Modern and Contemporary Landscapes
January 12 – February 24, 2007
Opening Reception:  Friday, January 12, 7-9pm

8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker/Marvella Muro
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Holly Lane, “One of the Twelve previously Unchronicled Deeds of St. Sopia”, 2000,
carved basswood and black walnut and acrylic on panel, 17 1/12 x 8 1/4 x 4 inches.

Los Angeles, CA – On January 12th, 2007, Forum Gallery will open the exhibition Modern and Contemporary Landscapes.  Including examples by important 20th century American artists such as Arthur Dove, Lyonel Feininger, Raphael Soyer and Max Weber, the exhibition is a thematically organized opportunity to view images of landscapes in a broad variety of mediums, time periods, and expressions.  
Forum Gallery roster artists are represented by a monumental William Beckman landscape titled Last Plowing, which portrays a vast expanse of farmland in the artist’s home state of Minnesota.   A tractor belonging to Beckman’s father slowly plods across the arable, flat countryside beneath thick fair-weather clouds which stream across a bright blue sky.  In producing this indelible image of America’s heartland, Beckman reminds us where he came to know himself as both man and artist.  He leaves us with the sense of authenticity that can only come from the sensitive and skillful hands of a native of the place.
Unlike the specificity of place found in Beckman’s landscapes is the elusiveness of Tula Telfair’s  imagined ones.  Her painting titled Blurred by Reality, which portrays a grassy wetland on an overcast day, is not the product of actual observation but of invention. Instead of referencing a single moment in time it is part of a continuum, or time path, which includes remembrances of what preceded and anticipates what will follow. Springing up from a well of life’s experiences that belies the artist’s youth, as with all her canvases, Blurred by Reality is an expression of memory, hope and desire: a metaphoric visual short story that takes place in a universe above the plane of daily life.
Other pastoral scenes by contemporary artists are Scott Prior’s Cows at Sunset, Stephen Brown’s Bales of Hay II, James Butler’s View from Mt. Mohawk, Robert Bauer’s Untitled landscape painted near Oaxaca, Mexico, and the large, remarkable drawing by Anthony Mitri titled Colza 2, Normandy, France, in which the artist has meticulously applied and removed shards of charcoal so as to render a vast field of flowers covering nearly the entire paper sheet.  
Also included in the exhibition is a series of five small paintings by Los Angeles artist Karen Kitchel titled Dead Grass, Winter, executed during one of her Montana painting expeditions.  These square oil on panel works blend the subtle hues of various grasses with the whiteness of snow and bleak blue-gray of the sky beyond. An equally consonant series of industrial-type landscapes is set apart and includes Untitled (World Trade Center) by Spanish artist Cesar Galicia, Roof by Italian painter Bernardo Siciliano, Edgar Thomson (Hopper Cars) by Craig McPherson, and Rails along the Brickyard by Bill Vuksanovich.  
Contemporary great Lucian Freud is represented with an exceedingly delicate black and white etching of an Elm tree, inspired by a similar image painted by John Constable, England’s great early 19th century landscapist.  This print hangs next to French Impressionist Maximilien Luce’s charming and tonal country landscape, Paysage au sentier {Landscape with Path}. Equally juxtaposed are two hard-edged abstract compositions by European modernists André Lhote and Auguste Herbin, both titled Paysage cubiste {Cubist Landscape}. Finally, American Modernist landscapes from the 1910s-1930s include examples by Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield, Konrad Cramer, Andrew Dasburg, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Max Weber.
With its in-depth survey of artistic approaches to the landscape subject matter, Modern & Contemporary Landscapes offers a striking array of images.  The exhibition is on view through Saturday, February 24th.

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