Curated by Bruria Finkel
December 11th, 2004 – February 5th, 2005
Reception: Saturday, December 11th, 5 – 8pm

A project of Santa Monica Art Studios
3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 397-7456, fax (310) 397-7459
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For information please call:
Bruria Finkel
ARENA 1 is open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 6 pm
Closed December 24th  - 27th and December 31st - January 2nd

John Baldessari, photograph by Bruria Finkel.

Santa Monica Art Studios is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition at ARENA 1, a non-profit exhibition space in this recently converted hangar at the center of the Santa Monica Airport. The exhibition “Santa Monica Originals” is organized by Bruria Finkel and features the works of artists who have either a historical or a contemporary connection to Santa Monica, having worked in studios in this city or, in some cases, at the Santa Monica Airport itself.

Artists in the exhibition made major contributions to contemporary art, including John Baldessari, an originator of conceptual art; Frank Gehry, one of the most profound and brilliant architects of our time; Sam Francis, a great innovator of Abstract Expressionism; Rachel Lachowicz who makes radical incursions into the canon of art history; Maxwell Hendler who practices “painting in close observation”;  Lee Mullican, an originator of Dynaton paintings; Luchita Hurtado  an early feminist who painted from her personal experience; Larry Albright, one of the first to use Gas technology, and William Tunberg  who has elevated the ancient art form of marquetry. Other artists closely associated with Santa Monica are conceptual artist Charles Gaines whose works proactively navigate the relationship between systems and nature, Astrid Preston whose landscapes probe our assumptions about nature and Lita Albuquerque who seeks the fusion between the intuitive, physics/mathematics and the reality of the cosmos.

With some irony, the exhibition includes architect Frank Gehry's Model of his 1987 proposal for the airport Commons, a 37 acre renovation proposal for the Santa Monica Airport which, had it been approved, would have eliminated the many artist studios scattered around the airport, including the studios at the recently opened Santa Monica Art Studios in this 22,000 square foot hangar that also houses ARENA 1.

Where possible, the exhibit will feature an early work and a later work by each participating artist. Groups of Santa Monica schoolchildren will invited to view the exhibition and create projects with the help of Santa Monica Art Studios artists.

About Arena 1
ARENA 1, a project of Santa Monica Art Studios, is a nonprofit contemporary visual arts organization that promotes international curatorial projects. Based in an historical hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, ARENA1 has an exhibition space where newly established as well as internationally known curators will be invited to develop the most innovative and compelling exhibitions of emerging artists from their regions.

The inaugural exhibition at ARENA 1, “SANTA MONICA ORIGINALS”, takes an historical look at a number of important figures in contemporary art who are closely connected to the city of Santa Monica.

Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin, directors of the Santa Monica Art Studios and ARENA 1, wish to express their gratitude to Bruria Finkel, a tireless champion of the arts in Santa Monica for her persuasive efforts to help get their project off the ground. It is fitting that she is the first invited curator to organize an exhibition in this space.

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