Thursday, August 15, 2013

True Believers: Opening on August 31

The Torrance Art Museum presents "True Believers: Horror Movies, Strange Tales, Comic Book Worlds and Weirdness." Exhibiting in Gallery One, this show will run from August 31 to October 12.

In the upcoming show, the TAM will be hosting an exploration of the bizarre and the horrible, the fantastic and the frightful. From the uncanny to the repulsive to the dreadful, every nuance and mode of terror will be considered. Yet, the Otherworldly need not be all bad; "True Believers" examines the brilliant transhuman heaven of Science Fiction and the murky chthonic hell of Horror, with all the imagined worlds in between, both dark and light.

The artists that will be represented in this exhibit are:

Justin Bower
The Clayton Brothers
Monica Cook
The Date Farmers
David French
Charles Irvin
Patrick Jackson
Joel Kyack
Candice Lin
Chad Person
Jon Pylypchuk
Colin Roberts
Robert Williams
Eric Yahnker

also on show will be props and effects from Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.

The show will open on August 31 and run until October 12. Curated by Adam Miller, Max Presneill and Jason Ramos, "True Believers" will be a thrilling exhibition!!!

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Final Week for Baker's Dozen V

The Octupy is waiting for you!!!

Only a few more days are left to come visit the TAM's exhibit, Baker's Dozen V: Marginal Revolutions. It all wraps up this Saturday, August 10. However, there are still some programs left to enjoy.

Our final My Daily Constitution session will be on August 10, in which we will be discussing Proposition 8 and the constitution. We will be considering the ramifications of the recent Supreme Court ruling.

However, before the weekend, the TAM will be offering free exhibition tours on Wednesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 8. Each day at 12:30 pm, we'll be offering a nice thirty-minute lunchtime discussion of the art on display and the concepts which they raise.

Finally, after the shows are wrapped, we will again be offering a mask-making workshop on Saturday, August 17, led by Kiel Johnson. When last we had such an event, much fun was had by all. ;-)

Works by Olga Koumoundourous, Robbie Herbst, Chad Person, Owen Driggs, Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Richard Ankrom: Figurines

Detail of Figurines
Richard Ankrom
ceramic found objects, synthetic rubber, zipper
dimensions variable

Combining the imagery of bondage with sentimental kitsch, Richard Ankrom's Figurines convey a dark humor, bringing to mind both the government's attempts to socially sanitize the techniques of torture and the public's tendency to turn a blind eye to documented instances of such. These cutesy ceramic figurines, bunnies and kitties, may be seen simultaneously as both the victims of government-sanctioned violence, made to seem anodyne through propaganda campaigns, and as the submissive citizenry that permits such actions.

In either case, humanity is degraded, treated with cheapness and banality. Yet, Figurines conveys this harsh concept with a touch of the absurd. That's no "terrorist" in a hood, but a sweet little bunny.

Detail of Figurines (2012) by Richard Ankrom

Here's a video showing a few other works and projects by Richard Ankrom:

LAX Art Scene's focus on Richard Ankrom (December, 2008)

It's some interesting work. Figurines is part of the Torrance Art Museum's Baker's Dozen V: Marginal Revolutions. Come on down and check it out. ;-)

Detail of Figurines (2012) by Richard Ankrom

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Christy Roberts and Erich Wise
wood, metal, led wire, acrylic, margarita mix, tequila
12' x 12' x 5' (dimensions vary)

Broadly defined, Horizontality is an attempt to engage in egalitarian group decision-making, without a leadership structure, through open debate within a diverse and participatory network. This form of direct democratic expression has become prominent within some contemporary political communities, notably within the Occupy movement. Consensus, by Christy Roberts and Erich Wise, expresses a critique of the concept as idealized.

Within every group, there will be marginalized subgroups or those who may not be capable of vigorous debate and persuasion. Since the claims of horizontality are that the views of every member of the community are worth considering, worth subjecting to communal review, doesn't the presence of such overlooked subgroups cause a glitch in the system? With only the voices of those skilled in social influence or those from a respected subgroup rising to consideration, the desired egalitarian results are subverted.

In Consensus, this problem is represented by the unbalanced seesaw; those with social entitlement are given greater "weight" in decision-making. Yet, through empathy and an honest process of opinion-gathering, this unequal allocation of power may be resolved. It may be frustrating, but getting the situation properly balance, truly horizontal, can bring about sweet results.

Consensus portrays this concept with a drink container balanced in the middle of the seesaw. Though it reads "Ugh", a sound of frustration and distaste, the liquid within can be a delightful treat.

Detail of Consensus (2013) by Christy Roberts and Erich Wise

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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ICWDD: Wrapping Up

In Case We Don't Die: works by Mie Olise and Theis Wendt

The show is over, but I figured we could have a last look. After all, a major theme of this exhibition was on the persistence of Being beyond anticipated endpoints. So, let's take a few images, a few memories, from which to explore new potentialities.

Or, at least, we can take a moment to appreciate this fine exhibit and express gratitude to the artists and curator, Bibi Katholm. It's been a good time. ;-)

In Case We Don't Die: works by Andreas Emenius, Bibi Katholm, and Devin Troy Strother

In Case We Don't Die: works by Frohawk Two Feathers, Andreas Emenius, and Chris Natrop

Although this show is finished, the Torrance Art Museum will be back in June with another set of exciting exhibitions. Until then, we'll be hosting a few special events, such as a screening of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, on May 30.

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

In Can We Don't Die: works by Christine Gray, Ida Kvetny, Chris Natrop, and Paco Pomet

Monday, May 13, 2013

Peter Everett: Utopia

Torrance Art Museum, Peter Everett, Utopia
Detail of Utopia (2012) by Peter Everett

Currently on view at the TAM, we have a few works by Peter Everett featured in the lobby and the exhibition hall. Our lobby sculpture is Utopia, a large dodecahedron, with faces of one-way mirrors, that encloses a model city. The structures are modeled on real-world financial buildings, but arranged in an idealized geometric grouping. This "Utopian" design is built upon a rotating platform and is reflected within the mirrors in an infinite regression.

Here's a video showing the work in motion, alongside its complementary video screens, which show historical examples of Utopian architecture:

Utopia installation view from Peter Everett on Vimeo.

In addition to the lobby sculpture, the exhibition hall features a collection of Everett's paintings.

Detail of Tongues (2011) by Peter Everett

But the exhibition is wrapping up this week. So, come on by the Torrance Art Museum and see these fine works before the curtain falls on the show.

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

Detail of Utopia (2012) by Peter Everett

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Software: 21st Century Ceramics from Lo Angeles

Software is a survey of contemporary ceramics in Los Angeles, featuring the works of Danny First, Mitsuko Ikeno, Nobuhito Nishigawara, Brian Rochefort, and Kim Tucker. It was curated by Jason Ramos. Currently on view in the Torrance Art Museum's Gallery 2, this exhibition will run until May 16, 2013.

Los Angeles has a strong tradition in challenging traditional forms of ceramic art. Such innovators as Peter Voulkos and Ken Price have pushed the "potter's craft" in new directions, but, as time passes, they have themselves become the "traditional" and the standard against which new generations of ceramicists reexamine the aesthetics of clay. It is a long dialectic of practice, seeking to evolve distinct styles of expression.

So, Software is a "snapshot" of five artists, representing both the influences of the past and the attempt to create a unique new vision.

Works by Brian Rochefort (front) and Mitsuko Ikeno (behind)

Here are links to learn more about these artists:
Danny First
Mitsuko Ikeno
Nobuhito Nishigawara
Brian Rochefort
Kim Tucker

Works by Danny First

So, come on by the TAM to check out these works. The exhibit will be running until May 16, 2013. Don't miss out!!!

We're looking forward to seeing you!

Another gallery view of Software at the Torrance Art Museum, curated by Jason Ramos

Monday, April 8, 2013

In Case We Don't Die: Opening Night

Opening Night at the Torrance Art Museum, viewed through Chris Natrop's Reflect What You Are

The Torrance Art Museum opened our new exhibits, In Case We Don't Die, Software, and Works by Peter Everett, on Saturday, March 30. It was an exciting event, with plenty of the artists in attendance, live music, and good company.

I figured that I would share a few photos with you all. ;-)

Ishmael and Bert, by Danny First, met visitors entering Software: 21st Century Ceramics from Los Angeles

Peter Everett's Utopia was featured in the lobby

Works by Andreas Emenius and Frohawk Two Feathers

Works by Mie Olise and Monique Prieto

Chris Natrop's Black Butterfly Sparkle Bomb (2-4)

Live performance by Dreamers

Works by Brian Rochefort and Mitsuko Ikeno

Works by Ida Kvetny and Theis Wendt

Works by Christine Gray and Ida Kvetny

These shows run until May 16, 2013. Don't miss out!!!

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

In Case We Don't Die runs until May 16, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making Masks

Super hero mask making at the TAM, led by Kiel Johnson

Although it's been nearly a month since our last show wrapped up, the TAM has been home to numerous events. From film screenings to portfolio reviews to hosting a mask making workshop, our humble museum has been a hive of activity.

I figured that we could share some images from Kiel Johnson's super hero mask making workshop. It was a fun time for all involved, engaging the youngsters and their parents in the joys of art-making, turning an imagined vision into a tangible design. And wearing it as a mask!!!

How cool is that? ;-)

Here are some photos:

It's been a good month of special events, but we now turn our attention to the next big show. Opening on March 30th, the TAM will be hosting In Case We Don't Die, curated by Bibi Katholm. That's just a couple days away.

So, we're looking forward to seeing you at the TAM.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Karen Cope: A Symphony of Mankind

Karen Cope, Yoda, One Gross Face, Torrance Art Museum, Symphony of Mankind
Yoda, part of Karen Cope's installation, A Symphony of Mankind

With under two weeks left until the Torrance Art Museum wraps up the current exhibits, I figured that it would be a good idea to spotlight Karen Cope's exhibit, A Symphony of Mankind, which is featured in our installation hall. In this exhibition, numerous distinct faces, sculpted out of pigmented gypsum, are arranged together along the walls in a manner that blends the vast array into a harmonic unit.

Although each is a unique caricature, with individual quirks and expression, Cope's technique and material creates an underlying sense of commonality. It's quiddity versus essence. The visage is individual, but the core is universal.

Alfred Hitchcock, Karen Cope, One Gross Face, Symphony of Mankind, Torrance Art Museum
Hitchcock, part of Karen Cope's A Symphony of Mankind

But these words and photographs are not sufficient in expressing the sensation of walking among the works themselves. To see them simultaneously as both a whole collection and as individual pieces is an engaging experience, as your eyes scan over the installation, pausing or being arrested by distinct features and the trace of the sculptor's touch.

It's definitely something to check out before the show closes. Karen Cope's A Symphony of Mankind will be running until March 9, 2013.

Karen Cope, Symphony of Mankind, Torrance Art Museum
Karen Cope's A Symphony of Mankind at the Torrance Art Museum

And here are a few videos showing Karen Cope's practice:

"Constructing the Portrait"

"On Sculpting Eyes and Hair"

"Demonstration at the Brentwood Art Center"

Karen Cope, One Gross Face, Symphony of Mankind, Torrance Art Museum
Karen Cope's A Symphony of Mankind at the Torrance Art Museum runs until March 9, 2013

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Talks, Discussions, and Demonstrations

Jasom Ramos, Catlin Moore, Grant Vetter, Torrance Art Museum, Painting in LA
Jason Ramos (left) moderates a panel discussion on painting in Los Angeles, with Catlin Moore and Grant Vetter

We had a very eventful day at the Torrance Art Museum on Saturday, February 9th. The afternoon started with a sculpture demonstration by Karen Cope, providing information as to technique and context to her works currently on view, One Gross Face. Then, Grant Vetter gave a talk on his book, The Architecture of Control, discussing the influence of ideology on a wide array of subjects.

Our "main event' was the "Painting in Los Angeles" panel discussion. Moderated by Jason Ramos, the panel was comprised of Catlin Moore, Christopher Pate, Max Presneill, and Grant Vetter. Conversation ranged among various topics, from questioning why art critics recurrently claim that "Painting is Dead" to considering the role that commercial pressures, specifically when establishing gallery representation, plays in how a painter approaches the art of painting.

Yeah, the panel had a lot of "artist's art talk" but it was a lively conversation and presented many engaging opinions and compelling observations.

Karen Cope, One Gross Face, Torrance Art Museum
Karen Cope demonstrated her sculptural technique in Gallery Two.

It was a good time. The TAM thanks all of you who came out to participate in the events, artists and art lovers alike. ;-)

For more information on this panel discussion, you ought to check out "Panel and Paradox at the Torrance Art Museum" at the Painting In L.A. site.

Although the talks and demonstrations are past, the shows continue. Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Theatrical Dynamics, One Gross Face, and Dark Room Presents: McLean Fahnestock, these exhibits all continue until March 9, 2013. So, there are a few more weeks left to come check them out.

Don't miss 'em!!!

Christopher Pate, Max Presneill, Painting in LA, Torrance Art Museum
Christopher Pate (l) and Max Presneill (r) were panelists at "Painting in LA"

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Torrance Art Museum: Paradox Maintenance

Torrance Art Museum, Paradox Maintenance Technicians
The Torrance Art Museum will be exhibiting Paradox Maintenance Technicians until March 9, 2013.

The TAM's annual survey of contemporary painting from Los Angeles (and beyond) is now on exhibit. This year, we're calling it Paradox Maintenance Technicians. Yes, there are a whole lot of abstract works on display. ;-)

We have twenty-six paintings on view. It's hard to lump them together into a tidy thesis statement, but we wouldn't be too far off track to say that these works are expressions of the aesthetic conflict which a painter faces in transforming a noumenal inspiration into a manifest phenomenal communication. The vague idea takes shape through the craft of painting into an artistic statement.

It is an interesting concept, which is examined with great variety and distinction by the works collected into this exhibition.

Esmeralda Montes, Formation of Crag, Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Torrance Art Museum
View from the back of Gallery One, featuring Esmeralda Montes' The Formation of Crag

Artists included in Paradox Maintenance Technicians are:

Kent Familton

Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Trine Wejp-Olsen, Sarah Awad, Summer Wheat, Torrance Art Museum
Works by Trine Wejp-Olsen, Sarah Awad, and Summer Wheat

Marcus Perez

That's a good survey sample by my reckoning. ;-)

Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Juan Carlos Quintana, Marcus Perez, Nicholas Aguayo, Laura Krifka, David Leapman, Torrance Art Museum
Gallery view of work along the inner wall facing the rear

So, come on over to the TAM to check out Paradox Maintenance Technicians and experience the paradox for yourself.

Moreover, we'll be having a panel discussion about the state of contemporary painting in Los Angeles this upcoming Saturday, February 9th, from 3 to 5 pm. The scheduled panelists are Kevin Appel, Catlin Moore, Max Presneill, Christopher Pate, and Grant Vetter.

There will be much to discuss.

Paradox Maintenance Technicians, Tyler Vlahovich, Helen Garber, Christopher Kuhn, Torrance Art Museum
Works by Tyler Vlahovich, Helen Garber, and Christopher Kuhn

Remember, this exhibit runs until March 9, 2013. Don't delay!!!

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Paradox Maintenance Technicians: Opening

Paradox Maintenance Technicians opened at the Torrance Art Museum on January 19, 2013.

Here at Torrance Art Museum, we're starting off our yearly rotation with a painting exhibition, Paradox Maintenance Technicians, in Gallery One. Showcasing the works of twenty-seven artists, we're continuing our exploration of emerging trends that can be found within the Los Angeles art scene, with a special focus upon new approaches towards abstractions. From the expressive to the minimalist, from the geometric to the organic, there are so many styles and ideas percolating through the realm of the contemporary abstract.

Well, the show opened this past weekend to a large and enthusiastic crowd. Along with Theatrical Dynamics in Gallery Two, Karen Cope's One Gross Face in the Presentation Hall, and McLean Fahnestock's In The Offing in the Darkroom, we've got a very full set of works on view.

So, here are a few photos of Opening Night.

Facing the Patio, with works by Matthew Choberka and Heather Gwen Martin

The Eastern Wall with works by Helen Garber and Tyler Vlahovich

Along the Southern Wall with works by Lisa Sanditz and Summer Wheat

And it is only proper to start the new year off with some performance art, courtesy of Hannah Schwadron as part of Theatrical Dynamics, curated by David Leapman.

Hannah Schwadron performs among the works of Theatrical Dynamics in Gallery Two

We had a great time at the show. We thank all the artists who came out to support the opening, the TAM's staff for all their hard work, and all you art enthusiasts who joined us to celebrate the beginning of yet another fine year down here in the South Bay.

The show runs until March 9, 2013. So, come check it out and help us maintain the Paradox. ;-)

Paradox Maintenance Technicians in on exhibit at the TAM until March 9, 2013.

One Gross Face by Karen Cope

Along the North Wall with works by Tom LaDuke and Esmeralda Montes

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

View towards the West Wall, featuring works by Sarah Awad and Juan Carlos Quintana