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Los Angeles
Meg Cranston, Sarah Seager, Mitchell Syrop
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
March 3, 2011 - April 17, 2011

Poetry Within Spaces


The current group exhibition of four Los Angeles based artists, (Meg Cranston, Larry Johnson, Sarah Seager, and Mitchell Syrop), who have historically dedicated their art disciplines to Conceptual Art, were selected by emerging curator Cody Trepte.  Trepte asks the questions; "What is left in/or of Conceptualism and where has it gone...?"  Trepte is a recent resident of Los Angeles who has been focusing on Conceptual Art of the l980's and 90's.  The four artists encompass the tenacity of having "thoughts and ideas" as their primary art mediums.  Meg Cranston's television piece which is reminiscent of the classic "eight ball" game where you ask yes or no questions, is a prologue and epilogue for Trepte's questions.  Conceptualism is "yes" and Conceptualism is "no" and it is the spaces in between.

Sarah Seager spoke about the "poetry within the spaces" when she was referring to the grooves of a record as it plays on the record player.  On the evening of March 31st, Trepte interviewed Seager in front of a group of LACE supporters.  The success of the interview gave the audience a passing of an artist's mode of operation.  Seager's great-uncle, Bix Beiderbecke, has had an overwhelming impression on her work.  As a young woman during the l980's she was a part of the LA Punk music scene. Like her great-uncle during his time, she was making sounds existing in their time.  Seager enjoyed the immediate results of performance versus work in the studio.  She said that many times her performances on stage consisted of her being silent and merely standing still.  Perhaps her influences may have been John Cage and "Sounds of Silence" combined with her ancestral musical genes.

The group exhibition functions with text and serial ideas as being the evident connection among the artists.  The group continues to work on their process with technology minimally infringing on the artists' natural thoughts and ideas.  Mitchell Syrop's installation, Why Does It Take a Lifetime, serves as an example of familiar messages grouped for viewers to commune and spark with. Larry Johnson's towering paintings exemplify language and a Rothko-like enviromental spirituality.   A bolt of change was Seager's floor installation consisting to two large tree branches, naturally balanced, overlooking two water-filled cast concrete bowls.  Like the Romantics nature always overcomes.  Nature's interference symbolizes change. There are reflections of the floor piece onto Seager's wall installation of nine framed pieces of text and imagery.  During the March 31st interview, Trepte and Seager discussed the relationship and reciprocity of the rings occurring in the water contained in the concrete bowls against the grooves of the 45 rpm records in the photographs of Seager's wall installation.

Trepte was wondering if Conceptual Art was currently being rewritten in Los Angeles.  He defined his title for the exhibit, One the Line, as dealing with artwork that is language based and not text based.  One the Line, also describes a variety of ways to express this thought and most importantly for Trepte, to be on the threshold.


Posted by Sandra Vista on 4/10/11

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