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6018 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
June 2nd, 2007 - June 30th, 2007
Opening: June 2nd, 2007 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tues-Sat 11am-6pm

Carl Berg Gallery is pleased to present new work by Joshua Aster, Timothy Nolan and Steve Schmidt, in a three-person group exhibition titled Fractal. The exhibition focuses on how these three artists use the fractal to create their work.

A “fractal” as described by Merrian-Webster Dictionary is any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size.

In colloquial usage, a fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole". The term was coined by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning "broken" or "fractured". (Wikipedia)

Because fractals appear similar at all levels of magnification, they are often considered to be infinitely complex. Natural objects that approximate fractals to a degree include clouds, mountain ranges, lightning bolts, coastlines, and snow flakes. (Wikipedia)

As nature creates complex structures by repeating elements, artists have used these similar processes to create their artwork. By mimicking this process of nature rather than its physical image Aster, Nolan and Schmidt have created works that are systematic but in the hand of these artists the fractal is no longer a simple computerized image; mathematically accurate, logical or orderly but instead the parts sum a total product of each own artists’ hand and imagination. By leaving their processes open to human error, and spontaneity, the process creates its own rhythm and pattern, forming its own system. The system, however perfect or logical it may appear, is not. In these works fallibility creates an illusion of perfection and harmony as a sum of its parts.

Joshua Aster, a recent graduate from UCLA (2007), will feature a series of new paintings whose subtle character is formed through various repeated marks of different sizes and shapes. Several paintings will be included in the exhibition along with an installation on the wall composed of a grid of couple of dozen small works. Although each painting in this series can vary visually from one another in its composition, there is an underlying order within each work that connects each piece to one another. Although Aster's work may at first seem to be the least fractal-like it is the geometry of his own mark that orders his paintings in a subtle but yet quite mathematical order. His gesture seems quite random yet also quite sure and it is this perfect balance that completes the order in his work.

Timothy Nolan, a veteran of the LA-art scene, has been exploring the fractal through various bodies of work over the last 15 years. From sculpture to painting to collage and installation Nolan has used grids, repeating elements and patterns throughout his entire career. In the current body of work that he will be presenting for this exhibition Nolan will feature an installation made from geometric shapes that are cut from sheets of paper in shades of grey, reflective silver and white velum. When grouped together these shapes create an undulating mass that appears to recede and project from the surface of the wall while forming a fractal pattern that is geometric yet formless at the same time.

Steve Schmidt, who has also been exploration repeating elements and shapes for over a decade, has continued his exploration of material with a series of works cut and assembled from plastic bottles. Each work is formed from an accumulation of hundreds of gallon-sized plastic milk bottles creating a circular mass that hangs on the wall. These flowerlike shapes mimic fractal forms found in nature as in the pedals of a flower but upon closer inspection the illusion is revealed exposing the dualistic nature of Schmidt's ongoing investigation of the manmade and nature.

Aster’s, Nolan’s and Schmidt’s work all explore the intersection of man and nature from its most basic elements and their use of the fractal forms an underlying geometry that in the end recreates nature in its own imperfect perfection.