Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Previews: TAG Gallery 7th Annual California Open

Jurror Meg Linton about the art and artists selected for the 7th annual TAG California Open: "It is a vital sampling of the energy encouraged in this environment. These inspired and creative individuals possess the potential to shape our visual world in meaningful ways.”

Susan Amorde Baggage Series: Untitled
polychromed ceramic and mixed media 12 x 20 x 13 in.

Harriett Lathana Woods
mixed media 30 x 22 in.

Gary Voss Untitled #99.S(A).3
ABS plastic and encaustic 11 x 10 x 10 in.

Monday, July 30, 2012

7th Annual TAG California Open: Sneak Peeks

Meg Linton says of the artists selected for the 7th annual California Open, "This exhibition is a celebration of their talent,their passion and their ability to express themselves in positive and stimulating ways."

Aaron Landman Synaptic Convergence
mixed media paper relief 18 x 30 in.
Melinda Warren Time Passages
assemblage 12 x 7 in.
Cesar Nunez Soul of the Turtle
bronze 12.6 x 10.6 in.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A look at some California Open Selections

With her selection of artworks, juror Meg Linton hopes to convey “the diversity of the artists’ processes, politics, and formal and personal experiences that are both familiar and provocative."
David Alvarado The Harrowing Path to Freedom
oil on canvas 46 x 30 in.
Jodi Weitzman In the Middle
oil on linen 36 x 40 in.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TAG California Open Previews

Interest in the California Open has been on the rise since TAG Gallery moved to its current location in Bergamot Station in 2009. 456 artists entered the juried show and 59 artworks were selected from more than 1300 entries.

A sneak peek at a few of the selected works - more to come in the days ahead.

Hyewon Yoon Abandon Structure_02
pen on paper 41 x 30 1/2 in

Chloe McEldowney Self Portrait
Conte Crayon on inkwashed paper 32 x 24 in.

Barbara McIntyre Bookish One
wood, books, plaster, foam, faux silevr, collage, jewelry, rabbit's feet 
33 x 12 x 12 in.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Previews of TAG's California Open

The California Open is a nationwide competition that recognizes excellence in a diverse range of styles and media and offers artists exposure at Bergamot Station Arts Center, Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center.

 Enjoy the images below and check back tomorrow for more.
Robert Mollett Q2005_CA-a_H 
type C Print 20 x 20 in.
Shiva Aliabadi Losses Gained
wood, rubber, paint 34 x 20 x 20 in.
Echo Lew Light Drawing
photograph printed on watercolor paper  24 x 30 in.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

California Open Preview

More images from the seventh annual TAG Gallery California Open Exhibition.

This nationwide competition recognizes excellence in a diverse range of styles and media and offers artists exposure at Bergamot Station Arts Center, Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center.

Lynsey Nelson Prom Queen
relief  22 x 19 in.
Leanne Lee Mammoth Slip
acrylic, enamel. and latex paint on plywood 31 x 7 in.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

California Open Preview

Juror Meg Linton has made her selections for TAG Gallery's seventh annual California Open Exhibition. While Linton acknowledges the challenging task of winnowing the entries, she also comments that “it was encouraging to see such a strong, vibrant, and diverse range of media, styles, and expressions. I was extremely impressed with the wide array of work and the show offers a glimpse of the many talented artists working in California.”

 Enjoy a few images of accepted work and stay tuned for more previews. The exhibition opens on August 15, 2012.

Mara Zaslove Mystical
Type c print 16 x 22 in.

Matthew Kelly Unfiltered
graphite 15.5 x 19.5 in.

Larry Adkins Forty Years on the Grand Canal
photograph 10 x 15 in.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pam Douglas, Julienne Johnson, Camey McGIlvray July 17 - August 11, 2012

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 21, 2012,5-8 p.m.
Conversation with the Artists: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 7-8 p.m. Moderated by Ezrha Jean Black - Staff Writer Artillery Magazine

Pam Douglas The Life of Fire
In her latest exhibition, artist Pam Douglas celebrates the creative force that explodes from earth’s most destructive element. The Life of Fire is the second of three in an elemental energy series engaging with water, fire, and wind. These fire images reach beyond the surface using experimental textures ranging from 3-dimensional layers of canvas to thin plastics and transparencies. According to Douglas, by working with the spirit of transformation, painting fire led to transforming the painting mediums themselves. These elemental energies thus express a sense of wonder, creating a veil between seen and unseen.

Julienne Johnson T O U C H M E T O U C H Y O U 
Julienne Johnson’s latest body of work, T O U C H M E T O U C H Y O U, embodies the spirit of her previous Ashes For Beauty series, in which memory, texture, and fleeting connections to the world around us inform our very place within it. T O U C H M E T O U C H Y O U, was further inspired by Johnson's recent journey to Doha, Qatar, where her work was presented along with thirteen international artists. Johnson’s personal experience with Middle Eastern culture and the unsettling emotions she encountered while in Doha, has found it's way into the work: we see a mix of various materials, pigment transfers and collage shaping itself into memories of words and presences. Communication - the first step toward empathy - is at the heart of Johnson’s work. In a world where casual interactions are conducted more and more through the curtain of anonymity afforded by technology, T O U C H M E T O U C H Y O U embodies a yearning for a fuller understanding of those we encounter, though often only briefly, in transit. These paintings are the instruments of Johnson's reaching out. Added to, reduced, and ultimately refined, they are about what we try to remember; those brief moments of genuine affinity to another we cannot easily forget.

Camey McGilvray Upheaval
Camey McGilvray’s new show, Upheaval, pays tribute to the avant-garde artists of the early 20th century who have had an enormous impact on modern art and who have informed her own work as well. McGilvray uses bright colors, flat planes and abstract shapes to create wood and metal sculptures that echo the spirit of artists of this period, such as Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp. By creating three-dimensional mixed media works, McGilvray adapts modernist fragmentation one step further, crossing the divide between the artwork and the viewer. This unification of space brings McGilvray’s art into our own reality and explores the dynamic relationship between art and life for which these early 20th century artists paved the way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TAG Gallery Interviews Julienne Johnson

Julienne Johnson
Ozymandias (detail) 2012 
oil with mixed media, pigment transfers and collage on canvas

Why is scale important to you as an artist?

 Size (scale) is synonymous with the message. It’s quite simple actually: what I have to say is too big for a small canvas, along with a few other factors. From the point that I remove canvases From my rack, some inner discussion (without words) seems to begin taking place. As I start the gesso application, the discussion by then is shaping itself into some sort of concrete format. It can only do this because my composition starts with the gesso. Throughout the process of painting (each canvas) I try to remain flexible, and if it wants to be a different size, I am not opposed to cutting it to the size it favors. The work leads. Like a poem. A joyful experience. There are no rules in my studio. Building, destroying and rebuilding is my process. I do this on every level.

 My supply of varying size canvasses are ready in my rack so that I can work intuitively, without thinking about size. The story line comes first - not the size of the canvas. It is not a mental choice. Those other factors include being physically active, even aerobic throughout the life of each work. Just as I am in my own life. Working with my hands onto the canvas creates intimacy and I need room to do that to the full. Like being on a King size bed. If you know me, you know that I am full of energy: High energy. I do almost 4 miles a day outside and a weight workout 3 times a week. Although the health benefits of working out are great, anyone that knows me well knows that I’d be jumping out of windows - flying, if I didn't. That’s the energy that I bring (through my hands) to the canvas. It's just too much on most days, for a small canvas. Most importantly though, it's about the story lines: they are big and full of drama. Every canvas I paint has a life and it needs room to breathe.

What is it like getting ready for an exhibition, are any special considerations required to exhibit your work? 

Yes! I’m concerned with the height of the ceilings, the linear feet of wall space and of course, lighting. My work needs breathing space. It’s intense. I'll always be proactive in the lighting of my shows; Lighting to an artist is as sound to a singer. How can I not be involved?

 What experience would you like the viewer to have viewing your work? 

 Response! It Will never is about whether they like a painting or want to purchase it. That’s for my agent and/or the Gallery director to concern themselves with. I’d like the painting to be a conversation opener: dialogue between them and me. I’ve started the conversation, and then it's their turn to talk.

In what ways has your recent trip to Doha, Qatar impacted your work? 

 It's as though everything in the TOUCHMETOUCHYOU show is covered with dust. There’s heaviness about the work. The hues all have a sort Of muted, dusty blend; Ê no matter how I've attempted to make adjustments, somehow those dusty shades kept finding their way back to the mix. My experience was similar when I painted "Trust" in 2010. The 14' x 5' triptych is mostly red. Although it's a dozen of shades of red - it's still red. Very intense. It was so uncomfortable that every day when I came to the Studio, my priority was to set about getting rid of that red. Although I would, before the day was over - it was there - again. Finally, I let it be. Having just buried my mom and five months earlier, my dad - Trust" really longed to be red. Something like that is going on with the TOUCHMETOUCHYOU works as well; they want to be dusty and muted. After struggling over the months, I’ve finally given in. So while I talk about letting the work lead, perhaps you've noticed that I'm not exactly a pushover. Still, I'd like to know what's going on with the dusty look. Doha's a dessert. A city (with absolutely stunning architecture) only partially constructed; so there's a great deal of dust flying around. The culture itself has further impacted my work, because it has impacted me. There’s a lot of veiling on this work - more than ever before. I will not be the same since my trip to Doha. I will not forget! This is the most edgy work that I've exhibited to date.

 Where do you see your journey as an artist going from here?

 I want to continue walking with my eyes open wide. I want to continue allowing my world to filter through me into the work without monitoring. I have a strong need for seeing everything and putting it down. A strong need to leave something. If you read the 2011 interview, you know that I used to put little messages in bottles and bury them or try to sink them in the Thunder Bay River. I will continue doing that.

Julienne Johnson's exhibition begins July 17, 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pam Douglas Interview

Pam Douglas
Flying Fire 
mixed media on raw linen, framed 
28" x 61"
How are the elemental energies an inspiration for your work – or how do these energies inform your work?

 Transformation – the transformative power of nature and the human spirit –gives rise to fresh possibilities in dealing with whatever may come in life. Having survived medical challenges including not being able to walk for months following spine surgery, transcendence has a personal meaning for me. Interpreting that visually releases a creative power, an urge to explore and go beyond limitations. Think of the Indian divinity Shiva who represents both destruction and creation, and the idea of delighting in change instead of fearing it.

Bringing those philosophical abstractions into painting, my 2012 series “The Life of Fire” asked me to interpret the devastating force of fire as an opportunity to go beyond paint on canvas. I started the series with acrylic, ink and charcoal on the raw linen I’ve used before, and some pieces are similar to the techniques in last year’s water series; compare “Flying Fire” to “Flying Water,” for example.

But fire is transparent and defies boundaries. I sought alternate mediums I’d never explored before. Soon I discovered transparent plastics and layers of cut shapes. These became 3-dimensional when treated with paints, inks and mediums. So the fire series did what I’d hoped in transcending expectations.

How do you decide on your palette? 

Over the past 3 years, my palette has changed. Back in 2009 my work was mostly monochromatic. I was doing sepia or black ink stains on raw linen to create subtle, ethereal landscape-like meditative scrolls. Color felt like a distraction, gaudy, or brash. I began breaking out of monochrome with the water series in 2011 that reveled in various blues. As that series developed, pinks and greens crept in and by the end the palette was more vigorous.

 In 2012, fire demanded the obvious reds – a palette that was not initially comfortable for me. As the series grew, fire became yellow, orange, white, and increasingly blue as well. It’s the most colorful work I’ve done in a long time and signals a kind of emerging.

Pam Douglas
mixed media, plastics in plexi box
36" x 58"

What excites you about painting? 

Exploration. The freedom of trying something new and discovering how wonderful it is when a shape forms in paint or a texture breaks and reveals a color beneath. In a world of tasks and necessities this is a place for wonder.

 Besides the physical act of painting, there is a thrill when a new piece takes form in imagination and you just can’t wait to make it. Of course, then reality crashes in and the painting makes its own decisions. Your original idea might not look quite as you’d hoped, or maybe the materials offer something even better, and you’re off following a new direction. My process calls for flexibility in finding the painting, and that’s a healthy way to be.

What is the biggest challenge that you face as an artist? 

Time. I work as a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and that’s a full-time job. I spend a year preparing for each art show, but weeks go by when my only chance to paint is a couple of hours very late at night. The wonderful time is a warm afternoon when I can work in my outdoors studio freely letting wet paint spill on the ground, and I lose track of the hours passing.

Pam Douglas

Pam Douglas's exhibition opens July 17, 2012