George Billis Gallery is pleased to present All Manner Of Things, the gallery’s third solo show of new work by Barbara Strasen. This show is part of a series of exhibitions of contemporary Southern California artists connected to the artists and designers being highlighted in the Pacific Standard Time events. The exhibition continues through March 24th.
Barbara Strasen’s work is about the potential beauty of complexity, the apparent chaos of contradictory images. "My perennial focus is in finding connections between unlike images that echo the way in which our perceptions are underlaid by memories and by cultural, historical, and archetypal images."
There is a wonderful structure, a harmony, even a calm that underlies these storms. In viewing, disparate images become juxtaposed, revealing a congruence and commonality between them. The discovery of the commonality between the component images, and the resulting integration of opposites, induces a wider experience of empathy and we find ourselves swimming toward serenity. As might be expected, this work does not read quickly—the images and the relationships between them reveal themselves slowly, and surprise is an essential part of the experience.
Strasen’s visual means include drawing, painting, collage, installation, and lenticular art works. Most of the imagery relies upon her own painted versions of existing two-dimensional motifs, but these are mixed with graphically, or even photographically derived components. In addition to conventional paintings and drawings, Strasen has worked with multi-layered transparent media (e.g., Mylar and Plexiglas) and with lenticular lenses that allow combining multiple images in a single visual field.
Since graduating from UC Berkeley, Strasen has taught at the UC San Diego, exhibited extensively in museums and galleries in Europe and USA, curated exhibitions and executed numerous public commissions. Her work has been featured at Archeus Fine Art, London; Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, FL; Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT; Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY; Jaggedart, London; Galerie Neue Anstandigkeit, Berlin; Budapest Galerie, Budapest; Galerie Soloblu, Milan; Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York; Het Apollohuis, Eindhoven, NL; P.S. 1, New York; Colburn School Of Music, Los Angeles; Pfizer Corporation, Walton Oaks and Sandwich, UK; Whitney Museum Of Art, New York; Santa Barbara Museum Of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Rutgers Art Gallery, Rutgers, NJ; TwoTen Gallery of the Wellcome Trust, London; Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria; Flash Art Museum, Trevi, Italy; Fischer Art Gallery, USC, Los Angeles; Wolfson Art Gallery, Miami-Dade College, Miami; Gutenberg Pavillion, Mainz, Germany; Loyola Marymount Unversity, Los Angeles; Austin Art Museum, Austin, TX; Center For Life Sciences, Newcastle, UK; Galeria Palacio, Porto, Portugal.
In addition to the exhibition, there will also be an illustrated monograph on the artist with an essay by Virginia Maksymowicz and Blaise Tobia. Virginia Maksymowicz is a Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA; while Blaise Tobia, is a Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Wesphal College, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.