Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mary Addison Hackett: The Walk

The Walk (2011) by Mary Addison Hackett
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches
Courtesy of the artist

The smallest work on view in "To Live and Paint in LA" is Mary Addison Hackett's The Walk. Rich in color and texture, this painting depicts a commonplace event, a lady walking a dog, but there is a dreamlike quality to the image.

Perhaps it is the ambiguity of space. With the figures situated in muted cool colors, they seem to recede within the picture plane, as the vibrant yellows and whites of the periphery jump out at the viewer. Yet, the red coat of the main figure undercuts this sensation, pulling the figures back to the forefront.

Likewise, the texture of the surface enhances the play of space. With thick layers of paint built up in the background, the figures drift away from the viewer, but the main figure's face is notably layered, emerging from the canvas, projecting forth into the viewer's space.

This painting seems so simple, but the compelling painting technique makes for an intriguing and memorable view, transforming an everyday scene into a transcendent aesthetic experience.

Here are a few vids showcasing other works by Mary Addison Hackett:

"Acts of Moral Turpentine, Part I" at Track 13 Gallery in Nashville, TN

"Acts of Moral Turpentine, Part II"

And here she is working on The Presences


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rebecca Campbell: Highlander (Rebecca)

Detail of Highlander (Rebecca) (2009) by Rebecca Campbell
Oil on canvas
82.5 x 44.5 inches
Courtesy of the artist and LA Louver Gallery

Now, we focus our spotlight on Rebecca Campbell's Highlander (Rebecca), with its quiet and introspective image. Originally a part of a diptych, wherein the artist perceives a contrasting reflection of her youthful self within a young Latina schoolgirl, this work is a strong representation of Campbell's artistic interests.

Specifically, the use of nostalgia and the familiar as a starting point in exploring the Other and the Unknown is a recurrent theme in her work. Here, we see a "self portrait" although the image is not of the artist's physical self; it is a consideration of the commonality of experience, be it youth or ethnicity or femininity, in a series of reflections between the interior and exterior, between the isolated personal identity and the empathic connection to others.

Here are a few vids in which Rebecca Campbell's work is featured:

"Poltergeist" at LA Louver Gallery (2009)

Salon des Artistes, 2010

And here's a vid with a brief glimpse of her 2011 work "Romancing the the Apocalypse"


Saturday, February 11, 2012

TAM Alumni Update: Jocelyn Foye

Detail of Sumo Wrestling in Clay (2011) by Jocelyn Foye
Performance with clay, rubber casting artifact
180 inch diameter
Courtesy of the artist

At the Torrance Art Museum, the curatorial focus is premised upon fostering individualized artistic expressions, the free elucidation of an aesthetic vision. This focus is not only to provide engaging and original programming for the museum, but also to cultivate unique approaches to artistry for the community at large. Therefore, it is a great joy to see artists, with whom we have worked, continue to exhibit and flourish at other venues.

And such is the situation with Jocelyn Foye. Regular visitors to TAM will certainly remember her Sumo Wrestling in Clay performance at last year's Gateway: Japan show. Well, she currently has three exhibitions on view in the greater Los Angeles area.

At the CSU Long Beach Museum, she is part of a group show, Split Moment, which examines how the elements of performance can be separated from the constraints of the live event, via drawing, photographs, or sculptures. This show runs from January 27 to April 15, 2012.

At El Camino College's gallery, Jocelyn and her husband, Jeff Foye, are part of a group show, In Tandem, which examines how artist couples influence each other. This show runs from February 13 to March 9, 2012.

And, at the Armory Center for the Arts, she will be exhibiting Dance, Opera, Draw, another work in which the live performance will result in a relic that echoes the creative event. The performance will be held tonight, February 11, at 8:30 pm. (Sorry for the short notice.) The exhibit will be on view from February 12 to May 13, 2012.

So, check out these events. Foye's work is definitely thought-provoking.

Here's a vid of the Sumo performance from TAM's Gateway: Japan show.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Miller Updegraff: A Fairy Story

Detail of A Fairy Story (2012) by Miller Updegraff
Acrylic, glitter and black mica on canvas
41 x 38 inches
Courtesy of Michael Benevento

It's time for another Spotlight post, this time featuring Miller Updegraff's A Fairy Story. In this painting, Updegraff explores the concept of ordering chaos through the act of art making. By setting form to subconscious fantasies and styling them upon the blank void of the canvas, the painter "imposes structure" upon shapeless potentiality.

Yet, in spite of attempts to enforce a delineation, irrationality persists in the very act of creation. Updegraff writes:

"No constellation of ideas or beliefs exists according to which the world may be confidently ordered."

Therefore, within this painting, the limitations of human attempts to intellectually or aesthetically encompass the wholeness of Being are indicated both by the unmarked emptiness underlying the image and by the dream-like vagueness of the image itself.

A Fairy Story is certainly an engaging work, thought-provoking. The glitter and black mica gives the image an effervescent sparkle that no photograph can effectively capture. So, come check it out in person.

We're looking forward to seeing you at TAM. :-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Manipulated Image: Gul (Flower)

Image from Adnan Hussain's animated short film, "Gul (Flower)"

Recently, the Torrance Art Museum played host to Manipulated Image's screening of video art, in an evening presentation entitled "A Curious Sense of Calm".

Curated by Alysse Stepanian, works by Kika Nicoleta, Gerald Guthrie, and Yuko Takemura were presented. However, the feature attraction of the night was a showing of Adnan Hussain's award-winning animated film, "Gul (Flower)".

Following the presentation, Adnan Hussain discussed various aspects of creating the film, including his conceptual approach to the narrative structure and the experience of recording its distinct musical score, featuring Sindhi folk music composed specifically for the film and recorded during a trip to Pakistan.

Here's the video of "Gul (Flower)" and footage of the Sindhi music recording session:

"Gul (Flower)"

Sindhi Music Session

Madrona Musings would like to thank Adnan Hussain for sharing his artistry and experiences with us. Check out his website, Mad Guru, to learn more about his animation and the Sindhi folk music.

Likewise, our gratitude goes to Alysse Stepanian and Manipulated Image for putting this show together. Manipulated Image's next screening is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 8pm, at the Echo Park Film Center.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conrad Ruiz: Pacific Theater

Detail of Pacific Theater (2011) by Conrad Ruiz
Watercolor on paper; 42 x 63 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Silverman Gallery

With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I figured that our Exhibit Spotlight would focus on Conrad Ruiz's Pacific Theater, with its exuberant scene of female athletes running the steeplechase alongside various animals and animal-human hybrid creatures.

Incorporating imagery from mass media sources, such as advertisements or sports journalism, Ruiz reinterprets the images into fantastic tableaux, full of dynamic activity and engaging humor. Yet, for all of the excitement and splash, the technique is subtle, even delicate, working the watercolors to adroitly define the scene with a shimmering dreamlike color, creating a visual tension between the gentle feel of the paint versus the wild energy of the composition.

It's an interesting work. Head on over to his website, Conradical, to check out some of his other works.

And here are a couple vids:

Clement & Co Presents: We Are the New Standard - Conrad Ruiz

From the Collection: Conrad Ruiz