Up (Off the Base)
Los Angeles Valley College Art Gallery is pleased to present Up (Off the Base), a group exhibition that explores hanging sculptures by artists Carol Bishop, Rebekah Bogard, Jamison Carter, Olga Koumoundouros, Jason Kunke, John Pearson, Katie Queen, Jaime Scholnick, and Joe Suzuki. Up opens October 17 and closes December 12, 2013. The gallery will host a reception for the artists on Thursday, October 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.
American color field painter Barnett Newman once remarked that sculpture is what you bump into when backing up to see a painting. Up (Off the Base) takes that statement as a subversive point of departure and examines sculptural objects that are created notfor display on the pedestal or the ground. In Up, nine artists explore color, surface texture, and the intersection of paint and material. In addition, almost all of the pieces embody an additive element of paint in them, further complicating the traditional definitions of sculpture.
Carol Bishop’s constructed and painted, wooden sculptures resemble the geometric forms found in Kazimir Malevich’s paintings. Bishop investigates Modernist architectural structures as organic entities and distills delineated forms from them to create abstract pieces that possess a formal presence.
Rebekah Bogard’s fantastical and hybridized floral object—laboriously handcrafted, low-fired earthenware—pushes the traditional definitions of femininity through the use of color and curvy lines within her sculptural work; she embraces pink colors and spherical shapes not as conventionally engendered symbols but as empowering re-contextualization of femininity.
Jamison Carter’s bizarre sculptures—constructed globs of acrylic paint on commercial grade Tyvek—hang like paintings but exude tactile dimensions, resembling alien-like creatures and orifices that both reveal and repel.
Olga Koumoundouros’s ceiling lamps—recycled milk jugs collaged with grocery store circulars—address the fundamental principle of the American Dream, which is home ownership, inviting viewers to consider the ties---emotional, financial, and psychological—that bind us to the place we call home. Her readymade objects serve as stand-in symbols of the political and personal fallout of the recent housing market collapse.
Jason Kunke’s Grace Hartigan piece quotes from a statement made by the American Abstract Expressionist painter of that name. This work—a replica of a nonfunctional, neon sign made entirely of steel—metaphorically comments not only on the accessibility of fabrication in the post-industrial condition but also on the denial of what a neon sign promises to deliver.
John Pearson’s painted, wooden sculpture/sculptural painting evokes a 1950s cool, a stacking of minimal, oval shapes that resemble a Jetsons’s spacecraft or a streamlined, abstract totem.
Katie Queen’s ceramic work—heavily inspired by organic forms—call attention to materiality and craftsmanship, both of which the artist minds and covets, respectively. Utilizing rich pigments and complex designs, Queen sculpts process-oriented objects that originate from her own memory and also invention. The resulting works express both a fragility and sturdiness.
Jaime Scholnick—using discarded, unaltered polystyrene packing material as her medium—merges color harmonies with bold lines to produce abstract works that transform “garbage” into refined objects of art. Scholnick’s brightly painted pieces speak volumes about humankind’s throwaway culture.
Joe Suzuki—employing common materials such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), raw canvas, and plastic—creates meticulously crafted sculptures that explore materiality, trompe l’oeil, color and personal history. The artist investigates his mixed cultural background by celebrating its eccentricities, fusing childhood memories with fantasy.