Selina Trieff, "Red Woods," o/c, 36 x 30", 1992.
In concurrent exhibitions, Selina Trieff presents exquisite paintings that center around autobiographical concerns--universal themes of the human spirit. Trieff's work is masterfully rendered and transcends time and place. Bold canvases could be from the Renaissance, with radiant color peeling through gold leaf a' la Giotto. Yet they are infused with modern gestures of abstract painting. No doubt, Trieff's art is original and a sumptuous visual feast. Although a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, New York-based Trieff has been known for figurative paintings that are never far from abstraction. Frequently, she includes animals to convey human qualities, but her most pervasive motif is a mime-like, everyman/everywoman figure, placed alone or in close-knit groups. Their silent stares and piercing eyes are hidden beneath dramatic comedy/tragedy masks, reminiscient of the haunting figures in early Ingmar Berman films. Their bodies are wrapped in lushly executed robes, and their hands gently reach for one another. Drenched in shimmering gold and brilliant color, rendered with beautiful lines and a theatrical flair in placement of forms, the viewer is gently guided to the heart of Trieff's message. By choosing to render her detached figures anonymous and selfless, Trieff captures the eternal and magical nature of the human spirit--its beauty, isolation, struggles and need for one another (Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach; Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica).
Numerous drawings and one large outdoor sculpture make up the new exhibition by noted artist/musician Terry Allen. The sculpture, Liquid Assets, is a bronze fountain. It consists of a round well-like base in which a corporate executive stands. The figure is dressed in his business suit, and holds his briefcase. Yet he is placed in the middle of a fountain, dripping wet. The water leaks from behind his neck and down his sleeves, as well as from his pockets. He is hunched over, his expression blank. This is not the strong, diligent businessman but a man consumed by stress, stuck where he is unable to move. This sculpture is one in a series Allen has been making associated with corporate America. Liquid Assets is at once funny and pathetic. In addition to the sculpture the exhibition also includes a number of Allen's drawings--studies for these sculptures that articulate his thought processes behind the works (L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice).
Terry Allen, "Liquid Assets," bronze, 6'1" x 97" diameter, 1996.
In On the Wild Side, David Gilhooly offers a whimsical repast of chocolates, black-eyed peas, cereal, carrot salad, macaroni and cheese, snack mix, pizza--all with little froggies romping in and out of the buffet. Don Kirschner's platter of carved stone vegetables and Betty Spindler's large purple eggplants, red peppers, slices of watermelon, and wrapped asparagas add to the feeling of holiday excess. David Furman's coffee cup with erasers floating on the surface indicates the leavings after a celebration. Dori and Joseph Decamillis' small, well-executed, realistic paintings of
homey interiors complete the suggestion of "home for the holidays."
On the Small Side is a second grouping that occupies the front gallery space. Huang Vu's intimate black wire constructions that resemble insects, flora, and abstract objects cast fascinating shadows against the white wall. Young An's paintings, none measuring more than 2 x 1 1/2", are grouped together but command and hold a good deal of individual attention (Sherry Frumkin Gallery, Santa Monica).
Young An, "Untitled from the Candy Collection", candy/acrylic/resin, 2 x 1.5 x 5", 1996
In conjunction with Herb Ritts' recent publication, "Work," a new book that surveys his recent work, this exhibition includes some of his well known portraits, nudes and fashion images. Ritts has photographed both the famous and the infamous, and in this exhibition viewers get to see his exceptional ability at capturing the essence of who or whatever he is photographing. Known as a photographer of the stars, included are some of his lesser-known images. Ritts is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and this exhibition presents similar works (Fahey/Klein Gallery, West Hollywood).
In Steve Hurd's new paintings he uses himself and his art as source material. The large works are realistically rendered and include Hurd's signature dripping paint, tromp l'oeil effects, and hand-lettered text. Included as part of these paintings are fragments from reviews of Hurd's past exhibitions, as well as images and texts from historical exhibitions that contextualizes the artist's practice. The paintings work together, making a pointed commentary of the nature of art, criticism and reproduction (Dan Bernier Gallery, Santa Monica).
Sandra Ortiz Taylor, "Offrienda for a Maja", mixed media, 13 x 23 x 5 3/4", 1994.