Spring 2012

  • 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

    In (2011); Pressure Treated Wood and Aluminum; 10 x 10 x 10 inches
    In (2011); Pressure Treated Wood and Aluminum; 10 x 10 x 10 inches

    Robert Acklen

    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]

    SpilLover (2010); Performance, Times Square, NYC; 3 hours
    SpilLover (2010); Performance, Times Square, NYC; 3 hours

    André Baum

    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]

    a ________ creation (2012); Digital print; Dimensions variable
    a ________ creation (2012); Digital print; Dimensions variable

    Elizabeth Bartolini

    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]

    Unknown Cargo (2012); Digital video; 30 minutes
    Unknown Cargo (2012); Digital video; 30 minutes

    James Cathey

    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]

    Repetition (2012); Stencil art; 6 x 6 inches
    Repetition (2012); Stencil art; 6 x 6 inches

    Brandon Fernandez

    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]

    Spear (detail) (2012); Aluminum; Dimensions variable
    Spear (detail) (2012); Aluminum; Dimensions variable

    Zachary London

    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]

    Grove House at Pitzer College (2012); Craftsman Era House; Dimensions variable
    Grove House at Pitzer College (2012); Craftsman Era House; Dimensions variable

    Leah Quayle

    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]

    Hear/Touch (2012); Wood; 3 ½ x 4 inches
    Hear/Touch (2012); Wood; 3 ½ x 4 inches

    Dean Pospisil

    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]

    Erasure (2012); Film still
    Erasure (2012); Film still

    Reid Ulrich

    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.



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    Ohm Vanitas
  • Vanitas

    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.

    Contributing Writers

    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.

    Related Events

    Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2 – 5 pm

    Artist Lecture: Monday, January 30 at 9 am



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    Liz Glynn: No Second Troy
  • No Second Troy

    Liz Glynn

    January 21 – March 23, 2012

    Nichols Gallery
    Curated by Ciara Ennis

    When a labor shortage threatened to derail its miraculous economic engine (the capitalist workforce was virtually cut in half by the Berlin wall) West Germany imported thousands of Turkish gastarbeiter, guest-workers, during the 1960s and 70s. A very different commodity, however, was similarly imported in the 1860s and 70s: the treasure of Troy. Bookended by these two events Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn has created No Second Troy, an exhibition featuring installation, video, and photographic works that examine the ideas of fable and obsession, desire and displacement.

    Liz Glynn’s No Second Troy includes video documentation of interventions staged at archaeological sites around Turkey and crudely made but preciously embellished artifacts based on the infamous Prium’s Treasure—jewels, goblets, vases, weapons and plates made from copper, silver and gold—excavated at Troy, by amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Fabricated from trash and re-cast in gold-plated silver and bronze, Glynn’s replicas allude to both the real artifacts as well as the copies commissioned by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin that, in another purloining, were confiscated by the Red Army in 1945. Other works in the series are based on the material culture of Turkish emigrants—foods, crockery, and other consumer goods purchased from local Berlin markets—referencing both the everyday life of Turkish emigrants and the copies of Turkish treasure regularly displayed in museums.

    Glynn’s practice frequently uses ancient references to explore human agency and the potential for change in the present. This exhibition represents her first major attempt to link ancient contexts directly with contemporary material culture and the occasionally disjunctive nature of this relationship.

    About the Artist

    Liz Glynn received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2008 and a BA from Harvard College in 2003. Glynn creates large-scale installations and participatory performances using epic historical narratives to explore the potential for change in the present tense. She has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including: Loving You is Like _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the Dead, MOCA: Engagement Party at MOCA in Los Angeles, CA (2011); Alexandria and Other Losses at the Los Angeles Public Library in Los Angeles, CA (2011); III, produced by Redling Fine Arts in Los Angeles, CA (2010); Out of the Forest & Into the Light at Machine Project & the LA Opera Ring Cycle Festival in Los Angeles, CA (2010); California Surrogates for the Getty at Anthony Greaney in Boston, MA (2010); and The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project at Arthouse at the Jones Center in Austin, TX (2009) and at Machine Project in Los Angeles, CA (2008). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including: Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture in Contemporary Art at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA (2011); On Forgery: Is One Thing Better Than Another? at LA><ART in Los Angeles, CA (2011); No Swan So Fine at Michael Benevento in Los Angeles, CA (2011); 7 Sculptors at Brennan & Griffin in New York, NY (2011); Sculpture at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, NY (2011); The shortest distance between 2 points is often intolerable at Brand New Gallery in Milan, Italy (2011); Let Them Eat LACMA at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, CA (2010); The Elysian Park Museum of Art at LACE in Los Angeles, CA (2010); Projects and Assignments at Saprophyt in Vienna, Austria (2010); The Generational: Younger than Jesus at the New Museum in New York, NY (2009); and Bellwether at Southern Exposure in San Francisco, CA (2009). She will also be participating in the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time Performance Art and Public Art Festival in 2012. Glynn was awarded the California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2010, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Associate Artist Fellowship in 2007 and the Alfred Alcaly Prize in 2004. Reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Art Lies, Domus, Archaeology Magazine, and artforum.com. Liz Glynn currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

    Related Events

    Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2 – 5 pm, Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College

    Artist Walkthrough: Saturday, January 21 at 2:30 pm, Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College

    Artist Lecture: Monday, February 20 at 9 am, Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College

    Panel Discussion: Tuesday, March 27 at 4:00 pm in the Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College with artist Liz Glynn, Michelle Berenfeld, professor of classics at Pitzer College and writer Andrew Berardini.



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