Time, Space & Matter: Five Installations Exploring Natural Phenomena

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studio shot of works in progress for First Light and Its Refracting Powers, 2014 © Courtesy of the Artist
Time, Space & Matter: Five Installations Exploring Natural Phenomena
Curated by: Betty Ann Brown

490 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
May 4th, 2014 - August 31st, 2014
Opening: May 3rd, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wed-Sun 12–5; 3rd Thursdays: 5–8


The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is proud to present Time, Space & Matter: Five Installations Exploring Natural Phenomena, an exhibition that brings together six California artists who use scientific data and techniques, as well as materials and media as varied as wood, glass, metal, video, ice, and sound in their examinations.

The artists—Lita Albuquerque, Suvan Geer, Mineko Grimmer, and Christine Nguyen as well as the collaborative team of George Geyer and Tom McMillin—create works that are both aesthetically resonant and imminently approachable.

The artists use natural processes to highlight the fundamental mechanisms of change, renewal, and decay. Incorporating sound, video, yellow cornmeal, a wax bird’s nest, and a gnarled tree trunk suspended from the ceiling of the PMCA Project Room, Suvan Geer’s A Space with Two Movements installation suggests the physical tension of life balanced precariously in time’s always still, yet forever on-rushing, present moment. George Geyer and Tom McMillin’s Floating Gravitational Arc is comprised of long curves of tempered glass that bend and sway in response to the gravitational environment, creating a poetic space that is both inviting and foreboding. Mineko Grimmer’s installation involves pebbles frozen into ice cones that are suspended above delicate wooden constructions. As the ice melts, the pebbles cascade into the slats of wood below creating subtle and meditative sounds that invite contemplation on space and the passage of time. Christine Nguyen’s installation First Light and Its Refracting Powers features a mural comprised of folded photographic papers that have been exposed to light, heat, and salt. On some of the sheets of paper, salt has crystallized to create biomorphic geometric designs. In front of the wall stand octahedron glass prisms that contain salt water composed to create crystals over the duration of the exhibition. Lita Albuquerque’s “Sometimes the sea is silver, sometimes it is actually red, other times it is an azure blue” Or is it ultramarine? employs the artist’s signature brilliant blue to create a resonant curtain that defines her installation space. It stands in poetic visual dialogue with three time-laden sculptures: a pair of honey-filled hourglasses and a conical mound of salt that will be poured in a performance upon the exhibition’s opening.

Through these explorations, the artists address what composer and artist John Cage identified as the function of art—“to imitate nature in her manner of operation”—by re-situating, commenting on, and giving new form to environmental processes and the various histories of human interaction with them.

The exhibition is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by art historian, critic, and curator Betty Ann Brown who is also the co-curator of June Wayne: Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries on view concurrently.



Saturday, May 3, 2014
Opening Reception
$5 admission
Free for PMCA members