Six California artists peel back boundaries between the recognizable and abstract and explore the power of symbolism and personal revelation in PeelingBack, the first exhibition of the 2016-17 academic year at the California State University, Dominguez Hills University Art Gallery. The exhibition will be on display from Sept. 14 through Oct. 5.
Nurit Avesar, Elana Kundell, Susan Kurland, Janet Neuwalder, Sigrid Orlet, and Peggy Pownall literally and symbolically keep uncovering layers in order to discover what is beneath the surface, or even perhaps, to get a glimpse of the core. In their third exhibition as a group, these six artists continue the evolution of their visual dialogue, with new works in a variety of media, as they excavate ideas, memories, and connections inspired by T.S. Eliot’s phrase “a lifetime burning in every moment.”
PeelingBack is curated by artist Carol Shaw-Sutton, who in 2015 co-curated the popular Fiberlicious exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park, as well as juried the Textile Society of America’s contemporary fiber exhibition at Craft and Folk Art Museum.
An opening reception for the artists will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the University Art Gallery. In conjunction with the opening, at 6 p.m. there will be a conversation with all the artists.
The University Art Gallery is located on the first floor of LaCorte Hall, room A-107, on the campus of CSUDH, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson. Admission is free. Hours are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitor parking in campus lots is permitted with a valid parking pass, sold for $6 at yellow dispensing machines in each campus lot.
For more information, contact (310) 243-3334.
More about the artists:
Nurit Avesar’s large mixed media pieces combine and juxtapose fragments of paintings. She sands, tears, and collages the surfaces of her work, often including rust, thread, and paper. The final images are surprising visuals: faded, ghostly images of the initial surfaces merged with the bolder, brighter layers that were added later. These intriguing surfaces convey both vulnerability and dynamism. They invoke the reexamination of cultural legacies and historical events and their weight on the present.
Elana Kundell’s primary concern is color. Fascinated with the edges of color, its shapes, luminosity, instability and relationships, she compares color to music in its immediacy to experience and emotions. Her recent paintings are meditations in which experience and memory are synthesized into visual understanding, and transformed into a visceral and sensual new reality.
Susan Kurland credits her artistic inspiration to the creativity and bonds of her family of female stitchers. That and a theatre and fashion background are recalled in her use of thread and fabric to “draw” textured abstract pieces.
Working primarily in clay, Janet Neuwalder coats, dips, and layers natural and industrial materials with ceramic raw materials, then fires them into “contemporary fossils” that invite reflection upon how objects are born and transformed by nature. Her wall installations and collections of objects seem to be poised on the edge of existence, somewhere between deterioration and growth. For Neuwalder, fragility is strength.
Sigrid Orlet’s layered mixed media works reference the exhibit title, exposing what is usually hidden beneath the surface. In all of these works, she is concerned with unearthing the roots of being human as an aspect of the coherent whole of existence.
A mixed media painter, Peggy Pownall states that she is interested in a visual expression of themes such as identity, longings, personal mythology, iconic memories and the turning-point significance of any given time and place. Her process, which includes layering, sanding, and stitching, creates an historical journey for a painting’s surface, which is a metaphor for life’s narrative.
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