Flowers, Water and Other Places
Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Cole Case. Culled from two years of observing and drawing on site, the artist has created a body of work both eclectic and incisive. Intuitively traveling to locations throughout Southern California, Case has found the extraordinary in the familiar: cement river beds, high desert landscape, or sunflowers arranged in left over plastic water bottles. Beginning with small ballpoint pen and wash drawings, the artist uses his primary information (much as the Hudson River School artists) in his studio as notes to create a new vision of his experience. Different from the Impressionists and California Plein Air painters who made their paintings on site, Case uses iPhone and iPad app technology to isolate and match specific color elements.
Southern California has been a subject long attractive to artists such as David Hockney, Ed Ruscha or John Divola, each using landscape as the vessel or context for ideas. Unlike the many faux Hockney stylists, it is Case's drawn line which enervates his pictures with a distinctly subjective language and voice. It is the signature flow of his hand into elegant forms, countered by immediate swaths of paint that give the work a pleasurable and carnal urgency. His landscapes are void of human presence, each a stage for the mind's projections. Case's floral still life works continue a traditional lineage from Dutch masters to Manet to Warhol - some even on a Warhol museum-scale at nine by seven feet.
Landscape, water, and flowers provide a perfect mirror for the human psyche and have for hundreds of years as sensual traps for reflecting beauty, mortality, brevity or fear. Case uses the tactile and physical qualities of paint to engage the senses and his subject matter as a construct for language of emotions; bridging visual experience to classic themes.
Case has recently been included in The Painted Desert at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, curated by Andi Campognone, and Underground Pop at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, curated by David Pagel. He has shown at Howard House in Seattle, Washington; University of California Irvine, Irvine, California; Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, California and the Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles, among other venues.