In celebration of the 90th anniversary of Otis College of Art & Design, AndrewShire Gallery is pleased to present In the Round, a group exhibition of artworks by Otis graduates Andrew Armstrong, Steven Bankhead, Jesse Benson, Annie Buckley, Juan Capistran, Ginny Cook, Carla Danes, Rashell George, Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, Matt MacFarland, Ruben Ochoa, Mike Rogers, and Carly Steward.The show was organized by artist Ed Gomez in cooperation with Director of Otis Alumni Relations, Sarah Russin, for the citywide series of exhibitions OTIS ACROSS LA.
The exhibition will consist of text-based work, digital photography, site-specific sculpture and drawing made by artists who have graduated with BFA or MFA degrees from Otis College of Art & Design. The show highlights a multiplicity of artists’ production processes with images and objects that bring together a range of distinct conceptual interests. The group establishes a new circle of artists working in the contemporary setting – artists in the round.
Andrew Armstrong, Jesse Benson, Steven Bankhead, Carla Danes, and Ed Gomez are in some measure devoted to making objects. Andrew Armstrong and Steven Bankhead often use literary references in their work. For example, Bankhead’s sculpture “Please Kill Me” was inspired by the title of a book about punk. Jesse Benson and Carla Danes moderately adopt the world of nature. While Benson has shaped a giant floor-to-ceiling sculpture titled “Stalagfight” that mimics nature’s epic internal struggles between stalactite and stalagmite formations, Danes explores the weirdness beneath her imaginary tropical sea with even stranger than real found items. Ed Gomez too provides his perspective through a sculptural corner piece called “Trying to Make Green” which he made by pouring blue and yellow paint inside two fluorescent tubes. The art of drawing also has a place in this exhibition with large-scale proposals by qualified draftsmen Juan Capistran, Luis G. Hernandez, and Ruben Ochoa.
Juan Capistran offers a wall-sized sound/drawing resonant of his work in the “Phantom Sightings” show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Luis G. Hernandez has made a new drawing of a three-dimensional “painting” he produced in 2003. And Ruben Ochoa, who was chosen for the 2008 Whitney Biennale and “Phantom Sightings” at LACMA, will show two drawings from his Whitney project.
Some artists like Annie Buckley, Ginny Cook, and Carly Steward use digital imaging or photography in their work. Annie Buckley, who is also a writer, produces digital prints which help in visualizing verbs beginning with the letter s. Ginny Cook too makes word-friendly works on color photographic paper but using plant names of mostly endangered flowers. Carly Steward, on the other hand, takes photographs of stands and supports that advance the abstract journeys of museum masterpieces.
Some artists in the show manage the production of their work in other ways. Rashell George alters printed found material from books and magazines to create eerie dreamscapes where the imaginary can seem oddly true. Matt MacFarland aligns the overproduction of genetic material in an organism with overabundance in our culture by taking up the idea of “mutation” in his body of work which ranges from sculpture and eyewitness accounts to photomontage. Mike Rogers speaks humorously through a sawdust floor piece inscribed with the name of Los Angeles conceptual artist John Knight. Knight is known for his interest in labor and how it relates to the production of art.