September 10 – October 22, 2005
Opening reception: Saturday, September 10, 6–9 pm

ARENA 1  A project of Santa Monica Art Studios  
3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA. 90405
Directors: Sherry Frumkin and Yossi Govrin
310/ 397-7456, fax 310/ 397-7459
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For exhibition inquiries, contact:  Nancy McNamara
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Gallery Hours: Wed – Sat  12 noon  to 6 pm                

Nicholas Hondrogen (detail) “FRACTAL ELLIPSE No. 31 (...Easy as Stealing Pennies off the Eyes of a Dead Man)”, 2005, radioisotope nuclear imaging full-body skeleton scan, US currency, human blood, DuraFlex photograph mounted on acrylic, 22” x 74”.

ARENA 1 is pleased to present the premiere exhibition of Fractal Ellipse Series 2001-2005, new works by artist Nicholas Hondrogen. This survey of over forty-five conceptual works is comprised of large-scale oil paintings, watercolors and photography. Also on view will be Hondrogen’s award-winning feature film documentary - Perfect Moment - which he wrote, directed and produced. A fifty-page fully illustrated catalogue, featuring essays by Jennie Klein and Alison Pearlman, will accompany the exhibition. This first Los Angeles show of Hondrogen’s work has been curated by Diana Kunce and Michael Oliveri.

Nature creates its own fluid system of order through change. Art, the sciences, religion, philosophy, as well as numerous other disciplines, attempt to codify it, make it orderly, understandable, in spite of the fact that a large portion of the equation is missing or unknown. The entire body of Hondrogen’s work created over the past forty years - painting, sculpture, photography and film - reflects a method of working that embraces both sides of this equation.

The Fractal Ellipse Series, named after mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot’s Fractals, intensifies the ideas and processes present in Hondrogen’s earlier work. Building on his Natural Selection Series (1999-2001), which introduced divination and the codification of causality, in Fractal Ellipse Hondrogen further investigates the notion of random/orderly placement, adding intuitive observations of nature such as the seasonal order of plants, clouds, and light. Fractal Ellipse Nos. 24-30, completed on styrene and mounted on Russian plywood, draw the viewer into a timeless vortex that again, does not represent nature, but through process, become nature itself. In his most recent work, Fractal Ellipse No. 31: Easy As Stealing Pennies Off The Eyes of A Dead Man (2005), Hondrogen brings innovative photographic techniques to bear on his continuing exposé of the limitations of human perception. He randomly tossed 53 pennies (his age) onto a full-skeleton radioisotope scan of his own body to locate the ellipses placed throughout the image. As a nod to both process and poverty, two actual pennies have been placed over the eyes - the permanence of art and thought vs. the temporality of money and flesh…

The documentary feature film Perfect Moment is the perfect foil to the concept of fractals invoked by the Fractal Ellipse Series. It presents the other side of the same coin that has continually fascinated Hondrogen: what determines being? The progressive magnifications of a fractal are predictable. Consciousness of a life-altering moment is not. The film asks: “If you were to die tomorrow, what moment or event would you most remember, and how did it change your life?”

Nicholas Hondrogen’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art of San Francisco, the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Musee Nationale d'Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, the Monumental Sculpture Commission of Sainte Genvieve des Bois, the Septentrion, the Dartmouth College Museum, Saks Fifth Avenue Contemporary Art Collection, Barclay’s Bank of London and several private collections in the US and Europe. Hondrogen lives and works in Malibu, California.

ARENA 1 is a non-profit exhibition space founded by Santa Monica Art Studios Directors Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin. Based in an historic hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, ARENA 1 invites newly established as well as internationally known curators to develop innovative and compelling exhibitions.

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