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  • 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

    waiting... (2011); Mixed media installation; Dimensions variable waiting… (2011); Mixed media installation; Dimensions variable

    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.

    Maia Ashkenazi

    Womedia (2011); Digital mixed-media, collage and photography; Dimensions variable Womedia (2011); Digital mixed-media, collage and photography; Dimensions variable

    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.

    Casandra Campeas

    Metamorphosis (2011); Digital prints on poster board; 24×36 inches Metamorphosis (2011); Digital prints on poster board; 24×36 inches

    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.

    Paula Gasparini De Oliveira Santos (GDOS)

    =Voce (2011); Acrylic; 24×36 inches =Voce (2011); Acrylic; 24×36 inches

    Letting Go.
    (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.

    Sophia Galano

    Laundry Line (2011); Wood, wire, ribbon, zippers, thread and canvas, plastic; 32×60 inches Laundry Line (2011); Wood, wire, ribbon, zippers, thread and canvas, plastic; 32×60 inches

    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. 

    Michelle E. Gross

    Red Icon (2010); Medium-density fiberboard, fluorescent; light, red and violet gel; 12x12x36 inches Red Icon (2010); Medium-density fiberboard, fluorescent; light, red and violet gel; 12x12x36 inches

    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. 

    Anja Hughes-Stinson

    Saddleback from the Pasture (2010); Acrylic paint on canvas; 12×24 inches Saddleback from the Pasture (2010); Acrylic paint on canvas; 12×24 inches

    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. 

    Evan Kelley

    Benny “Kid” Paret (2011); Mixed media; 39×21 inches Benny “Kid” Paret (2011); Mixed media; 39×21 inches

    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. 

    Sarah Lee

    Rain (2011); Mixed media; Dimensions variable Rain (2011); Mixed media; Dimensions variable

    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. 

    Avery Oatman

    Space must be left for the pin (2011); Linocut, digital print, mixed media installation; Dimensions variable Space must be left for the pin (2011); Linocut, digital print, mixed media installation; Dimensions variable

    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. 

    Morgan Pepper

    On Point (2010); Digital print; Dimensions variable On Point (2010); Digital print; Dimensions variable

    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. 

    Marita Pickron

    Untitled (2011); Silver gelatin print; Dimensions variable Untitled (2011); Silver gelatin print; Dimensions variable

    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. 

    Kamilla Q. Rifkin

    Egg and Molasses (2011); Silver gelatin print; 8×10 inches Egg and Molasses (2011); Silver gelatin print; 8×10 inches

    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. 

    Devin von Stade

    Taxonomy (2011); Ceramic; Dimensions variable Taxonomy (2011); Ceramic; Dimensions variable

    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. 


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  • KIMBALL 1901-

    Euan Macdonald

    January 27 – March 25, 2011

    Euan Macdonald, a Los Angeles-based artist, works in a variety of media—video, sculpture and drawing—producing deadpan and idiosyncratic works that defy immediate comprehension. Focusing on the everyday, he documents actions and events that at first glance appear ordinary and unspectacular, but on closer inspection reveal complex interrelations between individuals and disparate objects. Conceived in two parts, Macdonald’s most recent work KIMBALL 1901 –, made specifically for Pitzer Art Galleries, is comprised of a stop-motion animation on video and an edition of silk-screen printed anagrams.

    Euan Macdonald Kimball1901 (2010); Play The Piano Drunk...(part 4); Courtesy of the artist and Galleria S.A.L.E.S., Rome, ItalyEmploying one of the earliest forms of moving-image technology, Macdonald’s stop-motion video is a portrait in absence—depicted through a lifetime of discarded books and an abandoned antique parlor piano found in her neglected living room. Constructed frame-by-frame, with books of various shapes and sizes, the video captures the gradual building and dismantling of a wall that both obscures and reveals the battered piano positioned behind. Through the collapsing of time and space and ongoing cyclical process of construction and disassembling, the film reflects on the vicissitudes of a lifetime packed with experience, human loss, entropy and the transient nature of our existence.

    Referencing another life lived to the full is Macdonald’s series of silkscreen printed anagrams using all the letters of title Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit (1979) by Charles Bukowski. Linked by the piano’s subject matter and apparent randomness of the stacked books, the anagrams provide a compelling yet quieter companion piece to the continuous and chaotic building and removing of the wall.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a 64-page catalogue documenting the making of the exhibition and will include an essay by Lisa Gabrielle Mark, director of Material Means and former director of publications of the Museum of Contemporary Art and an interview of Euan Macdonald by Ciara Ennis, director/curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries.

    Related Events

    Opening Reception: January 27, 5-8 p.m.
    Nichols Gallery,

    Thursday, February 24, 3:30 p.m.
    Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
    Discussion and exhibition walkthrough with artist Euan Macdonald and director/curator Ciara Ennis

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  • Catalogue – Bas Jan Ader

    Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears
    September 30 – December 10, 2010
    Guest-curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas
    Organized by Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College and Claremont Museum of Art
    69 pages, with color and black and white reproduction
    ISBN: 978-0-9829956-0-0
    Essays by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Andrew Berardini, and Ciara Ennis
    Edited by Kira Poplowski
    Designed by Stephanie Estrada

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  • 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.


    Related Events

    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

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  • 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

    Birch 1 (2009), 24 x 24 inches, Ink and oil on birch panel. Birch 1 (2009), 24 x 24 inches, Ink and oil on birch panel.

    Adria Arko

    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.

    Please Don’t Tell Me Why (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed media. Please Don’t Tell Me Why (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed media.

    Paul Bergmann

    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. 

    Ursula (2009), 30 x 54 inches, Collograph. Ursula (2009), 30 x 54 inches, Collograph.

    Marnie Briggs

    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. 

    Order (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed-media installation. Order (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed-media installation.

    Dominique Festa

    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. 

    Untitled (2010), Dimensions variable, Clay and custom glaze. Untitled (2010), Dimensions variable, Clay and custom glaze.

    Elena Frosh

    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. 

    Michael Goldberg

    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? 

    Homunuculus: The Sacrifice (After Brontosaurus) (2010), Dimensions variable, Single-channel video installation. Homunuculus: The Sacrifice (After Brontosaurus) (2010), Dimensions variable, Single-channel video installation.

    Jeremiah Gregory

    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.” 

    iemoto (2010), 17 x 22 inches, Digital print. iemoto (2010), 17 x 22 inches, Digital print.

    Garbo Grossman

    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. 

    C'est Pas Facile, (2010), 8 x 8 inches, Graphite and ink, on paper. C’est Pas Facile, (2010), 8 x 8 inches, Graphite and ink, on paper.

    Leticia Grosz

    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. 

    La Cage (2009-2010), Size 4, Nickel-plated chain (360 feet). La Cage (2009-2010), Size 4, Nickel-plated chain (360 feet).

    Courtney Leverette

    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. 

    This is George Carpenter (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed-media installation. This is George Carpenter (2010), Dimensions variable, Mixed-media installation.

    Zach Milder

    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. 

    Toaster (2010), (Detail), 54 x 75 inches, Quilted, Hand-dyed, second-hand cotton fabric stretched over wood frame. Toaster (2010), (Detail), 54 x 75 inches, Quilted, Hand-dyed, second-hand cotton fabric stretched over wood frame.

    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. 

    El Mestizo Nuevo (for Viteri) (2010), 28 x 38 inches, Archival inkjet print from color negative. El Mestizo Nuevo (for Viteri) (2010), 28 x 38 inches, Archival inkjet print from color negative.

    Cal Siegel

    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. 

    Untitled (2010), 57 x 48 x 90 inches, Wood and LED lights. Untitled (2010), 57 x 48 x 90 inches, Wood and LED lights.

    Eric Stern

    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. 

    Moonlight (2010), 32 x 40 inches, Oil paint on canvas. Moonlight (2010), 32 x 40 inches, Oil paint on canvas.

    Annie Stone

    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. 

    Untitled (2010), Dimensions variable, Ink on paper. Untitled (2010), Dimensions variable, Ink on paper.

    Kanae Takemoto

    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. 

    Down pour (2010), 16 x 8 inches, Monoprint. Down pour (2010), 16 x 8 inches, Monoprint.

    Katie Tonkovich

    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. 

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  • CAPITALISM IN QUESTION (because it is)

    January 28 – March 19, 2010
    Nichols Gallery

    Juried by Daniel Joseph Martinez

    Co-curated by Daniel Joseph Martinez & Ciara Ennis

    Artists: Ian Arenas, Matthew Brandt, James Melinat, Gabie Strong, Kara Tanaka, Grant Vetter

    The rampant capitalism of the last decade, and its recent catastrophic crisis, has left us in a peculiar and unfamiliar space. Capitalist economic ideology and practices are suddenly under renewed scrutiny. CAPITALISM IN QUESTION (because it is) explores our current economic predicament and range of alternatives scenarios.

    Co-organized by Pitzer Art Galleries and The Munroe Center for Social Inquiry at Pitzer College.

    About Joseph Martinez

    2010-capitalism-book_daniel_joseph_martinez_lgDaniel Joseph Martinez (b. 1957) is an internationally exhibiting artist who grew up in Los Angeles. For over thirty years, he has divined sociopolitical fault lines in the American psyche and carefully placed conceptual and perceptual explosives into them. This volume, with essays by Michael Brenson, Hakim Bey, David Levi Strauss, Gilbert Vicario, Lauri Firstenberg, Arthur C. Danto, Linda Norden, and Rachel Leah Baum, chronicles selected works from 1978 to 2008, concentrating on the work of the past sixteen years—from his controversial intervention in the 1993 Whitney Biennial to his Divine Violence piece in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and including his contributions to the San Juan Triennial in 2004, the Cairo Biennale in 2006, and the Moscow Biennial in 2007. A variety of further installations, text works, paintings, photographs, sculptures, animatronics, and videos complete the catalogue.

    Martinez is a Professor of Theory, Practice, and Mediation of Contemporary Art at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the Graduate Studies Program and the New Genres Department.

    Daniel Joseph Martinez: A Life of Disobedience, is published by Hatje Cantz, Germany.

    About the Artists

    2010-capitalism-ian_areanas Ian Arenas; Golden Age (2005-2009); Mixed media installation; Dimensions variable

    Ian Arenas
    Ian Arenas received his MFA in 2008 from California Institute of the Arts. His solo exhibitions include Negating Has a Long Life but No Future (2009) and Golden Age (2006) at D300 Gallery in Valencia, CA. He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including Capitalism in Question (because it is) at the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA (2010), The Holographic Principle: A Screening of Video Works Not Normally Screened at Sea and Space Explorations (2009), LA Wonderground: Recently from Los Angeles at the Maniac Gallery (2008), We Want A New Object at the Acuna-Hansen Gallery (2008) and Salty Dog Bites the Hand at the Angels Gate Cultural Center (2008). Arenas received a Merit Scholarship from the California Institute of the Arts (2006 and 2007) and was the alternate for the Windgate Fellowship at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (2006). He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

    Matthew Brandt, Metal Capsules, A short story about alchemy (Part II), (2008), Lightjet print mounted on gold anodized aluminum frame, 31 x 41 x 2 inches Matthew Brandt, Metal Capsules, A short story about alchemy (Part II), (2008), Lightjet print mounted on gold anodized aluminum frame, 31 x 41 x 2 inches

    Matthew Brandt
    Matthew Brandt received his MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 2008. His exhibited solo in Chocolate, bees, dust, sperm and sprinkles at the Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery (2009). He exhibited in many group exhibitions including Torrance Juried Art Exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum, Some Young LA Artists at the Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery (2008), The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe at Apexart (2007) and at the Schombury Gallery (2001). He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

    James Melinat; (A Death Marked By Elegance), 2009; graphite on paper; 12.5 x 12.5 x 2.5 inches James Melinat; (A Death Marked By Elegance), 2009; graphite on paper; 12.5 x 12.5 x 2.5 inches

    James Melinat
    California-born James Melinat received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. He exhibited solo in the exhibition Gravity and Grace (a sum of all my hopes and fears) at D301 Gallery (2006). He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including Capitalism in Question (because it is) at Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College (2010), Small (though your heart is breaking) at Gallery 1927 (2009), The Between is Tainted with Strangeness: Superheroes, Zombies and Masked Wrestlers at Farmlab Public Salon (2008), Goodbuy: Cruel World at Space 47 (2008), Mini Mini Max: Festival Internacional de Video at Apetite Gallery (2007) and For Ever at 915 Mateo (2007). Melinat received awards and honors including an Artist’s Fellowship from the Skowhegen School of Sculpture and Painting (2007); a Dean’s Fund Scholarship from the California Institute of the Arts (2007) and a Merit Scholarship from the California Institute of the Arts (2006). He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

    Gabie Strong; Datum (2008); 16 Light Jet photographs, mounted to Dibond, framed. Each 15 x 18 inches; Overall dimensions: approximately 32 x 160 inches Gabie Strong; Datum (2008); 16 Light Jet photographs, mounted to Dibond, framed. Each 15 x 18 inches; Overall dimensions: approximately 32 x 160 inches

    Gabie Strong
    Gabie Strong, born in Denver, Colorado, received her MFA in 2008 from the University of California Irvine and her Masters of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2006. She has participated in numerous exhibitions including Welcome to the Neighborhood at the Tight Space Gallery (2009), Art Swap Meet at High Desert Test Sites, 2008 California Biennial, (2008), 88 Boadrum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008); Wreckers, Records, Redeemers at LA Art (2008) and Summer Guests Show at the Acuna-Hansen Gallery (2008). Strong has received numerous awards including the Student Researcher Award in Photography from University of California Irvine (2008), the Graduate Student Research and Travel Grant (2008) and the Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellowship (2008). She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

    Kara Tanaka; Space Pearl: Exodus 2025, 2009; Acrylic ink on paper; 30 x 22 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, NY Kara Tanaka; Space Pearl: Exodus 2025, 2009; Acrylic ink on paper; 30 x 22 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, NY

    Kara Tanaka
    A California native, Kara Tanaka received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2008. Her solo exhibitions include A Sad Bit of Fruit, Pickled in the Vineyard of Grief at Collezione Maramotti, (2010) and Simon Preston Gallery (2009), Migrating Body & Generative Power at CAA (2008) Pining Wind at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (2008) and Dissolver at LA Art (2008). She has participated in many group exhibitions including the 2008 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art (2008); November, Again at the Harris Lieberman Gallery (2008) and Fat Head Balloon Self-Portrait, Exercising for Exorcising (Mein Doppelganger and My Lights (Kokopelli) at Simon Preston (2008). Tanaka’s honors and awards include the California Biennial Residency from the Orange County Museum of Art (2008) and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U. S. Department of Education. Kara Tanaka resides and works in Los Angeles, California.

    Grant Vetter; Collateral 2 (2008); 60.5 x 144 inches; Oil on canvas over panel Grant Vetter; Collateral 2 (2008); 60.5 x 144 inches; Oil on canvas over panel

    Grant Vetter
    Grant Vetter is a newly emerging artist. He earned his BFA from Art Center College of Design and will receive his MFA in 2009 from the University of California Irvine. He has shown in numerous exhibitions including MFA 2 at UAG Gallery (2008) ACUTE 2: Small Works from 22 Los Angeles Artists at Room Gallery (2008), Catalyst Retrospective at the Catalyst Gallery (2007); Wonderoom at Catalyst Gallery (2007) and JSA (Jim Shaw’s Army) at Rental Gallery (2006). Vetter received an Orange Country Arts Grant for Drawing, Painting and Printmaking (2007) and a Bradford Hall Arts Scholarship (2005). He lives and works in Irvine, California.

    Related Events

    January 28 – March 19, 2010

    Opening Reception: January 28, 2010, 5-8 PM, Nichols Gallery

    Panel Discussion with the Artists and Daniel Joseph Martinez:
    February 9, 2010, 4:15 PM, Broad Performance Space, Broad Center

    Panel discussion on the exhibition CAPITALISM IN QUESTION (Because It Is), featuring exhibition juror and co-curator, Daniel Joseph Martinez (Professor of Studio Art, UC Irvine) and the artists in the exhibition: Ian Arenas, Matthew Brandt, James Melinat, Gabie Strong, Kara Tanaka, and Grant Vetter.

    The panel will be chaired and moderated by Bill Anthes (Associate Professor of Art History, Pitzer College).

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  • Babel: The Chaos of Melancholy

    Kyugmi Shin

    July 16 – September 11, 2009
    Nichols Gallery

    Los Angeles-based Korean American artist, Kyungmi Shin will develop a site-specific installation for the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College. Synthesizing and expanding upon many of the formal and conceptual themes explored in her recent projects, this solo exhibition is Shin’s most ambitious work to date.

    Babel: The Chaos of Melancholy takes its name from a quotation cited in Robert Burton’s infamous work, the Anatomy of Melancholy (1621). Written to combat the debilitating effects of depression, Burton compares the “confusion of tongues”—in the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel—with the eviscerating effects of melancholy. Taking Burton’s quotation as her starting point, Shin’s creates a sprawling, vertiginous installation reaching from the second floor mezzanine to the gallery floor below. Comprised of scrap metals, recycled plastic, discarded building materials, trash, photo collage and glass, the 25 foot high installation faces a large-scale projection on the opposing wall. Featuring video footage from Dubai juxtaposed with clips from a shantytown near Shin’s studio home in Ghana, the work raises challenging issues about class, race, economics and global politics. Furthermore, Shin’s recycled and scrap materials collaged together references the make-shift and impoverished shantytowns ubiquitous in certain parts of the world and contrasts them with the wealth displayed in ‘uber’ rich communities elsewhere.

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  • Clayton Campbell: After Abu Ghraib

    01-22-09 through 03-27-09
    Nichols Gallery, Broad Center & Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall

    By intentionally corrupting the digital files of these insistently barbarous Abu Ghraib pictures, Los Angeles-based artist Clayton Campbell transformed them into large-scale, geometric, painterly works. Bands of translucent reds, blues and purples migrate across the surface, shredding and obscuring as they go, allowing an indulgence in sensuous abstraction, a short-lived reprieve from the heinous acts. Resembling ancient Mesopotamian sculptural fragments—like those looted at the beginning of the U.S. “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the bodies detach and re-combine in surprisingly exquisite arrangements. The bands, reminiscent of those used to adjust the color image on our televisions, imply our readiness to accommodate and compromise our points of view. In a post-9/11 world, are we willing to accept torture and surrender our civil liberties? What are our true colors and how much are we willing to adjust them? Campbell‘s formal filter of distortion becomes a metaphor for averting our eyes—something we are only too eager to do.

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  • Narrowcast: Reframing Global Video 1986/2008

    September 25 – November 23, 2008
    Pitzer College Art Galleries

    Lynn Blumenthal, Juan Downey, Antonio Muntadas, Marshall Reese, Michael Smith, Bill Viola, Natalie Bookchin, Mark Boulos, Regina Jose Galindo, Pablo Pijnappel, Artur Zmijewski

    Curated by Ciara Ennis and Ming-Yuen S. Ma as part of Resolution 3: Video Praxis in Global Spaces

    Pitzer Art Galleries & LACE present Narrowcast: Reframing Global Video 1986/2008 curated by Pitzer Art Galleries Director/Curator Ciara Ennis and Associate Professor of Media Studies Ming-Yuen S. Ma. The exhibition is part of Resolution 3, a collaboration between Pitzer College’s Media Studies program, Pitzer Art Galleries and LACE on the occasion of LACE’s thirtieth anniversary.

    Narrowcast re-presents selected works from LACE’s seminal 1986 video exhibition Resolution: A Critique of Video Art and pairs them in compelling and unexpected ways with contemporary works, thus framing the medium’s brief history both formally and thematically. Resolution was one of the first exhibitions in the United States to embrace video as a serious art form and to discuss it in critical terms. Revisiting Resolution in relation to a number of exceptional contemporary video works demonstrates the influence that video art has had on artistic practice over the past two decades and testifies to the pivotal role and ubiquitous presence that the medium has in the contemporary global art world.

    The ten selected artists in Narrowcast—five historical: Lyn Blumenthal, Juan Downey, Antonio Muntadas in collaboration with Marshall Reese, Michael Smith, Bill Viola and five contemporary: Natalie Bookchin, Mark Boulos, Regina José Galindo, Pablo Pijnappel, Artur Zmijewski—re-present Resolution in a way that emphasizes resonance and precedence rather than a comprehensive survey. And while the selected works, one from each artist, do not fit into neat categories, Curators Ennis and Ma have found historically significant connections that highlight the multi-layered and fragmented narratives inherent in both the archival and contemporary works.

    Separated into five loose categories—embroidered narratives, autobiographical confessionals, restaging histories, documentary and reportage, trance and ritual—the works in Narrowcast reframe content as well as formal strategies that are as relevant in 1986 as it is now, thereby reflecting the range and inventiveness of the non-traditional narrative structures central to these artist’s works.

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