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Allie Pohl

Rhea Carmi


Los Angeles 14 San Francisco 19

September 2010 | David Trulli, Up From Below, 2010, ink, clay and varnish on Masonite, 24” x 24”. (pg. 15)



Exercicis de Desaparicio II (Exercises of Disappearance II), 2010, painting on cardboard and plexiglass, 67 3/8 x 87 inches

Publication Available: Essays by Peter Selz & Mariano Navarro English, German, Italian, Spanish Hardcover 144 Pages + 94 Illustrations $30


357 N. La Brea Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036 Telephone (323) 938-5222

Luc Leestemaker
Songs of the Unconscious
1020 Prospect, Suite 130, La Jolla, CA 92037 • (858) 459-0836


Daniel Aksten

September 9 - October 10, 2010 Opening Reception: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 5 - 7 p.m.

207 W. 5th Street Los Angeles, CA 90013 CB1 Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, noon - 6 p.m. Thursday & Friday open until 7:30 p.m. 213-806-7889




Santa Monica Civic Auditorium January 13 - 16, 2011

The longest running art fair in Los Angeles and the largest photography art fair in the country, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this January. Sponsors and advertisers who wish to celebrate or partner on this special event can email:

Norman Kulkin, The Gallerist, 2008

Feature Artist Allie Pohl In Her Own Words

Allie Pohl, Ideal Woman: Jennifer Love Hewitt, 2010, porcelain, Swarovski crystals, 16”x6”.


Allie Pohl

Allie Pohl, Ideal Woman: 36-24-36, 2010, polyurethane rubber and polyurethane memory foam, 19.5”x9”x12”; mirror pedestal, 26”x28”; high definition two-channel video.

am interested in critiquing how social norms and gender roles throughout Western history have influenced the desired physical form that the female body takes on. Women are constantly inundated with images that culturally outline feminine beauty. Commercially packaged versions of beauty are often simply illusions created by advanced technology, such as digital image alteration and/or plastic surgery. My work reflects this repetitive effect. Society’s addiction to the ideal image has transformed beauty from an ideal to an attainable product. The image of the Western ideal has changed and evolved, and in response to the evolving technologies, the materials I have used to represent the ideal have changed and evolved. I developed the “Ideal Woman” series by taking a “My Size Barbie” and dissecting her into pieces to make porcelain sculptures. I chose Mattel’s Barbie because she has been held up as the ideal since her creation over fifty years ago. A strong social contract that women endure is hair removal. It is one of the most basic forms of feminine upkeep that women must abide by in order to maintain cultural acceptance. The works Ideal Woman: Hermathen, Enkolpizo, and Ankulopous have natural sprouts growing out of places where women often remove


(shave, wax, pluck, laser, etc.) away their unwanted hair: in the armpits, on the legs, and in the pubic area. Femininity, by Western society’s standards, requires regular upkeep, just as in my series of pieces, the growth process of the sprouts require maintenance. The growth of sprouts articulates that, unlike Mattel’s presentation, the female condition is not plastic and shrink-wrapped. Just as women have been forced to “maintain” their body hair, the Ideal Woman: Astroturf A is an artistic commentary on society adapting technology to eliminate body maintenance. Astroturf, a synthetic material, does not require maintenance or upkeep. It is a material that is more “perfect” than the “real”. Ideal Woman: Evolution uses minimalist materials and aesthetics to guide the viewer through the evolution of hair removal on the bikini line and the progression of technologies through the stone, bronze, iron, and digital ages. I compare the evolution of female hair removal with the historical progression of tool making technologies to illustrate that women have altered their bodies throughout history consistent with the progression of these technologies. The advancements and progression of tools and materials have allowed women to easily alter their bodies, beginning with small cosmetic changes

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Allie Pohl

Allie Pohl, Ideal Woman: Astroturf, 2010, porcelain, astroturf, 16”x6”. (center on pedestal) as part of an installation.

and leading to larger modern day surgical procedures. The image of the ideal in today's globalized and technologically connected society is now seen more quickly and more often. The "perfect” woman is constructed through the utilization of repetition, technology, and the idea of virtual. The virtual world has allowed individuals to readily mediate what is projected and what is communicated. Yet, simultaneously, the reality of the "real" is getting much harder to find and understand. The advent and progress of technology has vastly changed our perception of what is real and of what ultimately matters. Women today are pushed to attain the idealized beauty that they see in magazines, on television, and all around them. This quandary leads to a conflict between the real and the mediated self. Ideal Woman: 36-24-36 is a series that allows the viewer to see, squeeze, and mold the figures, just like society molds the ideal. It was important to me to create a tangible object of the perfect dimensions (36” 24” 36”) of a woman’s figure, using high- tech industrial materials (polyurethane rubber and memory foam) to further discuss the utilization of such technologies to augment the female form. The emerging sculptural figures are designed to sit on polished, uniform mirror pedes-

tals, which project the reflection of the viewer back at them, allowing the viewer to compare themselves to the ideal. The pedestals resemble pyramids and make the sculptural figures appear godlike, further elevating the “ideal” woman. The emerging sculptural forms and the pedestals are displayed and positioned in repetition, reminiscent of factory lines, again demonstrating the cookie cutter nature of what our society sees as ideal. The idea of the real is constantly changing. With the advent of technology, it is easier to see and channel the “ideal” and allow the “real” to transcend reality. Through the use of new social networks, everyone can easily mediate and curate an online presence with the “ideal” in mind. The media projects an ideal and that ideal is repeated, reproduced, and continually executed. This results in people starting to look the same in reality and the mediated reality. An exhibiton of Allie Pohl’s Ideal Woman works, entield Perfect, can be seen through October 15 at the Marina Abramovic Institute West Coast in San Francisco. For more information, visit or Artists





David Noonan David Kordansky Los Angeles [through Oct 3]

David Noonan, Untitled (detail), 2010, screenprint on linen. Courtesy of David Kordansky.

Jordi Alcaraz Jack Rutberg Los Angeles [through Nov 30]

Australian-born, London-based artist David Noonan utilizes a personal archive of found images to create hand-screened, collaged works on linen that straddle the lines between photography and history, ritual and performance, memory and fiction. Depicting costumed figures set against patterned backgrounds, these works borrow techniques not only from painting, but also from film, theatre, literature, and sculpture. By relying upon intuition, chance, and free association, Noonan composes these largescale narrative tableaux so that their subjects seem to be caught between moments of introspection and exhibitionism, their implied theatricality alluding to the artifice and creative potential of performance.  Noonan has long been interested in using patterned textiles as a graphic counterpoint to the figure. In this new body of work, the figures emerge from and retreat into images of Japanese Boro textiles that echo the restrained and simplified sensibility of modernist painting. The materiality of these Boro textiles, fashioned from stitched-together rags of previously dyed and bleached fabric, dissolves into the artTraslúcido, a comprehensive exhibition of Jordi Alcaraz’s poetic art, brings together large and small scale works which transcend the categories of paintings, sculptures, and drawings as they blend all media, employing assemblage-like manner and installation. Conceptually, Alcaraz extends notions of perspective beyond the realms of the physically-seen. The surfaces of paintings and drawings can be pierced or peeled back in a manner that forces the viewer to consider more deeply the properties of the physical and ephemeral. Utilizing various tools and materials much like an alchemist, Alcaraz creates realms as ambiguous as those of his Catalonian antecedents, such as found in the minimal spaces of Miro or in the surreal other-worldly landscapes of Dali. Where his elder contemporary Antoni Tapies created astounding walls and doors - marked and eroded - evidencing both the surreal

ist’s aesthetic and is used to create a range of painterly and textural effects. Noonan’s works function as collage on a dense array of levels: each is a combination of materials, images, and narratives that creates a historical mood which paradoxically cannot be attributed to any particular moment in history. Different grades of material are joined together so that their textural qualities play crucial roles in the arrangement of the total composition. In cinematic terms, the work can be described as a kind of montage, with shifts between one image or piece of linen and another rendered with varying degrees of subtlety or violence. While the digital age has produced a seemingly infinite proliferation of images whose sources and subjects are instantly recognizable but whose surfaces have been compromised, Noonan’s images take materiality as one of their central subjects. Because the hand-screening process highlights their physical presence, the work forges an uncanny connection between techniques of mechanical reproduction and time-honored, even ancient, ideas of craft. and the real, Alcaraz extends those notions, going beyond surface. Even boundaries created by frames enclosing his paintings and drawings are altered in unexpected ways, as in the assemblage entitled Catching a Drawing in Mid-Air, which calls into question the distinction between interior and exterior. Alcaraz opens new realms in a Zen-like manner through the use of bending, tearing and puncturing materials in unpredictable ways. In El Temps an antique carved wood figure gently extends her hand through its vitrine, melting away one dimension into another. Alcaraz’s aesthetic, verging on the minimal, brings the consideration of beauty and meditation to uniquely profound levels in conceptual art today. [The exhibition will be accompanied by the a comprehensive book on the artist entitled, “Jordi Alcaraz dibuixos,” which includes text from leading art critics Mariano Navarro and Peter Selz.]

Alcaraz: (top) Exercicis de Desaparicio (III), 2010, painting on cardboard, plexiglass, wood, 67.38”x87” (bottom) El Temps, 2010, 19th-cent. sculpture and plexiglass, 32.13” x 20” x 16.13”.

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Jeff Sheng’s first solo exhibition also has the distinction of being the first ever to feature the photographs of service men and woman currently affected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which mandates the immediate discharge of those persons in the United States military who are allegedly or openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The show will feature 20 previously unseen images that eschew the statically-posed photographs of the Sheng’s first volume of work. In this collection, Sheng increasingly activates and dramatizes his subjects, further illuminating the unique and charged personal narrative behind each portrait. Material, a solo show of the work of Los Angeles artist Daniel Aksten, continues the artist’s ongoing series of highly finished grid paintings. It also includes an additional body of work focusing on vertical stripes. Scrutinizing optics and the painting itself, under Southern California’s patented sunshine, Daniel Aksten forges mathematical structure, chance, and an astonishing degree of craft to produce paintings that challenge the viewer to re-examine how much one thinks they can actually see. Best known for his fastidious paintings of geometric solids composed by chance through Ron Rizk’s exhibition, New Paintings, features masterfully rendered oil paintings that combine carefully chosen objects in theatrical architectural settings, creating a dialogue between object and setting, past and present. Rizk’s meticulous paintings arrange odd and unconventional objects hand chosen from thrift stores and antique shops in shallow spaces, achieving a hyper real illusion of space. The objects become characters that sit on stage-like platforms, or in weathered shallow niches, creating a sense of performance; questioning their existence, their function and their personal history. The meticulous attention to detail and the veneration for each item is a tribute to the object’s history and is an homage to the old masters with their reverence for methodical painting. The likeness and the essence of  his subject is captured with precision and wit. The East Gallery features Cindy Kane’s exhibition  Cover to Cover, Within the last year, the Sheng’s work has been featured by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Time magazine.  In addition, veteran news journalist Bob Woodruff conducted an extended interview with Sheng and a few of the service members featured in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” series for ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Several individual works have also found their way into such prominent collections as the Sir Elton John Photography Collection and the Human Rights Campaign collection, among many others. a system involving the roll of a die, Aksten’s Material introduces an additional form to his visual vocabulary, extending the exploration of contrast, color and reflection. Vertical stripes, like vertical blinds on a sliding glass door obscure former layers, interposing inside onto outside of painterly space. A trademark element has become the roundcornered translucent or white textured screen that finishes and haunts each work like the faint awareness of our own blind spot, reminding us that everything we see is surrounded by the expanding and shrinking flesh visage of our own countenance. which includes  new innovative paintings on magazine covers by the East Coast artist. The paintings take journalism and text in a new direction, placing her imagery on the cover and in the forefront of the art magazine world. Her work is an observation of the political and environmental tumult of our times. These  paintings work with the relics of childhood, images from the natural world, and current events to explore the transitory nature of the art world.
Jeff Sheng Kaycee Olsen Los Angeles [through Oct 23]

Jeff Sheng, Tristan and Zeke, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2010, photograph.

Daniel Askten CB1 Los Angeles [through Oct 10]

Daniel Askten, Composite (GRB), 2010, composite finishes on metal, 12”x12”.

Ron Rizk & Cindy Kane Lora Schlesigner Santa Monica [through Oct 16]
(left) Rizk, Float, oil on panel, 24”x36” (bellow) Kane, White Hawk on New Yorker, acrylic on New Yorker magazine cover, 11”x9”. Both 2010.



Max Presneill Garboushian Beverly Hills [through Oct 16]

Max Presneil: (top) MP, 2009, oil and enamel on canvas, 96”x84”. (bottom) Elaborate Plans, 2010, oil and enamel on canvas, 84”x96”.

Known for his stewardships of the original RAID Projects international residency and exhibition programs in Santa Ana and then at the Brewery; followed by a remarkable tenure as director of Bergamot’s Mark Moore Gallery where he internationalized the program; and currently helming the small but salient Torrance Art Museum where he has been making a run at putting TAM on the international regional-museum map, Max Presneill is nothing if not ambitious. He also used to produce underground dance and art raves, and he never got in any real trouble, because he did it with confidence, style, panache — and because the  end results were magical. His own private painting practice (a lifelong pursuit that has been little-known in LA until now) is, on one level, a kind of Art History rave party, where no one gets hurt, and the beats are insistent and heart-thumping. Another oft-used but ultimately helpful way into the work is to say that each painting is a like curated survey unto itself, a swashbuckling array of styles in a violently perfect storm of counterintuitive color choices and a smorgasbord of media. Presneill says he views composition as problemsolving technique, moving from passage to Look the Other Way, an exhibition of new work by New York-base artist Josh Dorman, includes mixed media on panel and works on paper. Josh Dorman uses antique maps to find his way exploring and expanding the spaces between borders. His topographical navigations forging latitude and longitude with ink, pen, and pencil draws the viewer deep into his fantastical voyages. The New York Times has called him a “postmodern Brueghel.” Dorman becomes a wilderness guide teaching us a new way to navigate space. What began with drawings on antique ledger pages in 2000 has evolved into a fully formed mature body of work. Dorman writes, “I love paper that has lived a life and shows its age. I use only topographic maps printed before 1940 (when a

passage figuring out what is required, like optical Sudoku. Any given canvas has the cultivated chaos of an English garden seen through a kaleidoscope, with a fecund riot of shapes, colors, textures, and gestures. Every image is at heart an armature for abstractions, which elements are painstakingly assembled into figures through an additive process more like collage, but unmistakably hand-wrought. As a curator, he’s in a discourse with the whole world; as a visual artist he’s in dialogue with himself. It’s not about taste, or restraint, but it is about balance and a bizarre dystopian poetry. There’s a temptation to pile up typically unloving words like pastiche, literary, neurotic, and psychedelic; but Presneill’s fusion of roughly-hewn Deco, uncomfortable Rousseau, and defiant pre-Raphaelite allegory is the tidiest, most engaging kind of refraction. It’s reminiscent of that famous quote about the Degenerate Art Salon in 1937, “Whoever sees and paints the sky green and the fields blue ought to be taken out and shot.” If that’s the paragon of painting’s virtue, then when it comes to Presneill, “degenerate” doesn’t even begin to cover it. – Shana Nys Dambrot full palette of colors was introduced) and imagery from books published before photography became common.” This sense of a narrative that exists outside of our reality in the same way that dreams do is a recurring element in Dorman’s work - they contain their own internal and intuitive logic and journey (often literally with creatures on walkways on voyages through the works). In “Archipelago,” a five-foot long work on paper, birds, scorpions, lizards, even clocks, creep along a raised path running across the entire width of the piece. In the blue and purple and orange water/sky fantastical fish swim and fly among clouds and mountains. Destinations like far off lands exist on different islands in the scene and like all of Dorman’s work, the more you look the more you find - castles on craggy mounds, animals perched on their own little bits of rock, a ship sailing through it all. The exhibition also includes twelve new works on panel and six graphite drawings.

Josh Dorman George Billis Los Angeles [through Oct 16]
(top) Raptors, 2010, Ink, acrylic, antique paper on panel, 28”x36”. (bottom) Archipelago, 2010, ink, acrylic, antique paper on paper, 34”x60”.

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In Broad Daylight, an exhibition of largescale scratchboards by David Trulli, offers a contemplation on the concept of America formed in the 20th century and that concept’s relevance in the modern world. In his cityscapes framed by empty office interiors, Trulli infuses each piece with an uneasy sense of anticipation – as if something momentous is just out of view. According to Trulli, “For years we have all had the feeling that something big is about to happen, and indeed many things have. Wars, economic collapse, political polarization and more have all occurred right out in the open, in broad daylight. Still, we stand dormant as we wait for the undefined event.” This exhibition marks the first time Trulli has presented images exclusively set in daylight, without losing the noir feeling for which his work is known. New Painting, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by  Lari Pittman on view at Regen Projects II,  presents seven large-scale and three mid-size paintings. This will be coupled with Orangerie, a comprehensive survey of Lari Pittman’s  work from 1980-2010, exhibited at Regen Projects. This historical exhibition will include over 100 works on paper, hung salon-style over the artist-designed trellis pattern that will adorn the gallery walls. Orangerie will provide a unique and unparalleled opportunity to view the history and breadth of Pittman’s artistic practice. His work incorporates a cacophony of color, the blending of figuration and abstraction, an intricate and multi-faceted surface, and an expansive David Trulli works in scratchboard: a white clay-coated board, covered with black ink. Fine knives are used to delicately scrape
David Trulli Robert Berman Santa Monica [through Oct 9]

away the ink, creating the image. A former cinematographer, Trulli compares working in scratchboard to lighting a film set: “it starts out black and you add light.” and oscillating image field to create an idiosyncratic visual vocabulary rooted in — and in constant discourse with — the history of painting. A formal and conceptual tension is always at play. This tension is structured and informed by ever-present dichotomies: renewal/decay, secular/sacred, decorative/grotesque, hot/cold, sweet/toxic, taste/ kitsch, mannered/unpredictable, transparency/opacity. [In addition to this show, a monograph on Lari Pittman’s work will be released by Rizzoli in the spring of 2011. ]

David Trulli, In Broad Daylight, 2010 ink, clay and varnish on Masonite, 48”x108”.

Lari Pittman Regen Projects Los Angeles [through Oct 23]

Lari Pittman, Installation view: New Paintings, Regen Projects II. Courtesy of Regen Projects. Photograph by Brian Forrest.

Drawing from comics, television, and everyday situations,  Heather Gwen Martin’s abstract paintings explore playfully violent scenarios where household objects morph into cartoon weapons and imagined forces battle each other against bright, acidichued backgrounds.  With this new body of work, entitled Recreational Systems, Martin continues to subvert the traditional rules of painting, offering canvases whose flat spaces open up “three-dimensionally” in ways

that skew balance, proportionality, and composition. Contrasting this tension and awkward balance is her clean, controlled brush work and highly saturated colors, qualities directly influenced by her experience over the past decade as a colorist for DC Comics using the precision of computer technology.
Heather Gwen Martin, Blind Spots, 2010, oil on linen, 48”x64”.

Heather Gwen Martin Luis de Jesus Santa Monica [through Oct 26]



Dirk Schreber Blum & Poe Los Angeles [through Oct 23]

Dirk Skreber, Deborah, Stephanie, and I, 2010, acrylic, enamel, polyurethane, spray paint and foam tape on panel, 79” x 118.5”. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

Robert Kingston Ruth Bachofner Santa Monica [through Oct 16]

Dirk Skreber’s new paintings radiate with a graphic intensity and a high-voltage pop color palette. By layering strip after strip of foam tape atop panels rolled with varnish, polyurethane, watercolor, enamel, spray paint, fluorescent paint and primer – but absent of oil or any conventional brushwork – Skreber creates images of slightly obscured and brooding (mostly female) models, set against highly refined ornamental surfaces. These “pluck” paintings as they are called - due to the intricate removal of foam tape by careful burning or picking – suggest an uneasy exchange between the figure and their surrounding pictorial space. Models’ faces and bodies only come to the fore when Skreber picks or burns away the foam tape to varying levels Robert Kingston’s work draws viewers into a visual narrative where the story rests between innumerable layers of acrylic. The gestures, erasures, pigmented smudging, scraping and dripping on his canvases evidence Kingston's continued investigation into the possibilities of paint. Kingston’s work is achieved through a trust of his process of getting lost in cerebral and material spaces before finding resolve. The artist slowly builds his paintings by developing and modifying ideas applied in previous layers. At times, the paint is controlled and then allowed to find gravity, and A part of event series, Kunsthalle, previously at Francois Ghebaly, this introduction to the work of English painter Robert Fry, curated by Jane Neal, features the artist’s refreshing interpretation of figurative painting. In this series, Fry continues along themes of sexuality, the relationship between artist and subject — willfully confused by his choice of perspective – and the potent energies within that dialogue. Produced mainly in acrylic and oil, his work tests the boundaries of abstract figurative painting as he explores the types and degrees of tension that exist between the figures that appear in every work. He locates his figures in a non-space, a vacuum lacking the naturalistic elements of the human environment. There is no gravity, no tangible compass point by which to navigate. The viewer is absorbed entirely into Fry’s imag-

of thickness, revealing his subject purely through shadow and line – not with paint. This “reveal” allows his subjects to emerge from behind the picture’s surface rather than on top of it, filling each portrait with a mysterious sense of psychological detachment. For nearly ten years, Skreber has been investigating portraiture by way of foam tape painting; gaining a new technical proficiency previously exemplified in his renderings of car crashes and aerial fly zones. In 2002, Skreber exhibited foam tape paintings of superheroes and soldiers whose images were culled from the Internet. These physically dominant men and overly sexualized women became central to his practice and continue to play an important role in his most recent series. is then contained again, creating deep veils of acrylic. Within the canvases’ hazy spaces are thrusts of color along with fits and starts of lines, doodles and sketches. Kingston’s breathy, atmospheric movements of paint collect and dissipate to form organic landscape impressions, yet remain firmly planted in the language of abstraction. His soulful works of art speak to a range of emotions, and open a window into the artist’s own inner space and influences. Shifting from placid to energetic, structured to improvised, sober to playful, Kingston’s paintings are a steady, engrossing read that gradually reveal their history and resolve. ination wherein spatial perspective is rendered through a complex series of vantage points. Exhibiting at M+B is Italian photographer Massimo Vitali’s unique views of the rites and rituals of modern-day leisure. Featuring new work from 2009 and 2010, this exhibition includes eight large-scale color photographs from Austria, Croatia, Sicily, and Turkey. Vitali’s photography occupies a place between documentary realism and the surreal. His landscapes are casually inhabited by figures such as sunbathers and tourists, whom he captures while perched 20 feet in the air on a platform waiting for the right moment. Ever interested in the ways in which people interact with their environment and each other, Vitali’s images satisfy a sociological desire as well as a voyeuristic longing to observe unawares.

Robert Kingston, White Woolen Trousers, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 72” x 60”.

Robert Fry & Massimo Vitali

M+B (with Francois Ghebaly) Los Angeles [through Oct 16]

(top) Massimo Vitali, Sacred Russian Pool, Turkey #3140, 2009, chromogenic print on Diasec, 60”x 72”. (bottom) Robert Fry, Red 6, 2010, oil, acrylic, enamel, pencil on canvas, 78”x112”.

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Deborah Aschheim Edward Cella Los Angeles [through Oct 23] Michael McMillen LA Louver Los Angeles [through Oct 30]

California. Embodying a discourse about memory, place, and the unfulfilled promises of our future, her art reflects her passion Nostalgia for the Future, a new exhi- for L.A.’s quirky modernist icons, which bition of Deborah Aschheim, presents are quickly vanishing in front of our eyes. the artist’s singular drawings and ar- These structures, formerly the symbols of chitectural installations of eccentric Southern California’s utopian dreams, are modernist landmarks of Southern now forlorn and crumbling commercial towers, buildings, and centers. Recent public controversies surrounding the future of the Century Plaza Hotel and the effort to stabilize the Theme Building at LAX manifest for Aschheim as a tragic and incessant Aschheim, detail of Encounter (The Theme Building so beautiful encased in scaffolding), 2009, ink on Dura-lar, 25”x40”. sense of obsolescence.
Maberry + Walker Maloney Los Angeles [through Oct 30]

Michael McMillen, from Lighthouse.

For more than twenty-five years, Phillip Maberry and Scott Walker have created one-of-a-kind ceramic sculpture, reliefs and objects for gallery and museum installations, in addition to having fulfilled numerous residential and commercial commissions. Best known for their eccentric, intensely colorful style associated with the ‘Pattern and Decoration” movement, Maberry and Walker’s most recent body of work, Pool Toys, continues the investigation of constructed figurative forms. Utilizing color and design, articulated in the artists’ characteristic playful manner where their emphasis
Jeff Sonhouse Martha Otero Los Angeles [through Oct 23]

has always been on modern interpretations of past decorative styles, their work is infused with an optimistic spirit. The Pool Toys affect clever spatial gambits within compressed, deceptively simple interplays of sur- Maberry + Walker, Camo, 2010, face ornamenta- glazed ceramic, 22”x18”x13” tion and sculptural articulation. Although the artists work in the time-honored ceramic tradition, they are continually expanding the focus of their work to include new technologies, including digital transfer processes and glow-in-the-dark glazes. New York-based artist Jeff Sonhouse’s exhibition, ‘Better Off Dead,’ Said The Landlord,  allows him to deconstruct the accepted theories of ownership and invites us to reexamine how we interpret relationships of power, as tenants of an overbearing architect. With alluding portrayals of glorified facades, he creates a frictional energy of immortality. The exhibition will include Sonhouse’s recent portraits of oracular figures that evoke familiarity, such as Papi Shampoo, bearing a Jesus like stance and demeanor. We’re instantly drawn to the silky smooth satin tex-

In Michael McMillen’s Lighthouse, black and white digital motion pictures created by the artist are projected onto a billboard screen attached to the building’s roof. The film element embraces both a narrative of Lighthouse and a series of related paintings and unique sculptures that will also be on view. Each of the sculptures has been created out of found materials of humble origin, such as scraps of wood, string and cardboard, which have then been cast into bronze. The installation, sculptures and paintings are set within an environment designed by McMillen: at the entrance a wall of corrugated metal guides the visitor through two doors that open into a dimly lit space. After entering, the weathered doors automatically close through a series of wheels, cables and pulleys that span the width of the gallery. The visitor is then presented with a series of illuminated bronze sculptures and oil paintings in two gallery spaces. Lighthouse is displayed in a third gallery. tured vestment and its vividly deep aquamarine and violet colors.  Draped over a brash black and white pinstripe suit with ashen hands in an iconic Pantocrator posture.  The background palette harmonizes burgundy with black, phthalo blues and rich purples into a contemporary vision of a halo.  Sonhouse’s unorthodox use of materials successfully disorients the viewers prescribed sense of space. Even more irresistible are Sonhouse’s masks and the intense gaze concealed behind them. Exhibitions

Jeff Sonhouse, Mateo Manhood aka Buzz Kill (detail), 2010, oil on fiberboard, 16” x 13.25”.



In The Longest Day of the Year, Los Angelesbased Anoka Faruqee presents new paintings that are surprisingly freehand and subjective in nature, all while maintaining the discipline and precision characteristic of her practice. An artist's book, Field Notes, published in conjunction with the exhibition, reveals Faruqee's remarkable painting process through a series of photographs documenting her studio and her intricate, laborious practice. Faruqee mixes hundreds of subtly shifting colors to create luminous color fades in which patterns seem to gradually disappear into the painting's ground color. The illusion looks like the effect of a translucent airbrush or painterly spill. But in fact these works are created slowly and deliberately, one handmade "pixel" at a time. The handmade "pixels" are tripod or asterisk forms derived from Islamic tile geometry, but painted freehand, without the use of rulers or grids. For Faruqee, who is second generation Bangladeshi-American Bay Area-based painter Judith Belzer is exhibiting selections from two recent series of her ongoing explorations into the underpinning structures and porous surfaces of the world, titled respectively, Order of Magnitude and Order of Things. The modest scale of these paintings belies the ambition and scope of Belzer’s reach, as she moves freely from aerial to crystalline and cellular perspectives in her bid for intimacy with the natural order. Reminiscent of Cezanne’s late watercolors, Belzer’s assured open brushwork and thin washes suggest she has found herself a home in the center of things, and an open hand to pull us into the organizing principle she has uncovered. Nina Zurier, a Bay Area photographer, is also showing a new series of work. The show is titled Conditions and Connections and runs concurrent with her installation at California State University Sacramento’s Library Gallery, titled Make Me One with Everything. With these most recent works, Zurier has pushed the capacity for openended story telling already inherent in her with an Islamic heritage, using the tripod or asterisk form is not about cultural posturing. As she notes, "Because someone centuries ago spent a good amount of time playing with a ruler and a compass, I can lift from that tradition a kind of readymade handmade pixel. Those experiments were indeed the mathematical forerunners of current digital technology. I'm not interested in merely quoting or "describing" these forms, forever suspending them in their historical moment. I use them in the present tense for what they are and what they can become." Faruqee paints her modular gestures on subtly increasing curves, starting only with a loose plan. Many decisions about the shape and direction of the curves happen during painting. The paintings unfold in the making, revealing an unpredictable, paradoxical order. The "handmade pixels" become metaphors for a process that balances control and accident, mirroring both nature and computer modeling. signature juxtaposition of images. She selects the individual shots of her compound photographs with great consideration for their composition and color, and the resulting form, along with the simple fact of their containment within a frame, creates a strong visual bond. More significantly, it is her uncanny intuition, her selection for leaping poetry and the triggers of memory that assures the elastic cohesion of these scroll-like narratives, what Zurier has called, “the continuity of discontinuity.”
(right, above) Judith Belzer, The Order of Things #8, 2010, oil on canvas, 6” x 12”. (right, below) Nina Zurier, Because The Night, 2010, unique pigment print from digital photograph, 4.5” x 24” (frame: 15.5” x 34.5”).

Anoka Faruqee Hosfelt San Francisco [through Oct 16]

Faruqee: (top) Equator (bottom) Pink S-Curve both: 2010, acrylic on linen, 78.75”x71.75”.

Judith Belzer / Nina Zurier George Lawson San Francisco [through Sept 25]



Nellie King Solomon Brian Gross San Francisco [through Oct 30]

Nellie King Solomon, Magenta and Hooker’s Green Rings 1, 2010; acrylic and mixed media on mylar; 96” × 96”.

Continuing the her exploration of movement and chance through energetic, gestural abstractions on mylar, Bay Area artist Nellie King Solomon’s has created dramatic new works that reflect “experiences of great western landscapes, interior and exterior terrains, [and] the shock of unabsorbed events.” In this recent work, Solomon explores vibrant new color palettes in magenta, fluorescent orange, and Hooker’s green. Working on a large table and using custom-made glass trowels, the artist applies pigment to thick sheets of mylar in broad, sweeping gestures. Bold, deliberate strokes merge with Solomon’s signature pours and drips, while large, opaque areas give way to thin, iridescent skim coats. An California-based artist Nicole Buffett’s paintings of abstract landscapes allow the viewer to interpret the suggestive spiritual possibilities of deeper consciousness. By using a variety of organic and synthetic mediums on panel, Buffett creates abstract landscapes that act as topographical worlds, which invite the viewer into visceral and meditative experiences. This allows Buffett to map the relationship of things close and far, of things felt, and of things invisible. Buffett sees her work this way: “My paintings describe an environment built For his MFA exhibition at Mills College, Michael Hall presented several large-scale oil paintings depicting animals in degrees of stress as metaphoric stand-ins for corporate malfeasance and social excess. The paintings were oil on canvas, deftly brushed, with a subdued palette. In  his new Reclamation, Hall's recent series of oil paintings and installation, his focus turns to surveillance bunkers constructed during WWII, located on what is now known as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the area proved strategically important, providing the bunker/look-out posts a watch-guard to the East.The look-out posts happen to be located in some of the more spectacular natural landscape that California has to offer. Hall's paintings contrast that backdrop of WWII history with the spectacular envi-

intentionally uneven work surface creates unpredictable pools and flows, adding an element of chance to otherwise calculated compositions. Solomon uses unconventional materials to create luminous, shimmering surfaces. In places, the paint glitters as if sprinkled with diamond dust, while other areas appear corroded, as if dripped with battery acid. Close inspection reveals microcosmic topographies and tiny “geological eruptions.” The translucency of the mylar support lends the paintings a unique luminescence, “allow[ing] the edges to disappear into the wall and light to penetrate through clear pools of medium. The paintings subvert architecture, each pour and ring tears a hole through the wall.” upon the concept of pliancy and versatility. The abstract landscapes I create are spaces wherein freedom from the representational enables deeper spiritual possibilities. My choice to use a variety of both traditional Art materials alongside non-traditional materials, reflect my own relationship to the world as a place of integration. Thick, fleshy layers of reclaimed house paint, Earth pigment, spices, sand, ink, spray paint and resin all become a hyper organic environment that speaks to where I am environmentally. ” ronment in which these edifices exist. For Hall, “the paintings imagine the bunker's further dissolution into the landscape and highlight thier isolated and largely forgotten past". Whitney Lynn’s  Doug, an installation of video, photography and objects, records her experience with a rescue rabbit that was found living in the environs of Golden Gate Park. Learning that rabbits are behaviorally similar to feline's, she eagerly became the adoptive parent. The rabbit proved to have other thoughts of domesticity, proceeding to gnaw on her wiring, nest in her furniture, and use her flat as the litter box. Doug encompasses Whitney's adventure with her rabbit through photographs, video of the rabbit, and items of clothing, all part of “a desire to set something down in physical form, to preserve evidence of a happening”.

Nicole Buffett

Andrea Schwartz San Francisco

[through Oct 1]

Nicole Buffett, Reveal/Re-Veil II, 2010, mixed media on panel, 30” x 30”.

Michael Hall & Whitney Lynn Patricia Sweetow San Francisco

[through Oct 16]

(above) Michael Hall, BES_Battery Bluff_BDFF, 2010, oil on canvas, 60”x72”. Whitney Lynn: (left) Doug (still), 2010, video DVD loop, 15 min. (below) installation view

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Santa Monica Civic Auditorium January 20 - 23, 2011
original artwork, Norman Kulkin


Rhea Carmi


by Roberta Carasso


hea Carmi’s art is a profound search to make visual the darkest to the most illumined aspects of life that human beings and nature can experience. Through a succession of piercing abstract narratives -- from grim ashes of suffering, to the emergence of healing, compassion, and the ebullient joy of freedom – Carmi shares with us what she witnessed first hand. Born Israeli, and married for 49 years to a Holocaust survivor, the subject of suffering is second nature. Carmi has learned through direct experiences that all-consuming darkness can cast an enormous shadow on life, yet, it is also a powerful force that can bring tremendous spiritual transformation. In reading the essay, Voices of Silence, by the noted French writer and art critic, André Malraux, Carmi realized that her art must be about the millions of voices that have been silenced in the never-end-

ing cycles of inhumanity. Consequently, in Voices of Silence, the silence that Carmi set out to create becomes deafening; her message of darkness is powerfully presented, yet its conclusions are surprisingly optimistic and hopeful.. In September, 2010, as part of a group exhibition at the Gotthelf Art Gallery in La Jolla, CA, she will show selected works from her Voices of Silence series. In a retrospective exhibition, held in 2008 at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, CA, Carmi showed the complete series – paintings and assemblages, 77 works of art, on two floors, a total of 8,000 square feet. Voices of Silence is composed of three groups: Humanities Struggles, Humanities Resilience, and Everlasting Spirit. For the Soka University exhibition, Carmi added her Carnaval paintings. They are about a heightened sense of color, magic, sound and people engaged in revelry.

Rhea Carmi, H.S XXIV, 1996, acrylic and oil canvas, 48” x 60”. Courtesy of the artist.

This exhilaration came from a trip to Brazil and the joy of her grandchildren, playing with them and becoming a child once again, not as it was in the early years of war-torn Israel, but in the freedom of the American landscape. With the brightness of each canvas, there is a subtle suggestion of pretense as masked faces, prominent at Carnivals, recur in overlapping patterns. Carmi’s latest series, Our Fragile Earth, came about when Carmi observed how the life force within fire-scorched fields are driven to regenerate and soon carpet the landscape with green leaves, shrubs, colorful flowers, and welcoming insects and animals. This body of work concerns an earthquake she lived through and local fires she observed.(Destruction and Rebirth is a portion of Our Fragile Earth) In a bright red orange painting she includes twigs burned in the Northridge fire; and on the lower left are scorched pistachios shells signifying that the earth continually bestows a bounty of unique fruits for nutrition and beauty. In a luminous green painting, bedecked with local plants, Carmi portrays the once decayed and burned becoming green and renewed. Many of the pieces in Our Fragile Earth are created from backs of stretchers bars, giving a sculptural appearance where viewers look into a scene as if moving through layers of foliage. The art mixes assemblage and sophisticated Abstract Expressionist figurations, a format rarely applied in this manner. As in all Carmi’s art, Destruction and Rebirth exudes strength and energy that the artist’s particular process demands and her personality conveys naturally. Our Fragile Earth is made entirely of recycled matter that Carmi gathers in her daily workday as an artist, wife, mother, grandmother, and citizen. These creative “inventions” are assembled from papers,

24 C|C|A September 2010


Rhea Carmi

old box springs, string, and assorted materials. In Carmi’s hands ordinary “stuff ” is transformed into meaningful artistic statements. Through manipulation of common matter, she makes us aware of the need to care for the earth, be mindful of adding trash to trash, and the ensuing dilemma of having to contend with mountains, even oceans of discarded remnants. Carmi tells of our need to consciously consider materials that come into and go out of our life, how to use what is needed, how to be aware of the effects trash has on what we can see directly – in the smaller scope of our personal environment -- and in what is less apparent, but also victims of trash – the immense areas of distant lands, sea, and sky. Carmi’s concern is to create art that awakens viewers to the wonderment of life, whether it is the magnificent and resilient spirit of the human being or nature. And with a touch of practicality and humor, some of Carmi’s newer works are of bright plaids as she mixes leftover colors, giving them a recycled life, rather than adding them to the long list of detritus. Amazingly we see that in the hands of an artist, the most common substances can take on brand-new and delightful meanings as fragility is transformed into an everlasting strength. Fortunately, Carmi’s own affable character, like her art, is lively and optimistic. Voices of Silence and Our Fragile Earth continue the message that the ever-lasting human spirit will always triumph over voices that are silenced. And with a caveat, Carmi shows that nature can triumph as well. In her art, she makes us aware of both sides of each issue; when there is suffering, it can lead to joy; when there is destruction, it can be realized in renewal. But into these equations she adds the need for protection and preservation, guarding our precious life force,

Rhea Carmi: (top) Untitled, 2009, wood paper pigment shells on cotton, 60” x 60” x 24”. (bottom) Barren Earth, 2009, tar, burlap, dirt, twine, and paint on 9 panels, 30” x 96”.

and not allowing it to succumb to harm. Thus Carmi’s art continuously comes full circle, returning to possibilities that could silence and destroy, or heal and nurture. Truly the art of Rhea Carmi stands apart. Its profound messages stir the soul.

Rhea Carmi's Voice of Silence series is on display through Oct 28 at Gotthelf Art Gallery in La Jolla, CA. Our Fragile Earth will soon be exhited at Frank Picture Gallery. For more information, see Artists



Patricia Krebs

Living in the Clouds

In Her Own Words

enjoy taking some common expressions, such as “cultural baggage,” “where’s your head?” or “a free spirit” literally; they become fun, interesting images once I think about what they mean if not taken as a figure of speech. Living in the Clouds was born from this idea, primarily because I feel the clouds are a good place to be when I want to create. But then the painting became more than just that. Each of my painting contains a whole story: to me, the little town below the clouds is a cute town, one of those places that feel very picturesque to the visitor’s eyes. But a small town is a whole different thing when you live in it; it can become a claustrophobic space. So, for the main character of this piece, it seemed like the only escape from this reality was to go on top of the clouds. I want to create characters who are able to find a personal space of freedom, where they can be who they want to be without being concern of the others’ judgment. So, this cold, black and white little town, filled with layers of texture and depth, is opposed to a warm, colorful world of infinite possibilities where nothing has been set yet. I like showing a monochromatic universe that we see at first sight and then an-


Patricia Krebs, Living in the Clouds, 2010 acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”.

other one, richer and more detailed, that seems to come from our imagination. But, isn’t the world of our fantasy, our desires and our dreams, as real and as much of our daily life as the first?

Patricia Krebs grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work has been exhibited throughout Los Angeles. For more information, visit

26 C|C|A September 2010





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