Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lawrence Manning: Flames / India

Detail of Flames / India (2011) by Lawrence Manning
Digital archival print
48 X 72 inches

With just a few more days left to TAM's South Bay Focus 2012, I figured we could spotlight another artist. This time, let's appreciate the work of Lawrence Manning, one of the few photographers selected for this exhibition.

Given that the selection steered away from representational works, it is important to take note of the special use of color and geometric pattern within these photographs. Although clearly and effectively documenting people, places, and objects, Manning also constructs compositions that go beyond mere representation.

Be it by capturing the trails of smoke or the smudging of paste, the play of shadow and light, these photographs have intriguing nonrepresentational elements. They can be appreciated for their abstract qualities. Their beauty goes beyond mere objectification, although they can equally be enjoyed for that as well. ;-)

Detail of Here I Am / India (2011) by Lawrence Manning
Digital archival print
20 X 24 inches

Remember, this show ends on Saturday, December 15.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

South Bay Focus 2012: Closing December 15

Works by Arzu Arda Kosar, Michael Chomick, and Vanessa Madrid

The TAM's annual show, South Bay Focus, will be wrapping up this weekend. When the doors shut on this exhibition, they also close on the museum for the year. Yeah, we'll be back next year, bringing all sorts of fascinating works of art, engaging panel discussions, and raising plenty of thought-provoking ideas about culture and aesthetics in the South Bay.

But don't wait until January comes to enjoy the riches that our local museum has to offer. With only a few days left, don't miss out on viewing the current show. And, if you've already had the opportunity to see it, come back and give it another look. ;-)

Here are a couple videos of Grace Kook Anderson, the juror behind this year's show, discussing how she went about selecting the exhibited works:

It's an interesting show.

But it wraps this upcoming Saturday, December 15. Don't miss out!!!

South Bay Focus 2012

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jesus Max: The Messenger & Time Warp

Detail from The Messenger (2012) by Jesus Max
Oil on canvas on panel
41 x 25 inches

Here's a brief "spotlight" post for our South Bay Focus exhibit, which is running at the Torrance Art Museum until December 15th. This time, we're looking at a couple of works by Jesus Max, The Messenger and Time Warp (After Roger Van Der Weyden). These two works have rich symbolic imagery and interesting references to historical themes of traditional art.

The contrast between the traditional and contemporary elements raises questions for the viewer. Are we to evaluate the painting's premise as commentary upon "Old Master" topics? Or is this a play on the absurd, a parody? Or, perhaps, it is an appropriation of an established visual vocabulary used in expressing something totally new, informed by art history but looking towards emergent aesthetics?

Whatever the case, these works are stimulating and engaging images. Come by the TAM and check them out. ;-)

Detail of Time Warp (After Roger Van Der Weyden) by Jesus Max
Oil on canvas on panel
24 x 77 1/2 inches

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

South Bay Focus 2012: Opening Night

South Bay Focus 2012: Opening Night

It's time for the Torrance Art Museum's annual celebration of our local art scene, the South Bay Focus. Although the exhibit has been open for a few days now, last night was our official opening. It was a fun time, with plenty of engaging art and delicious treats. ;-)

The show runs until December 15. That's not much time to enjoy this special show. So, don't delay coming around to check it out.

And here are some more images from the reception to give you all a taste of the fine works on display, representing the tastes and talents of our homecrowd artists.

Snacks along Video Row

Along the North Wall of Gallery One

Along the South Wall of Gallery One

Looking at Michael Chomick's Doghouse (2012)

Looking at Lindsey Schulz's Keep Out of Reach (2012) in Gallery Two

Along the East Wall in Gallery One

Remember, this is a short exhibition, ending on Saturday, December 15. Don't miss it!!!

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial

Detail of Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial (2012) by Molly Jo Shea
59 X 24.5 inches

Well, we're entering our final week of The Subterraneans here at the TAM.

I figure we can wrap up the show with a few more exhibition spotlight posts. Today, we're looking at the humorous and satirical work by Molly Jo Shea, Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial. Taking as inspiration the 1972 iconic nude Burt Reynolds centerfold, published in Cosmopolitan magazine, Shea transformed the image through yarn into a shag rug.

It's an interesting examination of sexual objectification. Back in 1972, the image was intended to posit "eye candy" for women, an act of "sex positive" feminism. Although contemporary marketing of such sexuality towards women is still alive and well, as this year's movie, Magic Mike, demonstrates with impressive box office earnings, the overt "beefcake" approach of 1970's "sex positive" feminism seems a bit vulgar, awkward and humorous.

Therefore, the transformation into a shag rug feels appropriate. The discomfort induced by the image's now inappropriate sexuality is softened into a funny textile cartoon, draining it of all erotic expressiveness. But it raises the question as to what exactly is "cheap and superficial." Is it the original centerfold with its overt appeal to female carnal desires? Or is it the modern sensual sensibility that rejects the exuberance of yesterday's sexual revolution?

Here's a vid:

Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial by Molly Jo Shea

The artist-run space that Molly Jo Shea helps run is RAID Projects, located at 602 Moulton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031. Check them out!!!

And, we can't end the post without listening to Burt Reynolds singing.

"Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial" performed by Burt Reynolds

Now, don't delay!!! We close up the show this upcoming Saturday, November 3rd.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM, 'cause "This might be the only chance we get." ;-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Darkroom Presents: Yoshie Sakai

Image from Come One Eat All (2007) by Yoshie Sakai

The Torrance Art Museum has long been a proponent of video art, but displaying it has always been complicated. In setting up an exhibition space, should the videos be intermingled with the paintings, photos, sculptures, and installations? If so, should there be seating and headphones? Alternatively, should the videos be separated into their own video space, with dedicated seating and sound system. Each of these approaches and all the others in between have their advantages.

However, the TAM has decided to open up a new space, The Darkroom, dedicated to exhibiting video art. Yes, our other exhibitions will still continue to include videos, but there is now an exhibition area purely for the showcasing of videos. In our first exhibit, we are featuring the works of Yoshie Sakai.

Humorous, witty, and socially relevant, Yoshie Sakai puts a critical eye to topics as diverse as body image, familial expectations, and mass media concepts of beauty. Combining these satirical critiques with influences from Japanese aesthetics, her videos are engaging, provocative, and entertaining.

Here's one of the works on view in the exhibit:

Come One Eat All

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

XYZ: The Geometric Impulse in Abstract Art

Detail of SWB #1 (2012) by Linda Besemer

Gallery Two is currently hosting "XYZ: The Geometric Impulse in Abstract Art." Organized by Jessica Halonen and Emily Joyce, this exhibit seeks to showcase contemporary works that explore non-objective abstractions, utilizing the design and analytical techniques of geometric structure.

The artists featured in this show are:

Linda Besemer
Claude Collins-Stracensky
Krysten Cunningham
Mark Hagen
Jessica Halonen
Hadley Holliday
Emily Joyce
Dennis Koch
Jessica Mallios
Brad Tucker

It's an engaging exhibition ranging from the subtle to the clamorous, across media from sculpture to painting to video. Exploring concepts from the material to the noumenal, this show raises interesting questions regarding perception and awareness.

View of Gallery Two from behind Jessica Halonen's Rx Garden: Sticky Ends (6)

Here's a video walkthrough of the exhibition:

"XYZ: The Geometric Impulse in Abstract Art"

This show runs until November 3rd.

Don't delay!!! Come by and check it out. ;-)

View of Gallery Two from behind sculptures by Krysten Cunningham.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Matt MacFarland: Clusterfuckwich

Clusterfuckwich (2012) by Matt MacFarland
tinted resin and assorted trash
5 x 6 x 4.5 inches

Here's a spotlight post on one of the works currently displayed in "The Subterraneans: The artists behind LA's artist-run spaces." Matt MacFarland's resin sculpture of sliced bread, into which various bits of trash are embedded, is part of the contingent of art works from Elephant, an art space in Glassell Park.

Although a colorful and humorous piece, Clusterfuckwich plays with the serious emotional contrast between that which is wholesome, such as a loaf of bread, and that which is repugnant, such as discarded trash. Placed in conjunction, it leads one to consider how that which we blindly accept as desired commodities actually contain interior pollutions, hidden within a pleasing presentation.

When we ask for our "daily bread," are we aware of the "trash" inside?

Sideview of Clusterfuckwich (2012) by Matt MacFarland

Elephant is located on 3325 Division St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. Check out the website to find out about the many exciting events that they host.

And here's a video of Matt MacFarland's Clusterfuckwich:

Fun stuff!!!

So,come on by and check out this interesting work for yourself. And, if you're near Glassell Park, pay a visit to the fine folks and Elephant. In either case, it'll be a fun time. ;-)

Clusterfuckwich (2012) by Matt MacFarland

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Subterraneans: Opening Night Photos

The Subterraneans opened on Saturday, September 22, at the TAM.

Last weekend, the TAM opened a set of new exhibitions. In Gallery One, "The Subterraneans" is on view. In Gallery Two, we have "XYZ: The Geometric Impulse in Abstract Art" running. Finally, we've premiered our video gallery, The Dark Room, which is currently featuring works by Yoshie Sakai.

Here are some photos from Opening Night.

XYZ in Gallery Two, including Jessica Halonen's Rx Garden: Sticky Ends (6)

The Dark Room Presents: Yoshie Sakai

The Subterraneans viewed from behind Elonda Billera Norris' Theory of Transformation

Dance and music from Pieter

TAM's Sculpture Patio, featuring Ichiro Irie's RX-Heaven

The Subterraneans viewed from behind Audrey Moyer's This Is My Place

The Subterraneans viewed from behind Mario DiDomenico's Visions and Revisions

Mobile Arts Platform (MAP) charting the Los Angeles experience

The Subterraneans viewed from behind Bianca D'Amico's Planter Study #253 (should be a real plant, but we are without windows)

These shows will be running until Saturday, November 3rd.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Empty Gallery

The Torrance Art Museum is temporarily closed for installation of the next exhibit

Well, another show has wrapped up and we're in that empty space between exhibitions. However, although it looks like there is nothing going on at the TAM, it is actually a hive of activity as preparations are underway for a huge show that opens on Saturday, September 22.

In Gallery 1, we'll be exhibiting "The Subterraneans: The Artists behind LA's Artist-Run Spaces." This will be joined by "XYZ: The Geometric Impulse in Abstract Art" in Gallery 2. Moreover, we will be unveiling our new space, the Video Gallery with recent works by Yoshie Sakai. And in the Hallway Promenade, TAM will be hosting an installation by MAP, "Mobile Art Platform."

Yeah, it'll be a big event with lots of engaging art on view for your edification and enjoyment. ;-)

I'll be writing up some articles over the next few weeks to provide more details, artist lists, photographs and other teasers.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sandra de la Loza: Mural Remix; Artist Unknown

Sandra de la Loza
Mural Remix; Unknown, Artist Unknown, c.1970s
Duratrans in lightbox
Courtesy of the artist

Sandra de la Loza's Mural Remix series is an enthralling reappropriation of the 1970s Los Angeles chicano aesthetic vocabulary. Utilizing imagery from mural paintings, this series highlights thematic elements by focusing upon the details, repeating and reflecting them in geometric patterns. Although evocative of traditional Latin American tile work, the illuminating element of placing these images over a lightbox brings to mind stained glass windows.

It's an interesting style in which to explore and reutilize traditions of previous eras, such as the 1970s chicano movement or colonial era Catholic crafts. Through "remixing" the context and arrangement, Sandra de la Loza creates a new vision, looking back at tradition but forging ahead in search of new aesthetic expressions.

There are three of her works on display in "Baker's Dozen 4." Come check them out!!!

Sandra de la Loza
detail of Mural Remix; Unknown, Artist Unknown, c.1970s
Duratrans in lightbox
Courtesy of the artist

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Unconventional Location

Luis G. Hernandez
Untitled (This Work Is Meant to be Installed in an Unconventional Location Inside the Gallery)
Framed drawing
10 x 8 inches
Courtesy of the artist

Luis G. Hernandez's Untitled is part of TAM's Gallery Two exhibit, 80 Days: A Declaration of Customs.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baker's Dozen: Curatorial Discussion

Panelists included (left to right) Robert Fontenot, Neha Choksi, Madison Webb, Grace Kook Anderson, and Sean C. Flaherty

On Saturday afternoon, the TAM hosted an engaging panel discussion regarding the curatorial concerns involved in putting together a show like Baker's Dozen 4. For instance, since every curator works within a framework of their own interests and biases, what are the methods by which these inclinations may be minimized? Or should a curator embrace their particular vision, pushing it to the forefront of their exhibits as a developing premise?

Baker's Dozen 4 is a case in point on how to explore curatorial bias. In previous years, TAM's curator, Max Presneill, would select thirteen artists that he felt were creating compelling works that were representative of current and emerging trends within the context of the Los Angeles art scene. These shows were very interesting, but reflected Presneill's particular focus and awareness. This year, twelve other local curators were invited to participate in the selection, with each suggesting an artist. The result is a sharp but engaging variety of works.

Before the panel: (back) Neha Choksi, Sean C. Flaherty, (front) Madison Webb, Grace Kook Anderson

The thirteen curators that have put together Baker's Dozen 4 are:

Max Presneill (Torrance Art Museum)
Grace Kook Anderson (Laguna Art Museum)
Carl Berg (Irvine Fine Arts Center)
Scott Canty (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery)
Miki Garcia (Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum)
Julie Joyce (Santa Barbara Museum of Art)
Lisa Melandri (Santa Monica Museum of Art)
Aram Moshayedi (Redcat)
Pilar Tompkins Rivas (18th Street Arts Center)
John Spiak (Grand Central Arts Center)
Tyler Stallings (UCR Culver Center for the ArtsSweeney Art Gallery)
Aandrea Stang (formerly of MOCA)
Irene Tsatsos (Armory Pasadena)

Baker's Dozen 4 runs until September 1, 2012. Come check it out!

Robert Fontenot and Neha Choksi with Micol Hebron of X-TRA magazine

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baker's Dozen 4: Opening Night

Opening Night: Viewing the works of April Street

Our annual "Baker's Dozen" kicked off last night at a full and enthusiastic opening reception. We at the TAM are excited to have had such a successful start to this exhibition, and we give our thanks to the artists, curators, and all of our friends who came by to support the show. It was a good time with great people and fine art.

The show will be running until Saturday, September 1. So, if you were not able to see the exhibit last night, come by and check it out. Likewise, if you did attend the opening reception, this show is well worth repeat viewings. ;-)

And here are some photos of the evening's festivities to whet your interest.

View of Madison Webb's work

View of Neha Choksi's work

View of William Kaminski's work

View of Max Jansons' work

View of Haruko A Tanaka's work

View of Robert Fontenot's work

View of works by April Street and Sandra de la Loza

View of Sean C. Flaherty's work

Again, the TAM thanks everybody who helped make this exciting show take place.

We're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baker's Dozen 4: Opening July 21

Works by William Kaminski, Neha Choksi, and Max Jansons

We're on the eve of our next show, Baker's Dozen 4, an annual tradition here at the TAM, wherein we showcase thirteen emerging artists. In years past, the selections were all determined by our own TAM curator, Max Presneill. This time, there's a twist.

Max invited twelve other curators to each make a selection. As a result, we have a very diverse group of artists on display. The "Baker's Dozen" are:

Neha Choksi
Fiona Connor
Sandra de la Loza
Sean C. Flaherty
Robert Fontenot
Max Jansons
William Kaminski
Brandon Lattu
Jorge Oswaldo
Ry Rocklen
April Street
Haruko A Tanaka
Madison Webb

It's an interesting collection of works. I was able to view some of the pieces during set up and the staff walkthrough. I figured you all might like a sneak peak. So, here are a couple photos. ;-)

Works by Madison Webb, Ry Rocklen, Jorge Oswaldo, and Robert Fontenot

The opening reception will be on Saturday, July 21, from 6-9pm. The show will run until Saturday, September 1.

Moreover, on Saturday, July 28, at 2pm, TAM will be hosting an exhibition talk, featuring some of the artists in the show, including Neha Choksi, Robert Fontenot, Max Jansons, William Kaminski, and Madison Webb. It'll be an interesting discussion.

Works by April Street and Sandra de la Loza

We're looking forward to seeing at the TAM!!!