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Presenting TOPO/GRAPHY\, an exhibition that investiga tes the mapping of the relief\, stratigraphy and history of land. In this p resentation\, nine contemporary artists explore the land as muse\, becoming explorers\, excavators\, and surveyors through abstraction\, line and proc ess.  A multi-media presentation of paintings\, sculptures\, ceramics\, and drawings\, TOPO/GRAPHY ultimately considers how human beings positi on themselves within an evolving and increasingly complex world.

Cris Bruch’s Bramble began as a 2-D aerial plan of the artis t's father's life work in housing development in Kansas.  Through the prima ry form of wall-based steel sculptures\, Bramble represents the cul- de-sacs\, utility sites\, drives and driveways of suburban development. Bru ch’s fluid and contorting works are evocative of the twisted helix strands of DNA\, becoming suggestive of the familial and pointing to the complex re lations between father and son\, while linking them to the planning and exp ectations of suburban life\, and the complicated visions of the American Dr eam.

Abandoning the traditional paintbrush\, Mary Heebner dips her hands directly into dry minerals and wet pigments to form bold si lhouettes of ancient vessels.  While sketching ancient Mapuche pottery in C hilean Patagonia for a project entitled\, Unearth ed\, Heebner noted fingerprints that traced across the thousand-yea r-old curved clay surfaces.  For the artist\, the physical act of forming t hese hand-paintings is itself a meditation on these ancient cultures and th eir remote environs.  Her intuitive understanding reconnects to one of the earliest meanings of the topos graphia\, or writing about place and history.

The minimalist paintings of Steve Schmidt are li terally reduced to the elemental: pigments and canvas.  Crafting his own te mpera paints exclusively from hand-collected samples of rock and soil from excavations across Southern California\; Schmidt is an artist/ geologist\, registering the distinct and unique chromatic expressions inherent to each place.  Charting his surveys\, the title of each piece is determined by the GPS coordinate from the excavation’s exact locale\, making his artworks un iquely site-specific.

The complex features and quantitative repr esentations characteristic of topographic maps are dependent on the use of the line. Mexico based artist Davis Birks in particular explores the aesthetics of the science of topography in his visually intricate abstract drawings. His ongoing Spirals series is both exactingly complex and ethereally whimsical\, a visual marriage of chance and exploration. The or ganic flowing shapes are suggestive of the never intersecting\, concentric contour lines on a surveyor’s map.

Using CAD software and CNC (C omputer Numerical Controls) technology to create his brilliantly colored\, large-format line renderings\, Seattle based artist Leo Saul Berk ma ps the interiors of caves and subterranean spaces to explore the significan ce of spiritually and politically charges places.  During the events of 9/1 1\, Berk was hiking towards Naj Tunich\, a sacred cave in the remote jungles of Guatemala.  To the ancient Maya\, the cave was the entrance to the underworld.  For Berk\, mapping the negative space of the cave resulted in a visual metaphor of the strangely psychologically connected\, politica l and societal shifts transpiring seemingly a world away.

Refer encing the blueprint as a locus of dreams\, Flora Kao accumulates ov erlays of the Los Angeles street grid creating imagined topographies that t ranslate these everyday structures into systems of ethereal beauty.  Employ ing a process that oscillates between accident and control\, the handmade a nd mechanical\, she plays with visual slippage\, where the city grid dissip ates into atmospherics.

Adam Silverman
\, founder of Los Angeles based Atwater Pottery\, is represented by a selection of new sculpt ures.  The wall-mounted boxes of assemblages of richly glazed clay objects that epitomize the artist’s exploration of carefully modulated relationship s of scale\, proximities\, and rich surface textures.  As such\, the boxes act as a frame for compositions that are in and of themselves an undulating terrain in which each feature is distinguished by distinct geological and mineralogical processes.

Based on direct and intimate observati on of the land\, Brian Hollister transforms his frequent and extensi ve hikes through the backcountry of California and the greater Southwest in to luminous and richly colored paintings.  Composed of alternating\, rhythm ic lines of color\, Hollister orients his marks horizontally across the can vas in a manner that suggests the land’s stratigraphic record and the brill iant light reflecting off its features. 

Constructed of sheets of raw steel and heavily burnished automotive paints\, Michael Whiting creates a landscape within the gallery interpreted though the pixilated vocabulary of early computer gaming.  Simplifying the elements of nature to their most reductive forms\, Whiting extracts a connection between the lan guage of early Minimalist sculpture and the advent of developing computer t echnologies.  It is an understanding began through the experiences unique t o his generation\, and is a reminder of the circuitous route of the develop ment of an ever changing world view.

DTEND:20110828 DTSTAMP:20140828T000155 DTSTART:20110709 GEO:34.062466;-118.36019 LOCATION:Edward Cella Art+Architecture\,6018 Wilshire Blvd \nLos Angeles\, CA 90036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:TOPO/GRAPHY\, Leo Saul Berk\, Davis Birks\, Cris Bruch\, Mary Heebn er\, Brian Hollister\, Flora Kao\, Steve Schmidt\, Adam Silverman\, Michael Whiting UID:172805 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20110709T200000 DTSTAMP:20140828T000155 DTSTART:20110709T180000 GEO:34.062466;-118.36019 LOCATION:Edward Cella Art+Architecture\,6018 Wilshire Blvd \nLos Angeles\, CA 90036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:TOPO/GRAPHY\, Leo Saul Berk\, Davis Birks\, Cris Bruch\, Mary Heebn er\, Brian Hollister\, Flora Kao\, Steve Schmidt\, Adam Silverman\, Michael Whiting UID:172806 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR