Death and Life of an Object
(Los Angeles) - Edward Cella Art + Architecture presents Death and Life of an Object, a three person exhibition featuring sculptures and installations by Lynn Aldrich, Laurie Frick and Tim Hawkinson. The transformation of everyday objects and materials into artworks has been a pursuit of all three artists in this exhibition. Whether they are materials found on the street, at a garage sale or at Home Depot, each of these artists has utilized the abundance found in a modern consumerist society to their advantage.
The transformation is, however, the key to this exhibition and their work process. By re-contextualizing and altering the materials or objects, the artists have made them their own. Reference to the object’s or material’s original use may be relevant to the newly transformed artwork, but it is what the artist has done with these items that induce new life, meaning and purpose. Curated by Carl Berg, the exhibition offers insights into innovative strategies for additive sculpture and installation.
Los Angeles based artist, Lynn Aldrich, features several sculptures using everyday materials including a large-format work entitled, Hydra Hydrant (2009). The work is a direct expression of the possibilities of a particular, ordinary material to take on transcendent meaning through complex associations. In Greek mythology, the Hydra is a many headed monster, a water snake, growing back two heads for each one cut off, killed by Hercules who cauterized its reproducing tentacles. For Aldrich, the do-it-yourself plastic downspouts are constructed into a “hydrant” which seems to emerge from the ground in a spurt of growth or energy. For her, it represents the problems associated with a consumer-driven culture and the increasing urgency of unchecked growth within a limited natural environment. Simultaneously, it is a humorous, yet wryly elegant “fountain” which blesses the viewer with a kind of implied renewal.
Texas based artist Laurie Frick adopts a daily regimen of self-tracking that measures her activities and body, and in doing so shapes a vocabulary of pattern used to construct her intricately hand-built works and installations. Her quantifiable patterns, like her heart rate, the duration of her sleep or body weight are some of the metrics that inspire her colorful and complex works. In Walking, Week- 42, Frick constructs an immersive collage recording the length and directions of her daily walks with paperback book covers and scraps of paper she finds en route. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a large format installation assembled from the surplus color and pattern samples of an Italian manufacturer of laminates. Corresponding to her systematic tracking of her moods, the mural of kaleidoscopic color chips reflects a familiar human rhythm and replays something inherently unnoticed back into the physical world.
Tim Hawkinson is recognized for his transformation of everyday materials into complex sculptural systems though surprisingly simple means. Hawkinson is an alchemist bringing life from the inert: magically transforming common material into living artworks. This exhibition features three series of his sculptural work that explore the human body. The first are portraits made from sculpted foam and found eyeglasses. These three dimensional wall mounted works suggest topographical maps but also are humorous caricatures with their shallow reliefs and bent eyeglasses depicting facial contortions.
Hawkinson's continued exploration of his own body is featured in the two remaining works in the exhibition. The first is Foot Quilt (2007), a large-scale sculptural work that is an enlargement of his actual footprint. Draped from the gallery wall extending onto the floor, the quilt presents an outline of his foot embroidered as its pattern. Especially made for the exhibition, the other work is the artist’s latest piece and represents an enlargement of his fingers posed in an unusual position. Accurately portraying his appendage, the details of every line of his fingerprints are revealed.
In Conversation: Lynn Aldrich and Laurie Frick with curator Carl Berg
Saturday, February 25, 2012/ 4:00 PM
6018 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Join curator Carl Berg as he leads a conversation with artist Lynn Aldrich and Laurie Frick about selected projects that lead to a discussion of the intersection of materials and process, craft and aesthetics in each of the artist’s practices.
Lynn Aldrich is a Los Angeles based artist who has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world, with large scale installations most recently seen at Art Center College of Design (2008), Otis College of Art and Design (2009), and a public fountain sponsored by the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2010). She received a City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship Award and the Art Here and Now Los Angeles County Museum of Art purchase award. Aldrich received her B.A. in English Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her MFA at the Art Center College of Design.
Laurie Frick was born in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in Austin, Texas and Brooklyn, New York. Formerly an executive in high technology, she holds an M.B.A from the University of Southern California. In 2007, she completed her MFA from New York Studio School and has since completed many artist residencies, most recently at the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Djerassi Program. Her recent solo exhibition at Edward Cella Art+ Architecture, Sleep Patterns (2011), was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.
Carl Berg, the guest curator of the exhibition, has been deeply engaged in the Los Angeles contemporary art community as a curator and former gallerist. As Director of the newly formed experimental art space, THE PROSPECTUS, which is part of the Pacific Design Center’s DESIGN LOVES ART program, Berg provides artists, writers and curators with a venue to propose their ideas. Berg is also currently the curator at the Irvine Fine Arts Center the City of Irvine.
In Conversation: Lynn Aldrich, Benjamin Ball and Merry Norris with art critic Scarlet Cheng
Tuesday, March 13, 2012/ 6:30 PM
Presented at and in collaboration with the Architecture + Design Museum
6032 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Join art critic Scarlet Cheng in a conversation with artist Lynn Aldrich, architect Benjamin Ball and art consultant Merry Norris about their recent public art projects and how they address the role of art in the built environment.
Scarlet Cheng received her BA from the School of International Service at American University, Washington, DC, and an MA in Film Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked in programming at the Public Broadcasting Service, in editorial at Time-Life Books, and during a sojourn in Hong Kong, she was the managing editor of Asian Art News, the first English-language magazine devoted to the contemporary arts of Asia. Currently, she teaches film history at Otis College of Art & Design, and writes about arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times, The Art Newspaper, Artillery magazine, and numerous other publications.
Benjamin Ball studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He began his collaboration with fellow SCI- Arc graduate Gaston Nogues in 2004. Together, Ball and Nogues explore the nexus of art, architecture, and industrial design. Their works have been exhibited at major institutions throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; PS1; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Venice Biennale; and the Hong Kong, Shenzhen Biennale; and the Beijing Biennale.
Merry Norris has been deeply engaged in the Los Angeles art community as an arts advocate, consultant, and curator through numerous roles, including being instrumental in the founding of Museum of Contemporary Art (1979-84) and as Executive Director of Gateway to L.A (1998-2001). She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and as Founding Trustee for the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Founding Merry Norris Contemporary Art in 1978, Norris has provided curatorial services to private collectors, public institutions, and developers, facilitating public installations and permanent public artworks across Southern California.
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