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DiviNation

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20120328174435-cortez_blood_vessel
Blood Vessel (Detail), 2012 Charcoal On Paper 30" X 22" © Jaime Cortez
DiviNation

1201 6th Street
Second Floor
Berkeley, CA 94710
February 18th, 2012 - April 22nd, 2012
Opening: February 18th, 2012 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.martinajohnston.org
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
East Bay
EMAIL:  
martinajohnston@gmail.com
PHONE:  
510.558.0993
OPEN HOURS:  
Sundays 1 - 4 p.m.
TAGS:  
mixed-media, installation, video-art, conceptual, figurative, sculpture
COST:  
free

DESCRIPTION

The Martina }{ Johnston Gallery is proud to present "DiviNation," an exhibition featuring new works by Bay Area artist Jaime Cortez. 

Cortez is presenting a series of bold yet exquisitely detailed charcoal drawings. An initial impression of abstract form unfurls to reveal imagery merged from two disparate sources - anatomical scanning electron photomicrographs and historical paintings created to serve nationalistic interests. They prompt a branching series of inquiries about our physical form and the process of forging national identity through imagery. As we try to recall the historical paintings used as sources, such as David’s "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" or Leutze’s "Washington Crossing the Delaware," our attention is directed to the artist’s choice to render certain forms as bodily and to leave others as void. Becoming aware of our widening perception and the conceptual substructure of Cortez’s work, we are caught in a loop of filling the void from memory, and finding conditions to relate the ‘negative space of the positive form’ to the molecules of our body.

In an exciting counterpoint, Cortez creates an exuberantly interactive sculptural installation in the screening room, which follows up these queries in an unavoidably physical manner. The immediacy of physical threat turns ecstatic turns violent turns playful turns conceptually concrete. We are caught in yet another kind of inescapable loop.

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