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LOS ANGELES:  George Billis Gallery is pleased to prese nt Suspended States\, the gallery’s third solo sh ow of new work by the Santa Monica-based assemblage\, sculpture\, and insta llation artist Maddy LeMel\, as part of a series of exhibi tions of contemporary Southern California artists influenced by the artists and designers being highlighted in the Pacific Standard Time events.  LeMe l has been called a “scavenger poet\,” and is known for mixed-media constru ctions incorporating found objects that are reclaimed and given second live s in pieces created with wire\, screen\, thread\, paper\, metal fragments\, and a deft articulation of light and space.  The opening reception for the artist is Saturday\, November 19\, 5-8PM\, and the show runs through Janua ry 2 (Dec. 24-Jan. 2 by appointment only\, call the gallery at 310-838-3685). High -res images are available upon request.

LeMel’s new works are spare yet animated wire and metal cag es containing vintage tools\, which exist as almost anthropomorphized chara cters contemplating the nature of entrapment.  These characters also seem t o be sizing up exit strategies presented by openings in each cage that allo w for escape.  Connected by winding ladders\, the works form a cohesive ins tallation\, suggesting that situations and relationships between individual s can cause patterns of restraint to ripple into society as well-along with opportunities to transcend such limitations.  In a catalogue essay for LeM el\, art critic Constance Mallinson wrote\, “This uncomfortable limbo signi fies the stage between possibilities\, prompting us to ask\, as LeMel has\, what is worth saving or discarding\, and ultimately how we can be transfor med.”

Additionally\, a s eries of smaller\, wall-mounted pieces-which LeMel calls “shadow images”-pr esents visions of what things might look like outside the cage\, ephemeral memories of past confinement.  Throughout the works\, LeMel balances the no tion of actual physical confinement with the self-inflicted prisons of emot ion\, convention\, and habit that rein us in.  “Stepping outside our famili ar worlds could cause us to plummet to the ground\,” she says\, “or perhaps we would learn to fly.” 

Born in Chicago\, Maddy LeMel studied at the Art Institute of Chicago bef ore moving to Los Angeles in 1962 and receiving her BFA from the University of Southern California.  LeMel’s work is has been shown in museums and gal leries in the U.S. and Europe.  She has had recent solo exhibitions at Geor ge Billis Gallery in New York City\, Barnsdall Art Park and George Billis G allery in Los Angeles\, and the Louis Stern Gallery in West Hollywood.  Of the latter\, Holly Myers wrote in the L.A. Times\, “We see keys\, photograp hs\, fragments of text\, and bits of metal and wire preserved in cocoons of paper and plastic while threads dangle seductively\, waiting to be unravel ed.”  LeMel’s work has also been featured in art fairs including the Los An geles Art Show and Art Now Fair in Miami Beach\, and numerous group shows.< /span>

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Installation artist and sculptor\, Maddy Le Mel\, is a sensitive scavenger and material poet. Reclaiming wires\, steel bars and ru sty found objects\, Ms. Le Mel combines these objects with translucent hand made paper\, threads and netting to create delicate\, yet steadfast\, objec ts. Of her work\, the artist states\, “As these remnants are unified in une xpected ways…they remind us that even the most familiar things are ephemera l\, inevitably changing with time.” Ms. Le Mel seeks out and ignites the ‘p ulse’ in her materials\, indeed materializing a sculptural life-force.

Maddy Le Mel received her Ba chelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California in Lo s Angeles. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections and has exhibited throughout California.

DTEND:20120102 DTSTAMP:20140710T222409 DTSTART:20111119 GEO:34.033637;-118.375646 LOCATION:George Billis Gallery- LA\,2716 S. La Cienega Blvd. \nLos Angeles\ , CA 90034 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Suspended States\, Maddy LeMel\, Maddy Le Mel UID:183496 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20111119T200000 DTSTAMP:20140710T222409 DTSTART:20111119T170000 GEO:34.033637;-118.375646 LOCATION:George Billis Gallery- LA\,2716 S. La Cienega Blvd. \nLos Angeles\ , CA 90034 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Suspended States\, Maddy LeMel\, Maddy Le Mel UID:183497 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR