- et al: Senior Art Exhibition 2010
April 29-May 15, 2010
Nichols Gallery, Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Salathé Gallery, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery
Adria Arko, Paul Bergmann, Marnie Briggs, Dominique Festa, Lanie Frosh, Michael Goldberg, Jeremiah Gregory, Garbo Grossman, Leticia Grosz, Courtney Leverette, Zach Milder, Jane Philips, Cal Siegel, Eric Stern, Annie Stone, Kanae Takemoto, Katie Tonkovich
I am fascinated by wood and the natural patterns found within it, from the intricate structure of bark, to the most basic grain found on a 2 x 4 inch plank—even wood laminate. My project is an exploration of the movement of wood grain. By drawing and painting on the surfaces of the wooden panels, I examine how my mark can either add to, or detract from, the pattern of the wood. The panels, purchased at construction stores—not intended for artwork—have been transformed to focus on the intricacy of nature in even the most ordinary pieces of wood. Through out my life, I have been inspired by the work of Gerhardt Richter, Robert Bechtle, Amedeo Modigliani and the Arts and Crafts movement. Although my art is not directly influenced by their work, I feel that my art has grown from my love of their practice. [clear]
I love to draw. The everyday doodles in my notebook are my primary source of inspiration. I believe in the honesty of spontaneity, and the genuineness of quick, intuitive marks and ideas. My influences range from children’s illustrator Quentin Blake to Marcel Duchamp. While my aesthetics lean towards that of a Realist, I tend to incorporate the ironic undertones of Dada and Conceptual art into my drawings and non-representational conceptual pieces. Recently I have been working with found readymades. Abandoning my roots as a drawer, I’ve decided to incorporate outside text into already existing paintings and objects to imbue and uncover new meanings. I create these pieces with my same intuitive application of ideas but without the burden of new physical representation. Therein, with such a simple alteration on the surface, I completely alter the original meaning and purpose of the object. Therefore, I am producing art that achieves meaning after it has been produced. [clear]
In these works, I deliberately employ an illustrative style reminiscent of the art found in the children’s books that were my rst artistic influences and remain a continuous inspiration. I have been experimenting with this aesthetic approach, in combination with more mature, adult concepts to achieve a darker depiction of the imaginative dream world. Imagination is something we need to consciously exercise in our post-childhood years. My own art is a personal attempt to invent a space, through the portrayal of different characters interacting in fantastical, surreal worlds, that allows for the exercise and expansion of the imagination. The scenes are meant to loosely describe nonlinear narratives that are abstract in content. In the past, I have limited the use of color in my artwork, typically only working with black ink on white paper. However this current body of work requires a whimsical color scale to imbue a youthfulness to the darker imagery. [clear]
Small events in my life beg me to act appropriately, a request to which I diligently try to comply. Each time I dress in the morning, take public transportation to work, raise my hand in class, cook, clean, shop, drink, laugh (too loudly), talk (too forcefully), I nd myself keeping in line with an imaginary, but painfully durable conception of what a woman is and how she (re)acts. Who is this imaginary woman and why does she matter to me? In this body of work, I look for answers to this question in psychoanalytic theory, semiology, and postfeminism. If the Lacanian subject is constituted through its inception into the symbolic realm, then his/her gender subjectivity is similarly constructed. This concept amazes me, and I have let it inform my installation piece, Order. I use string, as a stand-in for language, to erect a stage upon which objects are manipulated into submission, enabling a ‘quintessentially feminine’ setting, much the same way the symbolic realm constructs and enforces heteronormative gender narratives. The audience is invited into the space thus implicating them in the perpetual maintenance of gender stereotypes through our unwitting, performative consumption and discourse. [clear]
With graduation on the horizon I have been forced to think about my future, and ironically this process led me to the past. In the future I want to study ceramic design and potentially pursue a career in this field. Making utilitarian ceramic objects has allowed me to be creative and utilize the skills and knowledge I have acquired from studying mathematics. I am truly enthusiastic about continuing to work in this field, but I recently realized that I have a minor setback. I have very little knowledge of ceramic history. I feel that having knowledge of the history of ceramics is critical in continuing to develop my personal perspective, style and voice. For many years I have enjoyed learning to create functional forms on the pottery wheel, but I had never been taught the history of this art and I wanted to change that. The works I have created for the exhibition are in response to overcome this setback. I researched four genres of ceramic history and produced a work that is influenced by the genre, but is modern and a reaction of my perspective. [clear]
As a passionate observer of people, my art is inspired by human interaction. I am drawn to portraiture and its attempt to reveal some veiled truth. I am inspired by twentieth century painters such as Giovanni Boldini and Egon Schiele as well as portrait photographers such as Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus. My current work concentrates on baseball, an American pastime played by millions of youth today. Having been a member of the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team for the past four years, it is hard to be objective and to fully express the passionate yet grueling experience of a college athlete. The very morals cultivated through athletics are suddenly tested as the desire for personal and team success threatens to surpass the traditional innocence of the very sport. A true athlete must be selfish, for a team is only as strong as its weakest link. To what extent will one go to overcome such weakness? [clear]
We have lost touch with the power of the old ways, and drift half-blind with a terrible weight. We have developed new magic and a new religion, though, battling the darkness with incandescent flame and propelling our life force through modern alchemies for every state of the body and mind. The power, however, belongs to those who manipulate the dark, viscous currents that ebb beneath us and those who cast spells in green numerals. Nashville-born conceptual artist Jeremiah Gregory examines the black blood that sustains us and the gilt spirit that wills our volition. In the wake of failing sorcery and false prophets it is time to reconsider our blind devotion to golden gods, and re-examine our ties to each other and primal earth before those ties bind us to our present course of necromancy. As John Freccor writes introducing Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno, “The dominant theme is not mercy but justice dispensed with the severity of the ancient law of retribution.” [clear]
I create idiosyncratic and bizarre imagery because I have always been attracted to the strange and the somewhat nonsensical. My influences include the amorphous and deviant work of Aubrey Beardsley, BLU, Odd Nerdrum, Francis Bacon, and Hieronymous Bosch. Inspired by these artists, I create detailed sketches of distorted bodies. This exploration of the human form led me to fuse body parts to create weird creatures that form their own disjointed narratives. Recently, I was involved in large mural project in downtown LA, where I became fascinated by the combination of street and fine art—I was forced to reconsider what breathes life into a community and how art allows for a place to be reimagined. My current work is a further exploration of combined figures that perform odd aerobics together. The images are sourced from photographs of friends and found faces. These creatures are precise and quiet, while at the same time remaining stubbornly unapologetic. Inked as part of a card deck, these figures establish their own ordered world. [clear]
I am a Los Angeles based artist who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and raised in the San Fernando Valley. I work primarily in photography and various drawing media. I am deeply motivated by my diverse background influences—religion, Spanish language, mother, brother and grandmother—which I explore in my work. I investigate form while simultaneously exploring the various communities to which I am connected and the converging identities that exist in the city in which I live. I am a graduating senior double majoring in Fine Arts and Religious Faith and the Ethics of Social Practice. I plan to continue teaching various subjects including fine arts after graduating from Pitzer College. [clear]
The purpose of my art is to challenge preconceived notions about what is fashion versus what is wearable art/sculpture. I believe a piece of clothing can be both. The art world and the fashion world have often worked hand in hand and inspired each other. It’s my goal to create works that can exist in both worlds. Their purpose is to be aesthetically pleasing as well as wearable. By using non-conventional materials, I am able to experiment with techniques and create unique forms that could not be created from fabric. Uncon¬ventional materials lend a unique texture, movement, and shape to my dresses and add a dimension of interest that would not exist had I used traditional materials. In the future I hope to continue to experiment with an even wider variety of materials and techniques, in the hopes of pushing the boundaries of what is considered wearable fashion, wearable art, fashion as art, and art as fashion. [clear]
To me, every object has an arsenal of associations, preconceptions, cultural references and worth (both inherent and imposed). These objects also have color, shape, time, smell, and taste. I arrange these different facets of the objects to create a stunning visual experience that offer insightful perspectives into the beauty and struggles of humanity within its environment. [clear]
Jane Philips (Steeping Sweet Comfort)
In a gesture to embrace their artistic daughter, my parents adopted the expression, “life is an art project,” as I have, for most of my life and integrated it into my daily life and activities. Through process-heavy mediums I make objects and images for personal and communal use. My projects have repeatedly depicted and embodied associations with comfort and home as I deeply relish simple daily routines and happenings. Besides the wide variety of materials I continually find and play with, I’ve repeatedly returned to sewing, hand-dying fabric, wheel-throwing pottery, and working with black and white photography. I’m attracted to mainly contemporary artists including Melanie Bilenker, William Eggleston, Andy Goldsworthy and Harrison McIntosh. Although they use very different mediums, each works within their own process to create unique, bold, and refined pieces while retaining a modesty and simplicity. Additionally, I’m continually influenced by the people—their work, obsessions—and personalities, and places of my everyday life. My most recent projects reflect a strong influence to ’60s kitchens and appliances. [clear]
Throughout their history, photographers have sought some sense of “truth” within the photographic image as well as the execution and presentation of the image resulting in distanced adoration. My work seeks to revert this search for truth, from the photographer to the viewer, treating the image as a mirror and leaving any sense of narrative within the work obscured; privileging instead a deadpan and empty impression, to be completed by the viewer themselves. Cinematic in scope, the works evoke disparate and varied associations. The photographs don’t seek “objectivity” in a documentary respect, rather, a space for exchange between the figures represented in the image and the observer. [clear]
I consider all language foreign. I find words are imposed upon me like historical baggage. I would rather communicate with touch. I often wonder what it is like to be a tree. Do they dream? What do they think about? Most days I want to run away to a mountainside, far away from everything human, and just sit and look up. I love the stars. I try to remember what it was to have been part of a star. I long to return to one. I spend my nights thinking and my days dreaming. I can’t turn off my mind. I like to take everything apart and put it all back together in strange permutations. Sometimes I don’t eat for a few days, just so that if it happens I know I will be ok. I build to keep myself tethered to this world; otherwise I would float up through cosmos and never take another glance back. [clear]
Painting is the way I understand the world around me. Each stroke is an exploration of the form and meaning of the subject I am painting. I work primarily in oil paints, painting people and places. With my painterly expressive style I try to keep my canvases fresh and chromatic. When I paint a person, I try to evoke a certain part of that person through the language of the composition. In my most recent project, I am exploring the complexities and contradictions inherent in the female form specifically the inherently feminine aspects of strength and sensuality. [clear]
I grew up in Japan and came to US to study when I was sixteen years old and continue to travel back and forth between these two places. I employ Japanese motifs in my work, which represent my hybridized identity. I am very influenced by shojo manga, comics designed for girls, which I read when I was young, especially the delicate line and graphic sensibility. I employ a similar aesthetic style in my work and use black ink as my medium. From my studies in art, I have been inspired by many artists and have gradually built my own style which is focused on form, meticulous lines, negative space, working in a series and depicting female body parts. My current work is a compilation of those concerns. I would like to depict the serenity, strength, and fragility embodied in being a woman, which can’t be expressed by words. [clear]
I grew up in Seattle, the home of evergreens, parks, and downpours, and came to Los Angeles for the promises of sunshine, salt water and outdoor pools. Dynamic and flowing, the effortless nature of water in motion has always amazed me. Perhaps it is due to my lifelong proximity to water, the 70% of me composed of H2O, or chlorine poisoning resulting from my excessive journeys between lane lines, but I can’t get enough of water. It is my pure escapist fantasy: submerged, the outside world is irrelevant. Drawing is the simplest form of creativity and water is the simplest form of bliss. My work is a marriage of these two passions. [clear]
Tags: Adria Arko, Annie Stone, Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery, Cal Siegel, Courtney Leverette, Dominique Festa, Eric Stern, Garbo Grossman, Jane Philips, Jeremiah Gregory, Kanae Takemoto, Katie Tonkovich, Lanie Frosh, Lenzner Gallery, Leticia Grosz, Michael Goldberg, Nichols Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Paul Bergmann, Salathe Gallery, Senior Art Show, Spring 2010, Zach Milder
- Localization, Location, Ubicación
Emerging Artist Series #4: Carla Herrera-Prats
January 28 – March 19, 2010
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
In the fourth installment of Pitzer’s Emerging Artist Series, Carla Herrera-Prats will transform the Lenzner Family Art Gallery into a collection center holding all the materials—correspondence, agreements, rejection letters and pictures—accumulated in the production of her book Localization, Location, Ubicación.
In his 1922 book The Gift, Marcel Mauss analyzes different models of a gift economy that can be seen as a form of resistance to an expanding market economy. Mauss describes how the exchange of objects between groups builds relationships among them. Giving a gift triggers an inherent obligation on the part of the receiver to reciprocate the gift. The resulting series of exchanges between groups hence provides one of the earliest forms of social solidarity.
Localization, Location, Ubicación departs from this notion of solidarity, working with Mauss’s analysis in the context of a regulated system of gift-giving common to us. Carla Herrera-Prats’s project consists of making and donating a gift––in the form of a book–– to a host of libraries, institutions and research centers that deal with questions of immigration, labor, collaboration and art in Canada, the United States and Mexico. This gift functions as a bridge linking the participating institutions together and examines the way knowledge production and art are formed, disseminated and organized. As a “true gift,” the book requires the reciprocity and participation of its receivers to exist. The book itself consists of photographs and descriptions—provided by the participating libraries—of the shelves where Herrera-Prats’s book is to reside once it is printed. Once accepted, the book is put into the libraries’ circulation and distribution system and listed in various subject categories, including art.
Tags: Carla Herrera-Prats, Emerging Artist Series, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Winter 2010