Otis College of Art and Design to Present Exhibition
Splendid Entities: 25 Years of Objects by Phyllis Green
LOS ANGELES – September, 2010 – Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to present the exhibition Splendid Entities: 25 Years of Objects by Phyllis Green, to be held January 18 through March 19, 2011 at Ben Maltz Gallery. The exhibition is co-curated by independent curators Jo Lauria and Tim Christian. A public opening reception takes place Saturday, January 22, 4-6pm, with public tours and workshops to be announced.
The first large-scale survey to present the innovative sculptures of Los Angeles based artist Phyllis Green, Splendid Entities highlights the important contribution Green has made to art and craft for more than two decades. Throughout her career Green has used the traditional techniques of craft to achieve unconventional outcomes in the realm of fine art. Cleverly combining such materials as clay, wood and fiber, she produces sculpture that pushes beyond the traditional boundaries of craft and challenges the lingering modernist assumption that decoration and ornament are enemies of high art. Many of her mixed media objects are hybrids of symbolic male and female representation: perforated and projecting, soft and hard, inside and outside. In her series Turkish Bath, amorphous organic forms recline on pillows, invoking the captive, reclining nudes in J.A.D. Ingres' Le Bain Turc, the painting from which the series takes its name. They are loaded to evoke all manner of “female” allusions by their small size and by the multi-layered use of flocking, feathers and fabric. The use of body imagery as form and content, and the location of the body as a site of desire and identity are consistent features of Green's artistic output between 1985-2010, the period on which the exhibition focuses.
This exhibition includes over forty objects, including small-scale reductive sculpture from the mid 1980's; an installation that recreates a portion of Green’s acclaimed Turkish Bath series; works from the Hairdo series; groundbreaking pairings of actual and virtual modeled objects that represent her work with animation video; and a provocative grouping of new forms, not previously exhibited, in clay and fabric that the artist refers to as “Odd Old Things.”
Raised in Canada, Phyllis Green moved to California and received her M.F.A. from UCLA in 1981. During the decades that established LA as a major force in global contemporary art, she developed a career as an influential and respected artist, teacher, curator and arts activist in the region. In addition to commentary on issues of feminism and craft, her practice reveals the pervasive influence of modernism and the recurrent expression of the self, themes that have preoccupied many West Coast artists. Few, however, have produced the witty and polished bodies of work that Green has done so consistently. She is the recipient of individual artist's fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, The Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Santa Monica, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation; and was among the first group of artists awarded a COLA grant by the City of Los Angeles in 1996. Her work has been exhibited extensively locally, nationally and internationally. She has lectured in colleges and universities around the world, and currently is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola Marymount University and Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California. Phyllis Green produced and hosted a radio show on the visual arts, “LOOK/ hear” on KXLU, Los Angeles, from 1996-1998. She was appointed to the Santa Monica Arts Commission in 2000, and served as Chair from 2004 to 2006.
A full color catalog in conjunction with the exhibition will be available in February. It will include essays by Sue Spaid, independent curator and adjunct professor in the Department of English and Philosophy, Drexel University; Doug Harvey, artist, writer, curator, and Critic for the LA Weekly; curators Jo Lauria and Tim Christian; and a foreword by Meg Linton, Director of Galleries and Exhibitions at Otis College of Art and Design.