Figure | Ground
Figure | Ground Artists' Statements
Lynn Bostick, Collage
My composed images, always figurative, are used to express what can seem to be occurring between people at certain moments within particular settings and situations. Though I often show scenes on a beach, at a pool side, out on a terrace or on a boat deck, all very intriguing locations for my imagination, lately, I have been concentrating on interior scenes. These insular settings seem to offer subtle possibilities for quiet, understated conversation and interaction; in addition, constructing interior spaces enables me to invent countless variations of shapes, patterns and color combinations.
Renee Carriere, Sculpture
With my figurative work I am trying to incorporate the subjective sensation of what it’s like to occupy space or to move through it. I use newspaper with its bits of information, words and images to suggest the fleeting transient quality of these experiences.
Michael Diven, Paintings
The inspiration for my art comes from dreams, memories, stories, everyday occurrences and political or environmental concerns. The p aintings include anything I feel I need to comment on artistically.
The images are open for interpretation. I want my art to be visually interesting as well as intellectually and spiritually provoking. Although the subject matter is diverse, the techniques used in the paintings and drawings serve as a “thread” tying the work together.
The symbols in my art represent transitions, conversations with the past, or a search for new growth and promise for the future. The words and numbers in some pieces become part of the design as well as hinting at the narrative.
Robert Hartman, Photographs
The transforming nature of low-altitude flight (1,000 to 8,000 feet above ground level) has always been enthralling to me. It is one of the reasons I am incurably addicted to flying, and it is a constant spur to my art.
One of the goals of my work is to combine clarity of form with ambiguity of reference. The latter property evokes uncertainty in the viewer (“What’s going on here? What is it I’m looking at?”) and if strong enough ultimately generates mystery, which I consider A Very Good Thing. It’s what pulls us back repeatedly to look at an image. Art that lacks it risks quick dismissal.
I have used color infrared film almost exclusively for aerial photography since 1998. If flight itself is transformational to our perception, this film increases that effect fivefold. I delight in its saturated color and unpredictability: the only thing I can be sure of beforehand is that green vegetation will register as bright red or magenta. All else is usually a surprise when I get the film back, often pleasant, sometimes even rapturous.
It will be quickly apparent to viewers that my photographs always incorporate evidence of human presence on the earth. These traces of our activity on the land can be jarring, bizarre, impenetrably puzzling, exquisitely beautiful, or profoundly depressing, but they seldom fail to be visually fascinating.
In every case, the photographs are straightforward, i.e., unmanipulated.
Joseph Romano, Sculpture
Post War California artist, Joseph Romano (1911-1985) attended the California College of Arts and Crafts and the California School of Fine Arts. He has exhibited in many reknown institutions such as San Francisco Art Association at the San Francisco Museum of, San Francisco Art Institute, Oakland Art Museum, and California Palace of The Legion of Honor, San Francisco throughout out his career.
Thomas Albright wrote in his essay in 1979 Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980 "A sculptor of extraordinary strength, depth and resonance." His work is included in the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum.
Louis Siegriest, Paintings
Louis Bassi Siegriest (1899-1989) was a native of California, born in Oakland in 1899. Siegriest studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts as well as at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco. As a young man, he fell in to the painting group that would be known as the “Society of Six, “ who rebelled against the somber tones prevalent in California art, preferring the palette of the French Fauvists. The Six actively exhibited in Oakland through the 1920’s before disbanding.
Siegriest moved on to abstract painting in his middle years. However, he seldom departed from the possibilities presented by the western landscape, and found inspiration during regular trips to New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. In 1972, the Oakland Museum featured a major retrospective of Siegriest's work.
“I have always been interested in the spectacular terrain of the deserts of the West - the magnitude of the desert cliffs. I have departed from the traditional landscape without feeling it necessary to disown my native desert subjects, without entirely becoming purely abstract or non-objective, but have taken its advantages.”
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