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C ONTEMPORARY TAllie Pohl 9 Rhea Carmi 24 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

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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.

I am interested in critiquing how social norms and

gender roles throughout Western history have influ-
enced the desired physical form that the female body
(shave, wax, pluck, laser, etc.) away their unwanted hair:
in the armpits, on the legs, and in the pubic area. Femi-
ninity, by Western society’s standards, requires regular
takes on. Women are constantly inundated with images upkeep, just as in my series of pieces, the growth pro-
that culturally outline feminine beauty. Commercially cess of the sprouts require maintenance. The growth of
packaged versions of beauty are often simply illusions sprouts articulates that, unlike Mattel’s presentation, the
created by advanced technology, such as digital image female condition is not plastic and shrink-wrapped.
alteration and/or plastic surgery. My work reflects this Just as women have been forced to “maintain” their
repetitive effect. Society’s addiction to the ideal image body hair, the Ideal Woman: Astroturf A is an artistic
has transformed beauty from an ideal to an attainable commentary on society adapting technology to elimi-
product. The image of the Western ideal has changed nate body maintenance. Astroturf, a synthetic material,
and evolved, and in response to the evolving technolo- does not require maintenance or upkeep. It is a material
gies, the materials I have used to represent the ideal have that is more “perfect” than the “real”.
changed and evolved. I developed the “Ideal Woman” Ideal Woman: Evolution uses minimalist materials
series by taking a “My Size Barbie” and dissecting her and aesthetics to guide the viewer through the evolution
into pieces to make porcelain sculptures. I chose Mat- of hair removal on the bikini line and the progression of
tel’s Barbie because she has been held up as the ideal technologies through the stone, bronze, iron, and digi-
since her creation over fifty years ago. tal ages. I compare the evolution of female hair removal
A strong social contract that women endure is hair with the historical progression of tool making technolo-
removal. It is one of the most basic forms of feminine gies to illustrate that women have altered their bodies
upkeep that women must abide by in order to maintain throughout history consistent with the progression of
cultural acceptance. The works Ideal Woman: Herma- these technologies. The advancements and progression
then, Enkolpizo, and Ankulopous have natural sprouts of tools and materials have allowed women to easily al-
growing out of places where women often remove ter their bodies, beginning with small cosmetic changes

10 C|C|A September 2010


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. tals, which project the reflection of the viewer back at
The image of the ideal in today's globalized and tech- them, allowing the viewer to compare themselves to
nologically connected society is now seen more quickly the ideal. The pedestals resemble pyramids and make
and more often. The "perfect” woman is constructed the sculptural figures appear godlike, further elevat-
through the utilization of repetition, technology, and ing the “ideal” woman. The emerging sculptural forms
the idea of virtual. The virtual world has allowed indi- and the pedestals are displayed and positioned in rep-
viduals to readily mediate what is projected and what etition, reminiscent of factory lines, again demonstrat-
is communicated. Yet, simultaneously, the reality of the ing the cookie cutter nature of what our society sees as
"real" is getting much harder to find and understand. The ideal. The idea of the real is constantly changing. With
advent and progress of technology has vastly changed the advent of technology, it is easier to see and chan-
our perception of what is real and of what ultimately nel the “ideal” and allow the “real” to transcend reality.
matters. Women today are pushed to attain the idealized Through the use of new social networks, everyone can
beauty that they see in magazines, on television, and all easily mediate and curate an online presence with the
around them. This quandary leads to a conflict between “ideal” in mind. The media projects an ideal and that
the real and the mediated self. ideal is repeated, reproduced, and continually executed.
Ideal Woman: 36-24-36 is a series that allows the This results in people starting to look the same in reality
viewer to see, squeeze, and mold the figures, just like and the mediated reality.
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 materi- An exhibiton of Allie Pohl’s Ideal Woman works, enti-
als (polyurethane rubber and memory foam) to further eld Perfect, can be seen through October 15 at the Marina
discuss the utilization of such technologies to augment Abramovic Institute West Coast in San Francisco. For
the female form. The emerging sculptural figures are more information, visit or
designed to sit on polished, uniform mirror pedes-

Artists 11

David Noonan Australian-born, London-based artist ist’s aesthetic and is used to create a range
David Kordansky Los Angeles David Noonan utilizes a personal archive of painterly and textural effects.
[through Oct 3] of found images to create hand-screened, Noonan’s works function as collage on a
collaged works on linen that straddle the dense array of levels: each is a combination
lines between photography and history, rit- of materials, images, and narratives that
ual and performance, memory and fiction. creates a historical mood which paradoxi-
Depicting costumed figures set against pat- cally cannot be attributed to any particu-
terned backgrounds, these works borrow lar moment in history. Different grades of
techniques not only from painting, but also material are joined together so that their
from film, theatre, literature, and sculpture. textural qualities play crucial roles in the
By relying upon intuition, chance, and free arrangement of the total composition. In
association, Noonan composes these large- cinematic terms, the work can be described
scale narrative tableaux so that their sub- as a kind of montage, with shifts between
jects seem to be caught between moments one image or piece of linen and another
of introspection and exhibitionism, their rendered with varying degrees of subtlety
implied theatricality alluding to the artifice or violence.
and creative potential of performance.  While the digital age has produced a
Noonan has long been interested in us- seemingly infinite proliferation of images
David Noonan, Untitled (detail), 2010, screen-
print on linen. Courtesy of David Kordansky. ing patterned textiles as a graphic coun- whose sources and subjects are instantly
terpoint to the figure. In this new body of recognizable but whose surfaces have been
Jordi Alcaraz work, the figures emerge from and retreat compromised, Noonan’s images take ma-
Jack Rutberg Los Angeles into images of Japanese Boro textiles that teriality as one of their central subjects.
[through Nov 30] echo the restrained and simplified sensi- Because the hand-screening process high-
bility of modernist painting. The material- lights their physical presence, the work
ity of these Boro textiles, fashioned from forges an uncanny connection between
stitched-together rags of previously dyed techniques of mechanical reproduction and
and bleached fabric, dissolves into the art- time-honored, even ancient, ideas of craft.

Traslúcido, a comprehensive exhibition of and the real, Alcaraz extends those notions,
Jordi Alcaraz’s poetic art, brings together going beyond surface. Even boundaries
large and small scale works which tran- created by frames enclosing his paintings
scend the categories of paintings, sculp- and drawings are altered in unexpected
tures, and drawings as they blend all media, ways, as in the assemblage entitled Catch-
employing assemblage-like manner and ing a Drawing in Mid-Air, which calls into
installation. Conceptually, Alcaraz extends question the distinction between interior
notions of perspective beyond the realms of and exterior. Alcaraz opens new realms in a
the physically-seen. The surfaces of paint- Zen-like manner through the use of bend-
ings and drawings can be pierced or peeled ing, tearing and puncturing materials in
back in a manner that forces the viewer to unpredictable ways.
consider more deeply the properties of the In El Temps an antique carved wood
physical and ephemeral. figure gently extends her hand through its
Utilizing various tools and materials vitrine, melting away one dimension into
much like an alchemist, Alcaraz creates another. Alcaraz’s aesthetic, verging on the
realms as ambiguous as those of his Cata- minimal, brings the consideration of beauty
lonian antecedents, such as found in the and meditation to uniquely profound levels
minimal spaces of Miro or in the surreal in conceptual art today. [The exhibition will
other-worldly landscapes of Dali. Where be accompanied by the a comprehensive
Alcaraz: (top) Exercicis de Desaparicio (III),
his elder contemporary Antoni Tapies cre- book on the artist entitled, “Jordi Alcaraz
2010, painting on cardboard, plexiglass, wood,
67.38”x87” (bottom) El Temps, 2010, 19th-cent.
ated astounding walls and doors - marked dibuixos,” which includes text from leading
sculpture and plexiglass, 32.13” x 20” x 16.13”. and eroded - evidencing both the surreal art critics Mariano Navarro and Peter Selz.]

14 C|C|A September 2010


Jeff Sheng’s first solo exhibition also has the Within the last year, the Sheng’s work has Jeff Sheng
distinction of being the first ever to feature been featured by The New York Times, the Kaycee Olsen Los Angeles
the photographs of service men and woman Los Angeles Times, and Time magazine.  In [through Oct 23]
currently affected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t addition, veteran news journalist
Tell” policy, which mandates the immedi- Bob Woodruff conducted an ex-
ate discharge of those persons in the United tended interview with Sheng and
States military who are allegedly or openly a few of the service members fea-
gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The tured in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
show will feature 20 previously unseen series for ABC World News with
images that eschew the statically-posed Diane Sawyer. Several individual
photographs of the Sheng’s first volume of works have also found their way
work. In this collection, Sheng increasingly into such prominent collections
activates and dramatizes his subjects, fur- as the Sir Elton John Photography
ther illuminating the unique and charged Collection and the Human Rights
Jeff Sheng, Tristan and Zeke, Honolulu,
personal narrative behind each portrait. Campaign collection, among many others. Hawaii, 2010, photograph.

Material, a solo show of the work of Los a system involving the roll of a die, Aksten’s Daniel Askten
Angeles artist Daniel Aksten, continues the Material introduces an additional form to CB1 Los Angeles
artist’s ongoing series of highly finished his visual vocabulary, extending the explo- [through Oct 10]
grid paintings. It also includes an addition- ration of contrast, color and reflection. Ver-
al body of work focusing on vertical stripes. tical stripes, like vertical blinds on a sliding
Scrutinizing optics and the painting itself, glass door obscure former layers, interpos-
under Southern California’s patented sun- ing inside onto outside of painterly space. A
shine, Daniel Aksten forges mathemati- trademark element has become the round-
cal structure, chance, and an astonishing cornered translucent or white textured
degree of craft to produce paintings that screen that finishes and haunts each work
challenge the viewer to re-examine how like the faint awareness of our own blind
much one thinks they can actually see. Best spot, reminding us that everything we see is
known for his fastidious paintings of geo- surrounded by the expanding and shrink-
metric solids composed by chance through ing flesh visage of our own countenance.
Daniel Askten, Composite (GRB), 2010,
composite finishes on metal, 12”x12”.
Ron Rizk’s exhibition, New Paintings, fea- which includes  new innovative paintings
tures masterfully rendered oil paintings on magazine covers by the East Coast artist. Ron Rizk & Cindy Kane
that combine carefully chosen objects in The paintings take journalism and text in a Lora Schlesigner Santa Monica
theatrical architectural settings, creating a new direction, placing her imagery on the [through Oct 16]
dialogue between object and setting, past cover and in the forefront of the art maga- (left) Rizk, Float, oil on panel, 24”x36” (bellow)
and present. Rizk’s meticulous paintings zine world. Her work is an observation of Kane, White Hawk on New Yorker, acrylic on
New Yorker magazine cover, 11”x9”. Both 2010.
arrange odd and unconventional objects the political and environmental tumult of
hand chosen from thrift stores and antique our times. These  paintings work with the
shops in shallow spaces, achieving a hyper relics of childhood, images from the natu-
real illusion of space. The objects become ral world, and current events to explore the
characters that sit on stage-like platforms, transitory nature of the art world.
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 trib-
ute to the object’s history and is an hom-
age 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,

Exhibitions 15

Max Presneill Known for his stewardships of the origi- passage figuring out what is required, like
Garboushian Beverly Hills nal RAID Projects international residency optical Sudoku. Any given canvas has the
[through Oct 16] and exhibition programs in Santa Ana and cultivated chaos of an English garden seen
then at the Brewery; followed by a remark- through a kaleidoscope, with a fecund riot
able tenure as director of Bergamot’s Mark of shapes, colors, textures, and gestures.
Moore Gallery where he internationalized Every image is at heart an armature for
the program; and currently helming the abstractions, which elements are painstak-
small but salient Torrance Art Museum ingly assembled into figures through an ad-
where he has been making a run at putting ditive process more like collage, but unmis-
TAM on the international regional-mu- takably hand-wrought.
seum map, Max Presneill is nothing if not As a curator, he’s in a discourse with the
ambitious. He also used to produce under- whole world; as a visual artist he’s in dia-
ground dance and art raves, and he never logue with himself. It’s not about taste, or
got in any real trouble, because he did it restraint, but it is about balance and a bi-
with confidence, style, panache — and be- zarre dystopian poetry. There’s a tempta-
cause the  end results were magical. His own tion to pile up typically unloving words like
private painting practice (a lifelong pursuit pastiche, literary, neurotic, and psychedel-
that has been little-known in LA until now) ic; but Presneill’s fusion of roughly-hewn
is, on one level, a kind of Art History rave Deco, uncomfortable Rousseau, and defi-
party, where no one gets hurt, and the beats ant pre-Raphaelite allegory is the tidiest,
are insistent and heart-thumping. most engaging kind of refraction. It’s remi-
Another oft-used but ultimately helpful niscent of that famous quote about the De-
way into the work is to say that each paint- generate Art Salon in 1937, “Whoever sees
ing is a like curated survey unto itself, a and paints the sky green and the fields blue
swashbuckling array of styles in a violent- ought to be taken out and shot.” If that’s the
ly perfect storm of counterintuitive color paragon of painting’s virtue, then when it
Max Presneil: (top) MP, 2009, oil and enamel
choices and a smorgasbord of media. Pres- comes to Presneill, “degenerate” doesn’t
on canvas, 96”x84”. (bottom) Elaborate Plans, neill says he views composition as problem- even begin to cover it.
2010, oil and enamel on canvas, 84”x96”.
solving technique, moving from passage to – Shana Nys Dambrot

Josh Dorman
George Billis Los Angeles Look the Other Way, an exhibition of new full palette of colors was introduced) and
[through Oct 16] work by New York-base artist Josh Dorman, imagery from books published before pho-
includes mixed media on panel and works tography became common.” This sense of a
(top) Raptors, 2010, Ink, acrylic, antique paper
on panel, 28”x36”. (bottom) Archipelago, 2010, on paper. Josh Dorman uses antique maps narrative that exists outside of our reality in
ink, acrylic, antique paper on paper, 34”x60”.
to find his way exploring and expanding the the same way that dreams do is a recurring
spaces between borders. His topographical element in Dorman’s work - they contain
navigations forging latitude and longitude their own internal and intuitive logic and
with ink, pen, and pencil draws the viewer journey (often literally with creatures on
deep into his fantastical voyages. The New walkways on voyages through the works).
York Times has called him a “postmodern In “Archipelago,” a five-foot long work on
Brueghel.” Dorman becomes a wilderness paper, birds, scorpions, lizards, even clocks,
guide teaching us a new way to navigate creep along a raised path running across
space. What began with drawings on an- the entire width of the piece. In the blue
tique ledger pages in and purple and orange water/sky fantastical
2000 has evolved into fish swim and fly among clouds and moun-
a fully formed mature tains. Destinations like far off lands exist
body of work. Dor- on different islands in the scene and like all
man writes, “I love of Dorman’s work, the more you look the
paper that has lived more you find - castles on craggy mounds,
a life and shows its animals perched on their own little bits of
age. I use only topo- rock, a ship sailing through it all. The ex-
graphic maps printed hibition also includes twelve new works on
before 1940 (when a panel and six graphite drawings.

16 C|C|A September 2010


In Broad Daylight, an exhibition of large- David Trulli works in scratchboard: a white David Trulli
scale scratchboards by David Trulli, offers a clay-coated board, covered with black ink. Robert Berman Santa Monica
contemplation on the concept of America Fine knives are used to delicately scrape [through Oct 9]
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 mo-
mentous is just out of view. Accord-
ing 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 un- David Trulli, In Broad Daylight, 2010
ink, clay and varnish on Masonite, 48”x108”.
defined event.” This exhibition marks the away the ink, creating the image. A former
first time Trulli has presented images ex- cinematographer, Trulli compares working
clusively set in daylight, without losing the in scratchboard to lighting a film set: “it Lari Pittman
noir feeling for which his work is known. starts out black and you add light.” Regen Projects Los Angeles
[through Oct 23]
New Painting, an exhibition of paintings and oscillating image field to
and works on paper by  Lari Pittman on create an idiosyncratic visual
view at Regen Projects II,  presents seven vocabulary rooted in — and
large-scale and three mid-size paintings. in constant discourse with —
This will be coupled with Orangerie, a com- the history of painting. A for-
prehensive survey of Lari Pittman’s  work mal and conceptual tension
from 1980-2010, exhibited at Regen Proj- is always at play. This tension
ects. This historical exhibition will include is structured and informed
over 100 works on paper, hung salon-style by ever-present dichotomies:
over the artist-designed trellis pattern that renewal/decay, secular/sa-
will adorn the gallery walls. Orangerie will cred, decorative/grotesque,
provide a unique and unparalleled oppor- hot/cold, sweet/toxic, taste/
tunity to view the history and breadth of kitsch, mannered/unpredict-
Pittman’s artistic practice. His work incor- able, transparency/opacity. Lari Pittman, Installation view: New Paintings,
porates a cacophony of color, the blending [In addition to this show, a monograph Regen Projects II. Courtesy of Regen Projects.
Photograph by Brian Forrest.
of figuration and abstraction, an intricate on Lari Pittman’s work will be released by
and multi-faceted surface, and an expansive Rizzoli in the spring of 2011. ]
Heather Gwen Martin
Luis de Jesus Santa Monica
[through Oct 26]
Drawing from comics, television, and ev- that skew balance, proportionality, and
eryday situations,  Heather Gwen Martin’s composition. Contrasting this tension
abstract paintings explore playfully violent and awkward balance is her clean, con-
scenarios where household objects morph trolled brush work and highly saturat-
into cartoon weapons and imagined forces ed colors, qualities directly influenced
battle each other against bright, acidic- by her experience over the past decade
hued backgrounds.  With this new body of as a colorist for DC Comics using the
work, entitled Recreational Systems, Martin precision of computer technology.
continues to subvert the traditional rules of
Heather Gwen Martin, Blind Spots,
painting, offering canvases whose flat spac- 2010, oil on linen, 48”x64”.

es open up “three-dimensionally” in ways

Exhibitions 17

Dirk Schreber Dirk Skreber’s new paintings radiate with of thickness, revealing his subject purely
Blum & Poe Los Angeles a graphic intensity and a high-voltage pop through shadow and line – not with paint.
[through Oct 23] color palette. By layering strip after strip of This “reveal” allows his subjects to emerge
foam tape atop panels rolled with varnish, from behind the picture’s surface rather
polyurethane, watercolor, enamel, spray than on top of it, filling each portrait with
paint, fluorescent paint and primer – but a mysterious sense of psychological de-
absent of oil or any conventional brush- tachment. For nearly ten years, Skreber
work – Skreber creates images of slightly has been investigating portraiture by way
obscured and brooding (mostly female) of foam tape painting; gaining a new tech-
models, set against highly refined orna- nical proficiency previously exemplified
mental surfaces. These “pluck” paintings in his renderings of car crashes and aerial
Dirk Skreber, Deborah, Stephanie, and I, 2010,
acrylic, enamel, polyurethane, spray paint and as they are called - due to the intricate re- fly zones. In 2002, Skreber exhibited foam
foam tape on panel, 79” x 118.5”. Courtesy of the
artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. moval of foam tape by careful burning or tape paintings of superheroes and soldiers
picking – suggest an uneasy exchange be- whose images were culled from the Inter-
Robert Kingston
tween the figure and their surrounding pic- net. These physically dominant men and
Ruth Bachofner Santa Monica
torial space. Models’ faces and bodies only overly sexualized women became central
[through Oct 16]
come to the fore when Skreber picks or to his practice and continue to play an im-
burns away the foam tape to varying levels portant role in his most recent series.

Robert Kingston’s work draws viewers into is then contained again, creating deep veils
a visual narrative where the story rests be- of acrylic. Within the canvases’ hazy spac-
tween innumerable layers of acrylic. The es are thrusts of color along with fits and
gestures, erasures, pigmented smudging, starts of lines, doodles and sketches. Kings-
scraping and dripping on his canvases ton’s breathy, atmospheric movements of
evidence Kingston's continued investiga- paint collect and dissipate to form organic
tion into the possibilities of paint. Kings- landscape impressions, yet remain firmly
ton’s work is achieved through a trust of planted in the language of abstraction. His
his process of getting lost in cerebral and soulful works of art speak to a range of
material spaces before finding resolve. The emotions, and open a window into the art-
Robert Kingston, White Woolen Trousers,
artist slowly builds his paintings by de- ist’s own inner space and influences. Shift-
2010, acrylic on canvas, 72” x 60”. veloping and modifying ideas applied in ing from placid to energetic, structured to
previous layers. At times, the paint is con- improvised, sober to playful, Kingston’s
Robert Fry & Massimo Vitali
M+B (with Francois Ghebaly) trolled and then allowed to find gravity, and paintings are a steady, engrossing read that
Los Angeles [through Oct 16] gradually reveal their history and resolve.
A part of event series, Kunsthalle, previ-
ously at Francois Ghebaly, this introduc- ination wherein spatial perspective is ren-
tion to the work of English painter Robert dered through a complex series of vantage
Fry, curated by Jane Neal, features the art- points. Exhibiting at M+B is Italian photog-
ist’s refreshing interpretation of figura- rapher Massimo Vitali’s unique views of the
tive painting. In this series, Fry continues rites and rituals of modern-day leisure. Fea-
along themes of sexuality, the relationship turing new work from 2009 and 2010, this
between artist and subject — willfully con- exhibition includes eight large-scale color
fused by his choice of perspective – and the photographs from Austria, Croatia, Sicily,
potent energies within that dialogue. Pro- and Turkey. Vitali’s photography occupies
duced mainly in acrylic and oil, his work a place between documentary realism and
tests the boundaries of abstract figurative the surreal. His landscapes are casually in-
painting as he explores the types and de- habited by figures such as sunbathers and
grees of tension that exist between the fig- tourists, whom he captures while perched
ures that appear in every work. He locates 20 feet in the air on a platform waiting for
his figures in a non-space, a vacuum lacking the right moment. Ever interested in the
the naturalistic elements of the human en- ways in which people interact with their
(top) Massimo Vitali, Sacred Russian Pool, Tur-
vironment. There is no gravity, no tangible environment and each other, Vitali’s images
key #3140, 2009, chromogenic print on Diasec, compass point by which to navigate. The satisfy a sociological desire as well as a voy-
60”x 72”. (bottom) Robert Fry, Red 6, 2010, oil,
acrylic, enamel, pencil on canvas, 78”x112”. viewer is absorbed entirely into Fry’s imag- euristic longing to observe unawares.

18 C|C|A September 2010


Deborah Aschheim Michael McMillen

Edward Cella Los Angeles California. Embodying a discourse about LA Louver Los Angeles
[through Oct 23] memory, place, and the unfulfilled promis- [through Oct 30]
es 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 surround-
ing the future of the
Century Plaza Hotel and
the effort to stabilize the Michael McMillen, from Lighthouse.
Theme Building at LAX
manifest for Aschheim In Michael McMillen’s Lighthouse, black
Aschheim, detail of Encounter (The Theme Building so beautiful
as a tragic and incessant and white digital motion pictures created
encased in scaffolding), 2009, ink on Dura-lar, 25”x40”. sense of obsolescence. by the artist are projected onto a billboard
screen attached to the building’s roof.
Maberry + Walker has always been The film element embraces both a narra-
Maloney Los Angeles on modern in- tive of Lighthouse and a series of related
[through Oct 30] terpretations of paintings and unique sculptures that will
past decorative also be on view. Each of the sculptures
For more than twenty-five years, styles, their work has been created out of found materials
Phillip Maberry and Scott Walker have is infused with an of humble origin, such as scraps of wood,
created one-of-a-kind ceramic sculp- optimistic spirit. string and cardboard, which have then
ture, reliefs and objects for gallery and The Pool Toys af- been cast into bronze. The installation,
museum installations, in addition to fect clever spatial sculptures and paintings are set within
having fulfilled numerous residential gambits within an environment designed by McMillen:
and commercial commissions. Best compressed, de- at the entrance a wall of corrugated metal
known for their eccentric, intensely ceptively simple guides the visitor through two doors that
colorful style associated with the ‘Pat- interplays of sur- Maberry + Walker, Camo, 2010, open into a dimly lit space. After enter-
tern and Decoration” movement, Ma- face ornamenta- glazed ceramic, 22”x18”x13” ing, the weathered doors automatically
berry and Walker’s most recent body tion and sculptural articulation. Although close through a series of wheels, cables
of work, Pool Toys, continues the in- the artists work in the time-honored ce- and pulleys that span the width of the gal-
vestigation of constructed figurative ramic tradition, they are continually ex- lery. The visitor is then presented with a
forms. Utilizing color and design, ar- panding the focus of their work to include series of illuminated bronze sculptures
ticulated in the artists’ characteristic new technologies, including digital trans- and oil paintings in two gallery spaces.
playful manner where their emphasis fer processes and glow-in-the-dark glazes. Lighthouse is displayed in a third gallery.

Jeff Sonhouse New York-based artist Jeff Sonhouse’s exhi- tured vestment and its vividly deep aqua-
Martha Otero Los Angeles bition, ‘Better Off Dead,’ Said The Landlord,  marine and violet colors.  Draped over a
[through Oct 23] allows him to deconstruct the accepted the- brash black and white pinstripe suit with
ories of ownership and invites us to reexam- ashen hands in an iconic Pantocrator pos-
ine how we interpret relationships of power, ture.  The background palette harmonizes
as tenants of an overbearing architect. With burgundy with black, phthalo blues and
alluding portrayals of glorified facades, he rich purples into a contemporary vision
creates a frictional energy of immortality. of a halo.  Sonhouse’s unorthodox use of
The exhibition will include Sonhouse’s re- materials successfully disorients the view-
cent portraits of oracular figures that evoke ers prescribed sense of space. Even more
familiarity, such as Papi Shampoo, bearing irresistible are Sonhouse’s masks and the
a Jesus like stance and demeanor. We’re in- intense gaze concealed behind them.
Jeff Sonhouse, Mateo Manhood aka Buzz Kill
(detail), 2010, oil on fiberboard, 16” x 13.25”. stantly drawn to the silky smooth satin tex-

Exhibitions 19

In The Longest Day of the Year, Los Angeles- with an Islamic heritage, using the tripod Anoka Faruqee
based Anoka Faruqee presents new paint- or asterisk form is not about cultural pos- Hosfelt San Francisco
ings that are surprisingly freehand and sub- turing. As she notes, "Because someone [through Oct 16]
jective in nature, all while maintaining the centuries ago spent a good amount of time
discipline and precision characteristic of playing with a ruler and a compass, I can
her practice. An artist's book, Field Notes, lift from that tradition a kind of readymade
published in conjunction with the exhibi- handmade pixel. Those experiments were
tion, reveals Faruqee's remarkable painting indeed the mathematical forerunners of
process through a series of photographs current digital technology. I'm not interest-
documenting her studio and her intricate, ed in merely quoting or "describing" these
laborious practice. Faruqee mixes hundreds forms, forever suspending them in their
of subtly shifting colors to create luminous historical moment. I use them in the pres-
color fades in which patterns seem to grad- ent tense for what they are and what they
ually disappear into the painting's ground can become." Faruqee paints her modular
color. The illusion looks like the effect of gestures on subtly increasing curves, start-
a translucent airbrush or painterly spill. ing only with a loose plan. Many decisions
But in fact these works are created slowly about the shape and direction of the curves
and deliberately, one handmade "pixel" at a happen during painting. The paintings un-
time. The handmade "pixels" are tripod or fold in the making, revealing an unpredict-
asterisk forms derived from Islamic tile ge- able, paradoxical order. The "handmade
ometry, but painted freehand, without the pixels" become metaphors for a process that
use of rulers or grids. For Faruqee, who is balances control and accident, mirroring
second generation Bangladeshi-American both nature and computer modeling.

Bay Area-based painter Judith Belzer is ex- signature juxtaposition of images. She se-
hibiting selections from two recent series lects the individual shots of her compound
of her ongoing explorations into the un- photographs with great consideration for
Faruqee: (top) Equator (bottom) Pink S-Curve
derpinning structures and porous surfaces their composition and color, and the re- both: 2010, acrylic on linen, 78.75”x71.75”.

of the world, titled respectively, Order of sulting form, along with the simple fact of
Magnitude and Order of Things. The mod- their containment within a frame, creates Judith Belzer / Nina Zurier
est scale of these paintings belies the am- a strong visual bond. More significantly, George Lawson San Francisco
bition and scope of Belzer’s reach, as she it is her uncanny intuition, her selection [through Sept 25]
moves freely from aerial to crystalline and for leaping poetry
cellular perspectives in her bid for intimacy and the triggers
with the natural order. Reminiscent of Ce- of memory that
zanne’s late watercolors, Belzer’s assured assures the elastic
open brushwork and thin washes suggest cohesion of these
she has found herself a home in the center scroll-like narra-
of things, and an open hand to pull us into tives, what Zurier
the organizing principle she has uncovered. has called, “the
Nina Zurier, a Bay Area photographer, continuity of dis-
is also showing a new series of work. The continuity.”
show is titled Conditions and Connections
and runs concurrent with her installation (right, above) Judith Bel-
zer, The Order of Things
at California State University Sacramento’s #8, 2010, oil on canvas,
6” x 12”. (right, below)
Library Gallery, titled Make Me One with Nina Zurier, Because The
Night, 2010, unique pig-
Everything. With these most recent works, ment print from digital
photograph, 4.5” x 24”
Zurier has pushed the capacity for open- (frame: 15.5” x 34.5”).
ended story telling already inherent in her

Exhibitions 21

Nellie King Solomon Continuing the her exploration of move- intentionally uneven work surface creates
Brian Gross San Francisco ment and chance through energetic, ges- unpredictable pools and flows, adding an
[through Oct 30] tural abstractions on mylar, Bay Area artist element of chance to otherwise calculated
Nellie King Solomon’s has created dramatic compositions. Solomon uses unconven-
new works that reflect “experiences of great tional materials to create luminous, shim-
western landscapes, interior and exterior mering surfaces. In places, the paint glitters
terrains, [and] the shock of unabsorbed as if sprinkled with diamond dust, while
events.” In this recent work, Solomon ex- other areas appear corroded, as if dripped
plores vibrant new color palettes in ma- with battery acid. Close inspection reveals
genta, fluorescent orange, and Hooker’s microcosmic topographies and tiny “geo-
green. Working on a large table and using logical eruptions.” The translucency of the
custom-made glass trowels, the artist ap- mylar support lends the paintings a unique
plies pigment to thick sheets of mylar in luminescence, “allow[ing] the edges to dis-
broad, sweeping gestures. Bold, deliberate appear into the wall and light to penetrate
strokes merge with Solomon’s signature through clear pools of medium. The paint-
Nellie King Solomon, Magenta and Hooker’s
Green Rings 1, 2010; acrylic and mixed pours and drips, while large, opaque areas ings subvert architecture, each pour and
media on mylar; 96” × 96”.
give way to thin, iridescent skim coats. An ring tears a hole through the wall.”

Nicole Buffett
Andrea Schwartz San Francisco California-based artist Nicole Buffett’s upon the concept of pliancy and versatility.
[through Oct 1] paintings of abstract landscapes allow the The abstract landscapes I create are spaces
viewer to interpret the suggestive spiritual wherein freedom from the representational
possibilities of deeper consciousness. By enables deeper spiritual possibilities. My
using a variety of organic and synthetic choice to use a variety of both traditional
mediums on panel, Buffett creates abstract Art materials alongside non-traditional
landscapes that act as topographical worlds, materials, reflect my own relationship to
which invite the viewer into visceral and the world as a place of integration. Thick,
meditative experiences. This allows Buf- fleshy layers of reclaimed house paint,
fett to map the relationship of things close Earth pigment, spices, sand, ink, spray
and far, of things felt, and of things invis- paint and resin all become a hyper organ-
ible. Buffett sees her work this way: “My ic environment that speaks to where I am
paintings describe an environment built environmentally. ”
Nicole Buffett, Reveal/Re-Veil II, 2010,
mixed media on panel, 30” x 30”.

For his MFA exhibition at Mills College, ronment in which these edifices exist. For
Michael Hall & Whitney Lynn Michael Hall presented several large-scale Hall, “the paintings imagine the bunker's
Patricia Sweetow San Francisco oil paintings depicting animals in degrees further dissolution into the landscape and
[through Oct 16] of stress as metaphoric stand-ins for cor- highlight thier isolated and largely forgot-
porate malfeasance and social excess. ten past". Whitney Lynn’s  Doug, an instal-
The paintings were oil on canvas, deftly lation of video, photography and objects,
brushed, with a subdued palette. In  his records her experience with a rescue rab-
new Reclamation, Hall's recent series of oil bit that was found living in the environs of
paintings and installation, his focus turns Golden Gate Park. Learning that rabbits are
to surveillance bunkers constructed during behaviorally similar to feline's, she eagerly
WWII, located on what is now known as became the adoptive parent. The rabbit
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. proved to have other thoughts of domestic-
(above) Michael Hall,
BES_Battery Bluff_BD- Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the area ity, proceeding to gnaw on her wiring, nest
FF, 2010, oil on canvas,
60”x72”. Whitney Lynn: proved strategically important, providing in her furniture, and use her flat as the litter
(left) Doug (still), 2010,
video DVD loop, 15 min.
the bunker/look-out posts a watch-guard box. Doug encompasses Whitney's adven-
(below) installation view to the East.The look-out posts happen to ture with her rabbit through photographs,
be located in some of the more spectacular video of the rabbit, and items of clothing,
natural landscape that California has to of- all part of “a desire to set something down
fer. Hall's paintings contrast that backdrop in physical form, to preserve evidence of a
of WWII history with the spectacular envi- happening”.

22 C|C|A September 2010

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
January 20 - 23, 2011

original artwork, Norman Kulkin


Rhea Carmi


R hea Carmi’s art is a profound search

to make visual the darkest to the
most illumined aspects of life that hu-
ing cycles of inhumanity. Consequently,
in Voices of Silence, the silence that Car-
mi set out to create becomes deafening;
This exhilaration came from a trip to Bra-
zil and the joy of her grandchildren, play-
ing with them and becoming a child once
man beings and nature can experience. her message of darkness is powerfully again, not as it was in the early years of
Through a succession of piercing abstract presented, yet its conclusions are surpris- war-torn Israel, but in the freedom of the
narratives -- from grim ashes of suffering, ingly optimistic and hopeful.. American landscape. With the brightness
to the emergence of healing, compassion, In September, 2010, as part of a group of each canvas, there is a subtle sugges-
and the ebullient joy of freedom – Carmi exhibition at the Gotthelf Art Gallery in tion of pretense as masked faces, promi-
shares with us what she witnessed first La Jolla, CA, she will show selected works nent at Carnivals, recur in overlapping
hand. Born Israeli, and married for 49 from her Voices of Silence series. In a patterns.
years to a Holocaust survivor, the sub- retrospective exhibition, held in 2008 at Carmi’s latest series, Our Fragile Earth,
ject of suffering is second nature. Carmi Soka University in Aliso Viejo, CA, Car- came about when Carmi observed how
has learned through direct experiences mi showed the complete series – paint- the life force within fire-scorched fields
that all-consuming darkness can cast an ings and assemblages, 77 works of art, are driven to regenerate and soon carpet
enormous shadow on life, yet, it is also on two floors, a total of 8,000 square feet. the landscape with green leaves, shrubs,
a powerful force that can bring tremen- Voices of Silence is composed of three colorful flowers, and welcoming insects
dous spiritual transformation. groups: Humanities Struggles, Humani- and animals. This body of work concerns
In reading the essay, Voices of Silence, ties Resilience, and Everlasting Spirit. For an earthquake she lived through and lo-
by the noted French writer and art critic, the Soka University exhibition, Carmi cal fires she observed.(Destruction and
André Malraux, Carmi realized that her added her Carnaval paintings. They are Rebirth is a portion of Our Fragile Earth)
art must be about the millions of voices about a heightened sense of color, mag- In a bright red orange painting she in-
that have been silenced in the never-end- ic, sound and people engaged in revelry. cludes 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 lu-
minous green painting, bedecked with
local plants, Carmi portrays the once de-
cayed and burned becoming green and
Many of the pieces in Our Fragile
Earth are created from backs of stretch-
ers bars, giving a sculptural appear-
ance where viewers look into a scene as
if moving through layers of foliage. The
art mixes assemblage and sophisticated
Abstract Expressionist figurations, a for-
mat rarely applied in this manner. As
in all Carmi’s art, Destruction and Re-
birth exudes strength and energy that
the artist’s particular process demands
and her personality conveys naturally.
Our Fragile Earth is made entirely of re-
cycled matter that Carmi gathers in her
daily workday as an artist, wife, mother,
grandmother, and citizen. These creative
Rhea Carmi, H.S XXIV, 1996, acrylic and oil canvas, 48” x 60”. Courtesy of the artist. “inventions” are assembled from papers,

24 C|C|A September 2010


Rhea Carmi

old box springs, string, and assorted ma-

terials. 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 ensu-
ing 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 practical-
ity 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 trans-
formed into an everlasting strength.
Fortunately, Carmi’s own affable char-
acter, like her art, is lively and optimistic.
Voices of Silence and Our Fragile Earth
continue the message that the ever-last-
ing human spirit will always triumph
over voices that are silenced. And with
Rhea Carmi: (top) Untitled, 2009, wood paper pigment shells on cotton, 60” x 60” x 24”.
a caveat, Carmi shows that nature can (bottom) Barren Earth, 2009, tar, burlap, dirt, twine, and paint on 9 panels, 30” x 96”.
triumph as well. In her art, she makes us
aware of both sides of each issue; when and not allowing it to succumb to harm.
there is suffering, it can lead to joy; when Thus Carmi’s art continuously comes full Rhea Carmi's Voice of Silence series is on
there is destruction, it can be realized in circle, returning to possibilities that could display through Oct 28 at Gotthelf Art Gal-
renewal. But into these equations she silence and destroy, or heal and nurture. lery in La Jolla, CA. Our Fragile Earth will
adds the need for protection and preser- Truly the art of Rhea Carmi stands soon be exhited at Frank Picture Gallery.
vation, guarding our precious life force, apart. Its profound messages stir the soul. For more information, see

Artists 25

Patricia Krebs

Living in the Clouds In Her Own Words

I 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 be-
came more than just that. Each
of my painting contains a whole
story: to me, the little town be-
low 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 dif-
ferent 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 free-
dom, 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
Patricia Krebs, Living in the Clouds, 2010 acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”.
texture and depth, is opposed to
a warm, colorful world of infi- other one, richer and more detailed,
nite possibilities where nothing that seems to come from our imagina- Patricia Krebs grew up in Buenos Aires,
has been set yet. I like showing tion. But, isn’t the world of our fantasy, Argentina. Her work has been exhibited
a monochromatic universe that our desires and our dreams, as real and throughout Los Angeles. For more informa-
we see at first sight and then an- as much of our daily life as the first? tion, visit

26 C|C|A September 2010

“ABSTRACTIONS: 1990 TO 2010”





Nº 0028
72” x 48” x 13”

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