Crossroads: Recent Graduates From Yale, UCLA and Claremont

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What's Kraken?, 2008 © Courtesy of Ruth of Banofner and artist
Crossroads: Recent Graduates From Yale, UCLA and Claremont

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave., G-2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
September 6th, 2008 - October 11th, 2008

santa monica/venice
Tue-Sat 10-6


Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present Crossroads, an exhibition with four graduates and one soon-to-be graduate from Yale, Claremont Graduate University and the University of California Los Angeles.

Claire Baker, UCLA: This series is based on my experiences in Erongaricuaro, a small village in Michoacan, Mexico. In this plein air stage I directly represent natural light, while maintaining the ultimate intention to represent this light through more abstract and physical paint application. This follows the tradition in painting of abstraction as a mode of extraction, as I look to artists throughout history who simultaneously observed the structure of the landscape and abstractly interpreted it to communicate emotional, sensual, and enigmatic visual experiences.

Trang Le, Claremont: Forms and colors on my paintings reflect the constant search for the essence of mood, the spirit in nature and physical surroundings. Often embracing life in the moment, I rely on these moments for colorful memories that I then re-create on canvas. These moments are often as simple as listening to the sounds of raindrops, looking out the window at the early morning dew, or watching the horizon where the water meets the sky.

Beth Livensperger, Yale: I make paintings of familiar places which quietly become surprising. I am drawn to sites which are not quite new, which have been altered in unplanned ways over time. My aim is to create an alternate view of these environments. Tension between an observed space and an imagined one is furthered by a fluctuation between depth and flatness. The paintings suggest that prosaic settings can be reclaimed for non-productive meanderings or contemplation.

Benjamin Britton, UCLA: I see each of the oil paintings as depicting the climax of an event. I’m interested in how the oil paintings reveal and veil what can be seen. I want to see specific information about an ambiguous situation. The allegory of the approach alludes to the brinksmanship I believe we play with chaos in our individual and collective experience. In these paintings I see a romantic impulse that bends inevitably towards self-destruction. The relationship to the sublime, a dramatic flare, the baroque desire to adorn, and a revelatory feeling are some of the indications of the romantic.

Michael van Straaten, UCLA: The visual aspect of my work is clearly influenced by the natural world that I am in constant awe of. My process includes a close observation into the laws, systems and structures present in nature. I use my discoveries to create new systems and structures that echo the harmony of the natural world. I have been prompted to inquire into the nature of this underlying harmony and this on-going inquiry plays a major role in my work.

For further information please call 310 829 3300 or visit