Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cries & Whispers at Sam Lee Gallery - April 23

Sam Lee and I curated this show which opens Saturday, April 23. It's been a great pleasure to work with Sam and to bring artists I've been thinking about to his space, in a true collaborative venture. It is also a great honor to have such talented artists be part of the show:

Cries & Whispers
April 23 – June 4, 2011
Reception for the Artists: Saturday, April 23, 6 – 9 pm
990 N. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 227-0275


Los Angeles, CA - Sam Lee Gallery and co-curator Paul W. Evans are pleased to present Cries & Whispers, a group exhibition of 15 diverse artists whose practice centers on abstraction. Included in the exhibition are Jakob Christmas, William Conger, Jeff Gambill, Glenn Goldberg, Joanne Greenbaum, Hadley Holliday, Andy Kolar, Andrew Masullo, Douglas Melini, Robin Mitchell, John Pearson, Carl Smith, Andrew Spence, Misato Suzuki, and Laura Sharp Wilson. The gallery will host a reception for the artists on Saturday, April 23, from 6 to 9 pm.

What makes painting a cry and what makes painting a whisper? Or could a painting be both? Cries and Whispers—not a survey show by any means—probes these questions and looks at abstraction from a multi-faceted perspective, exploring the different ways in which visual devices are employed. The utilization of line, color, content and form is paramount. Each artist brings his or her own signature method to this genre through various strategies and ideas. Such notions intersect throughout the show, creating an engaging dialogue among the pieces. These works honor the solitary journey of art-making and the longing for communication.

Jakob Christmas distills imagery to its essence by making straightforward paintings that strip away the superfluous to focus on the mystery of meaning.

William Conger has devoted himself to the exploration of form and matter with the subconscious, utilizing the techniques of pure abstraction to convey psychological metaphors.

Jeff Gambill’s Zen-like paintings stem from the intangible and the peripheral, gently conveying the transience of such moments as a fading memory or a reflection in a pond.

Glenn Goldberg’s pointillist, floral shapes dance in a Morse-like code of brightly-colored voltage on the picture plane.

Joanne Greenbaum’s wild, witty and wicked paintings celebrate the self at its idiosyncratic best, unabashedly pushing the limits of painting with her signature style of frenetic lines and psychedelic colors.

Hadley Holliday uses graceful gestures and sophisticated palette to create light washes on canvas that are at once quiet and grand.

Andy Kolar’s intimate, painted cardboard floor sculptures elevate banal materials and lure the viewer with sensual colors and biomorphic, Play-Doh-like shapes.

Andrew Masullo’s humorous works wink at the viewer but are unapologetically steeped in painting’s rich history, wildly combining brash color with the artist’s library of iconic forms.

Douglas Melini’s hard edge paintings are graphic, deliberate and alluring where colors and shapes are used for psychologically dizzying effect.

Robin Mitchell’s intricate gouache paintings on paper emanate great energy and light; they explode with radiant forms that are abstract yet referential, metaphorically portraying the artist as the illuminated self.

John Pearson’s seductive, painted sculptures/sculptural paintings convey a serene beauty while touching on the fragility of existence through his careful employment of color and line.

Carl Smith combines intricate lines with soft colors to create spiraling diagrams that make the unknown immanent and map the quest for spirtual spaces.

Andrew Spence’s sly, hard edge paintings question traditional perceptions of perspective by challenging 2 dimensional surfaces with 3 dimensional illusions.

Misato Suzuki’s acrylic paintings depict a world that oscillates between the representational and the abstract, in which repetition of lines and shapes exude an appearance of complexity and expansion.

Laura Sharp Wilson crafts complex, apocalyptic visions by interweaving cartoon, calligraphy and cartography into an explosive mixture of personal landscapes and dark narratives.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Karen Frimkess Wolff and Me at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, April 16

Karen Frimkess Wolff invited me to participate in her vision for the ICI's series 100/10∆4 (100 days, 10 visions). We're both excited and hope to see you there.

A reception and curator’s talk will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 4 to 6 p.m.

For this fourth iteration of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry’s ambitious project 100/10 (100 days/10 visions), curator-artist Karen Frimkess Wolff and artist Paul W. Evans invite us to “Consider A Path (passing fragments, as much as human understanding may grasp).” Enriched by the ICI’s extensive collection of books and ephemera for the blind and inflected by Frimkess Wolff’s experience teaching art and art history at the Los Angeles Braille Institute, the pair presents a protean, phantasmic landscape of sight, touch, and sound that traverses personal intention and public participations, knowing and acting, thinking and willing. How do we apprehend and convey ourselves through worlds, real and imagined?

From a single sheet of iron-on eyes once destined for foster-child dolls, Evans has multiplied the eye images, lifting them onto structures that evoke seeing and seers, scenarios of watchers and watching. Multiple calls to myriad visions—a dense tangle of potential sight lines—confound the classic white gallery space’s imperative of legible display. A laboratory space probes visitors’ sense of touch against the resonant backdrop of Frimkess Wolff’s interactive bell lines.

Beginning January 31, 2011 and running for 100 consecutive business days, the ICI site and its archives will undergo a multitude of interpretations. ICI has invited ten researchers—artists, writers, and visual thinkers—to set into play ideas that blend contemporary visual practices with aspects of the ICI Earth Cabinet, Ephemera Kabinett, and a 2,500+ volume library along with the nooks and crannies of the eclectic, historically layered ICI space. With just two weeks to conceive of their vision, curators will work in a designated laboratory modeled upon the transparent workspaces of 19th-century natural history museums. Each curator will conceptualize a new trajectory through ICI’s body, transforming the ICI display by the end of their residency.

Visits to the ICI space are by reservation (available on the website). A $5 fee is suggested but not required.

Karen Frimkess Wolff is a Los Angeles-born artist whose drawings, constructions, and sound installations have been exhibited extensively in California, throughout the United States and in Germany. A recipient of the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Grant in 1991, she was also one of thirty Americans nominated for the 1976 Paris Bienniele. Recent shows include a solo show at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Minnesota; a solo show at Happy, Los Feliz, California; current representation at District Art Gallery, Park City, Utah; a public installation in West Hollywood and at the American Jewish University (both collaborations with Dori Atlantis). She received her Bachelor’s in Painting and Drawing from University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master’s in Art History from California State University, Northridge.

Paul W. Evans [www.pweny.com] has exhibited widely throughout the United States and in England at such venues as Artists Space, New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Gasworks, London. Re-placing found images in specific painted environments, his work explores the tension between originality and reproduction, the infinitely reproducible photocopy and the singular act of painting. He received his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Since 1991, the Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICI) has explored the role of visuality in imagining, perpetrating and perpetuating the intangible and ever-changing phenomena known as “culture.” The ICI sponsors displays, symposia, workshops, performances and provides numerous opportunities for both the artist fabricator and the curious spectator of visual culture. The non-profit organization also maintains an active publishing program, releasing the critically acclaimed Searching for Sebald: Photography After W. G. Sebald in 2007. 100/10 is the first project conceptualized within the 2011-12 ICI study theme of Phantom Worlds.

(310) 273-7181