L.A. Artcore is pleased to present Kamol Tassananchalee from October 1st through October 31st.
Some artists are recognized for a signal work, a piece that defines their contribution. There are also artists who define the work, personifying the energy and possibility of art in their own character. Dr. Kamol Tassananchalee is of this latter variety, a multi-faceted force of nature in many ways. Taking in a single show scarcely scratches the surface of this lauded, internationally renowned artist. It is but an introduction to just how many layers can be embodied in an individual, unveiling a particular strength for broad exploration, as well as a commitment to a universal view of concept and idea.
It is useful to begin with the artist’s position in place and time. Born in Bangkok, he has been called the National Artist of Thailand, and he counts among his sources a good foundation with deep cultural roots. To assess how deep, one could note that his first art instructor was his grandfather, who happened to be a court artist to King Rama IV when the country was still known as Siam. From this context an enormous shift took place, beginning a life in the United States with an MFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. From that time he has been active in Southern California for over forty years, working from his home and garden studio in Chatsworth, CA.
With hundreds of exhibits nationally and internationally, attending an exhibit of Kamol’s work is viewing a segment of living art history. Viewing the intellectual conditions that envelop the artist, we discover a person who carries an established familiarity with multiplicity, such as the dyad of East and West. He can be found in Gardner’s Art Through the Ages (Vol.11), where his entry notes his work with Buddha’s footprint, a suitable metaphor for the way he straddles worlds. The simple footprint was the original iconographic representation of the Buddha, before Silk Road syncretism brought the more familiar images and statuary of symbolic features, posture and gesture. The work is a fitting statement for one who sees a meeting of worlds in one respect, yet also an elemental nature within ideas, which he locates and actively employs in combination throughout. As the footprint represents in exterior symbol a very singular element in history, it also suggest the near absence of the observer, that the significance is carried in the living individual and their process, more so than the outpourings that are left behind as works.
It is also possible to arrive at the expansive nature of the artist by looking at the strides taken throughout his body of work. Operating with a motive that appears to defy limitations, or rather explores how the expanse of the unlimited might appear, his catalog rests upon a striking variety and balanced composure. A cross section includes graphic work, painting, large-scale sculpture, and ceramics. Grand, lace-like steel monuments contrast with sweeping pigments sweeping across dry soil in the wild and changing environ of the Mojave desert, and photographed in relationship to a dynamic sky. His brilliantly colored, symbol and object filled wall sculptures sparkle with detail and historic reference, while the paintings in this upcoming exhibit are rich with earthen and metallic colors, containing their own information now spoken in an almost primal, seed language. Each direction visibly has its own movement, tied together by the character, vision and experience of Kamol into a single path. Viewing this exhibition becomes more of a participation in a living event, walking alongside and seeing the world with a traveled artist, and being in the company of an expert translator.