CONTINUING & RECOMMENDED, JUNE 2013

 

 

Alexandra Grant, sketch for "Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest".

 

 

For her Artist Labs Residency and Exhibition entitled "Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest," Alexandra Grant has invited anyone and everyone to come draw. The collaborative work that will be on view at the end of her residency is based on an ongoing exchange with the French philosopher Helene Cixous. Grant has organized a Helene Cixous reading group, in which the Cixous' book "Philippines" among others are discussed. In the gallery Grant has placed both an English and French translation of "Philippines" above large sheets of drawing paper that are attached to the walls. The sheets are dotted with post-it notes outlining key phrases in the text that are to be used as points of departure for drawings.

 

While the expressed theme is the "interior forest," the collaborative arrangement has multiple interpretations. Ideas about telepathy and empathy are intertwined with conversations about dreams and reality in a space where two- and three-dimensional images are being created; some are of trees but most are an exploration of the participants' inner thoughts at the time of the making. Grant is open to whomever wants to participate and is excited by the possible overlaps and connections made from numerous people working together to create an artwork. This project premieres in Santa Monica, after which Grant will recreate it in France at Mains d’Oeuvres in Saint-Ouen in the Fall - inviting a whole new group of participants to take part in the endeavor (18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica).

Jody Zellen

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Bell, "SF 12/20/11 A," 2011, mixed media on paper, 30 x 22".

 

 

“Recent Works” by Larry Bell may inevitably conjure notions of the artist’s celebrated translucent cubes and highly refined approach to working with glass. But the artist has also long experimented with techniques of collage. The works brought together here consist largely of the “small figure” series, which consist of sliced, torn and collaged paper, some of which has been coated with film deposits to achieve a striking iridescent effect. In the front rooms of the gallery, three hanging sculptural works constructed of similarly treated polyester film and a maquette of “Sumer,” from his earlier "Stickman" series, complement the works on paper. Taken altogether, the diversity of media hints at the improvisatory nature of Bell’s approach.

 

Upon entering into the back gallery, however, with 14 works from the “small figure” series hung evenly around the room, the full impact of the series is felt. The overall palette is dominated by warm tones set against smoky grays and black, offset by an occasional bright green, metallic blue, or iridescent rainbow. The collage series ranges from works that evoke both the female nude, as well as the rounded curves of an acoustic guitar — the latter of which the artist both plays and avidly collects. Also included are attractive compositions that aspire to purely formal concerns. In the latter, the layering of collaged paper creates a sense of reflected and refracted light that activates both depth and movement. These works convincingly display the artist’s unquenched curiosity toward the effects of light (Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica).

Molly Enholm

 

 

 

Herb Alpert, "Nuclear Winter," 2013, acrylic and coffee stains on canvas, 57 x 96".  Image: Getty Wersh.

 

 

Herb Alpert is known for having founded the Tijuana Brass in the 1960s and playing his honey-toned trumpet on such hits as "Rise." In the last decade he's also made a mark as an artist, displaying his totemic sculptures in public spaces and galleries.  Titled "in•ter•course," the show includes some of these pieces - dramatic bronze columns that twirl like smoke up to 17 feet into the air, as well as tabletop maquettes. But what really caught my eye were his rarely seen paintings, especially the new series of "coffee stain" paintings. Alpert has been painting for four decades, and there are some older black-and-white paintings in the show. The "coffee stain" paintings began a year ago when he wanted to create something special for his daughter, who's into organic food. He began experimenting using both concentrated liquid and the leftover grounds, together with acrylic paint.

 

The thought of coffee calls to mind the chocolate syrup paintings of Vik Muniz, where he rendered portraits and scenes using chocolate syrup (and then photographed them). Rest assured, Alpert's work looks nothing like that. It is abstract and a sincere effort to use coffee as a medium. You can see his delight playing with the densities of color and the gritty texture of coffee. The colors range from light tan to deep dark mocha brown, and they're applied in swirls and pools. The paintings that create tension through structure are the strongest. In "Mind Game", for example, he's painted a squared black frame around a ring of pulsating coffee-infused energy that manages to escape through the one open corner. The frame highlights the ring, and its rigidity and darkness provides contrast. These are quietly exuberant, spontaneous paintings. You can read a bit of jazz into them, as if a riff were going through his head as he painted them (Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica).

Scarlet Cheng

 

 

 

Lucia Koch, "Walldrawing," 2011, pigment print on cotton paper, 38 7/8 x 67 5/8 x 2 1/4".

 

 

In Lucia Koch's aesthetic universe, illusion bears the brunt of the work, but it's more grand illusion than tromp l'oeil. Installed within a awkwardly undulating pegboard walled room, the small to large scale photographs of Koch's cardboard box constructions-cum-dioramas are larger-than-life illusions of modest shapes — an octagonal container, a rectangular box, a tissue box; these are spare but transcendent in their delivery. The tissue box, with an arced cast of light spreading across it super high-res floor, is, at more than 8 feet high and 13 feet wide, an enveloping experience. Koch keeps it completely free from "Alice in Wonderland" or, what would be even worse, "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" ploys. "Arquitetura de Autor (Church of Light)," meanwhile, sized down to about two feet square, is the glowing result of four strategically aligned box top flaps, and it is just as effective. The Brazilian Koch's introduction to the U.S. provides another example of the potential for dramatic effect through great simplicity (Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica).

Michael Shaw

 

 

 

Martin Schoeller, "Marta Croll-Baehre and Emma Croll-Baehre," 2011, set of 2, C-Prints, 35 x 43" each.

 

 

Martin Schoeller’s "Identical: Portraits of Twins" is a feast for those who love to see. If you’ve ever been told, “You look exactly like (so-and-so),” this show is also for you. Schoeller's line-ups of twins, along with the odd triplets and even quadruplets, challenges the notions of uncanny resemblance by getting us instead to pay closer attention to the differences — the nose widths, head and chin tapers, and the slightest creases and depths of eyes and eyelids. Minuscule heightening of symmetry in one twin can make him or her more attractive than the other (though of course 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and all that). The added poetry of these comparisons lies in the nearly intangible differences that resist articulate discernment: "the eyes are closer together" or "further apart" is about as much descriptive language as can be dredged up in many cases.

 

The photographer, who has done numerous portraits for The New Yorker and whose signature has been especially close-up facial portraits of sports and entertainment celebrities, here modifies that strategy by including a little bit of neck and shoulder in the shots. That minor change gives viewers a little more distance to meditate on the side-by-side comparisons. Not all twins are presented side-by-side, however; Schoeller's installation has a pronounced sculptural bent, with the larger portraits at seven-and-a-half feet, and with pairings alternately spread apart, stacked vertically, each twin cut in half and spliced together, or in the quadruplets' case, on a smaller scale in a grid. Progressively smaller unframed prints cluster together madly on one end of the main space, like a portraitist-cum-scientist trying to parse out the disorienting crush of sameness and difference (Ace Gallery Beverly Hills).

MS

 

 

 

Nan Goldin, "Chimera," 2013, chromogenic print, 27 3/8 x 40".

 

 

Nan Goldin was authorized to wander through the Louvre after hours to shoot photographs of the art there. A selection of those photographs is juxtaposed with about 400 of her own images to create "Scopophilia," meaning "love of looking." This project is both a 25-minute slide installation and a series of paired photographs. It is clear she is in awe of both the paintings she chooses to reproduce and the living subjects in her own work. While the formal comparisons at times are obvious, the project offers an interesting perspective on art, looking and their relation to female sexuality and one's comfort with one's own body. For example, in "Odalisque" Goldin presents a grid of 16 images from her archives that reflect the pose in Ingres' "La Grand Odalisque" (1814), which serves as the anchor. Subsequent arrangements are formally composed so that like images are seen in relation to each other. This body of work strives to go beyond these formal comparisons, however. This is also a meditation on the animate vs. inanimate, living flesh vs. its reproduction. Goldin ultimately concerns herself with the subject of pleasure and pain. She uses the images she gathered as an entry into a fresh reading of her own history (Matthew Marks Gallery, West Hollywood).

JZ

 

 

 

William Wegman, "Size of a Pea, Size of a Golf Ball," ca. 1970/2012, silver gelatin print, two panels, 14 x 11" each.

 

 

"William Wegman: He Took Two Pictures/One Came Out" is comprised of black and white diptychs from the 1970s. These images had been left behind in Wegman's Santa Monica studio when he moved to New York. The studio was later taken over by John Baldessari.  Wegman never returned to pick the box up, so Baldessari (in 1991) send it back to Wegman, who discovered it held works he had been working on in the early 1970s. These pre-dog photographs are witty plays on the relationship between language and pictures. Below each image is a typed caption that illustrates in words what the images depict. For example, one comparison is of a hand holding a golf ball shot from afar. Its caption reads: "A golf ball the size of a pea." It is juxtaposed with a close-up of the same hand holding a pea. This caption states: "A pea the size of a golf ball." In the two dimensions of the photograph the objects are the same size, true to the captioning. The entire suite displays a similar cleverness and as such are a precursor to the works Wegman would go on to make later in his career (Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Miracle Mile).

JZ

 

 

 

Adam Berg, "Alchemical Portrait #2," 2010, oil on canvas, 40 x 30".

 

 

One consents to experience art, suggesting complicity between the viewer and the works presented. “Consensual” erases boundaries and establishes connections. Israeli-born Adam Berg uses multiple mediums - video, paintings and mirrored sculptures - to form a consensus, an agreement among different art forms. Although he builds ideas and makes shapes, Berg’s central trope is destructive entropy, or the inevitable disintegration of order into disorder. With this versatile artist, entropy becomes a dialectic from which a new synthesis emerges. A recent scientific study suggests that, far from a pathway of decline, entropy is a fragmentation of possibilities that allow for a greater range of choices. Indeed Berg’s fractured paintings indicate that devolution is not to be feared. The colors he gravitates to are cheery yellows and blues. The forceful fragmentation and splintering which shatter the spiraling, buttery surfaces suggest an outward thrust. Through a genial use of the wisdom and truth of the comic, Berg forces a mash-up of space and time that explodes boundaries, absorbing the viewer into the art. Words in paintings insist on their right to communicate; the shining sculptures twist and bend to swallow up their surroundings; and a talking head video remarks upon the entropic events with the pseudo-seriousness of an actor playing scientist (Edward Cella Art + Architecture, Miracle Mile).

Jeanne Willette

 

 

 

Kirsten Everberg, "You Know (Mirror)," 2013, oil and enamel on canvas over wood panel, 72 x 96".

 

 

Kirsten Everberg’s latest work is a painting tour-de-force. The artist has long mastered her handling of enamel and oil paint, with a signature style of loose abstract brushstrokes and pools of paint building up into clearly recognizable scenes. In her previous show of historic urban architectural settings, these environs were juxtaposed with depictions of modest dwellings set deep in lush natural environments, all hauntingly devoid of human presence. Here the two worlds merge, in large-scale paintings where the barriers between interior and exterior are blurred — quite literally — and the viewer is often left wondering just where one ends and the other begins.

 

Everberg’s interest in cinema, its effect on perception and place, has greatly influenced her work. In particular, this exhibit references Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s "The Mirror" (1975), a nonlinear narrative film of a dying man reminiscing on past events in his life, combining dream sequences, flashbacks and present day scenes shot in both color and black-and-white. Likewise, in this exhibition there are works in color, black-and-white, and a few that appear to be fading between the two. "You Know (Mirror)" is divided into vertical registers of unequal proportion. From right to left, a metal bucket hangs from a tree painted in black-and-white; an empty house; and a simple landscape composed in muted greens and blues. On their own, each scene holds together. But when taken as a whole, the structure falls apart. The point of entry into the work is less distinct, and the relationship between the viewer and object becomes less certain. Like Tarkovsky’s "Mirror," the works here offer scenes caught between reality, memory and dreams (1301PE, Miracle Mile).

ME

 

 

 

Peter Paul Rubens, "Portrait of Nicolas Trigault in Chinese Costume," 1617, black chalk, red chalk, white chalk, pastel, pen and brown ink, 17 9/16 x 9 3/4". © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

 

Peter Paul Rubens is not someone you would instinctively assume had an interest in Korean culture. And yet, centuries before globalization forced us to rethink the traditional boundaries of art, the Flemish artist, who had not personally traveled to Asia, created a captivating chalk drawing depicting a man in a Korean costume. That work has become the focus of "Looking East: Rubens's Encounter with Asia," an exhibition that raises a number of questions leading towards a broader understanding of a little known early European link to Eastern culture. The show contains intriguing items such as the first known Dutch map to correctly depict Korea as a peninsula, a monograph that describes Florentine merchant Carletti’s purchase of five Korean slaves, and authentic Korean costumes including one excavated from the tomb of a military officer from the early 16th century. A monumental painting by Rubens, “Modello of the Miracles of St. Frances Xavier Altarpiece,” commissioned by Jesuits in Antwerp in 1617 to glorify their mission, contains depictions of a pagan priest wearing clothing similar to that seen in the Getty drawing. But it may well be “Portrait of Nicolas Trigault in Chinese Costume, 1617,” Rubens' drawing of the Jesuit leader of the Chinese mission who visited Antwerp in a campaign to raise funds and sign up recruits for the Catholic order, that brings us closer to discovering Rubens’ link to Eastern cultures. The Jesuits gained some success at infiltrating China when they learned the language, grew beards and dressed like their potential converts. Ruben’s patron Trigault may have acquired articles of Korean clothing in China and imported them to Europe, where Rubens so capably utilized them in his evocative drawing (J. Paul Getty Museum, West Los Angeles).

Diane Calder

 

 

 

David Rathman, "A Little Light Went a Long Way," 2013, ink and watercolor on paper, 28 x 42".

 

 

There's more than first meets the eye in David Rathman's ink and watercolor works on paper — the dark sepia-toned, cowboy-filled landscapes and portraits that initially evoke no more than Remington-heavy depictions better suited to the Autry Museum or a county fair, gradually unfold into something far more painterly, nuanced and darkly comic. Cowboys on horses, either singly or in groups, populate Western landscapes and towns. The small scrawls of text that alight above them, rather than taking you further into cowboy country, take you instead into a Nietzschean Nike Town: "I always come back for more," "There never was any good old days," and "I Hope I'm Never That Wrong Again." Cowboy iconography is simply the vehicle for Rathman's investigations into typically macho-laden culture, in the past having given rock music, pro athletes, and the familiar redneck truck similar exploration. Here the vibe vacillates from ominous to comic surprisingly quickly. The effect is most pronounced in some of the portraits, in which even the sternest cowboys' rough edges succumb to character actor staging.  Apart from the content, if you thought watercolors have been reduced to at best high craft and/or a means to artfully illustrate, Rathman brings the medium alive with a mastery of loose viscerality that repeatedly delivers extended and satisfying viewing (Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City).

MS

 

 

 

Nicholas Shake, "Collected wreckage colliding with a constellation," 2012, archival inkjet print edition of 3 + 1 artist proof, 32 x 48".

 

 

Los Angeles-based Nicholas Shake works with the detritus found on the outskirts of his hometown of Palmdale as both a medium and source of inspiration for his first solo exhibition, “Significance Swells.” The anchor of the exhibition is Shake’s photography, which actually serves as a means to document the ephemeral installations the artist constructed from found trash. Shot with long exposures, and always as dusk, Shake transforms the haphazard piles of rusting metals, loose tires, and other discarded objects he finds into mysterious and evocative structures, somehow inviting the viewer to contemplate them as sites of beauty, rather than discarded debris.

 

In addition to the series of photographs, sculpture constructed from mundane materials displays a cool, Duchampian sensibility. Objects including concrete blocks, shopping carts, palm fronds, and casts made from tire tracks in the desert sand formed by dipping them in “friendly plastic” are then woven into the works with hand-dyed thread. These are in turn countered by the seemingly spontaneous approach of the artist’s mural sized paintings, which, with forceful brushwork and staccato markings, serve as yet another record of the artist’s activity (Western Project, Culver City).

ME

 

 

 

Heather Cantrell, "Sanguine," 2013, torn C-print, polyester, acrylic, 94 x 60 x 4".

 

 

Heather Cantrell's recent photographs are draped with sequined fabric. The brightness and glitter of the sequins is in direct contrast to self-portraits from the neck up which have been scratched into or defaced in some way. The artist faces out to confront the viewer with feelings of inner turmoil and the various ways it can be manifested. After a turbulent move from Los Angeles to New York, Cantrell found herself in new surroundings. Rather than take photographs of others, as she has in past bodies of work where her subject could chose a backdrop and an array of props and costumes to effect their own self-transformation, Cantrell-as-subject allows her personal vulnerabilities to show. The photographic surface is bare and exposed, and the artist's face is ripped apart, scratched into, or covered with paint in an attempt to mask her emotions. Rather than let her facial expressions communicate her state of mind, by aggressively attacking her own image, actual actions and tangible gestures express much that we then project onto what has been defaced (Carter & Citizen, Culver City).

JZ

 

 

 

Marco Breuer, "Untitled (C-1225)," 2012.

 

 

Amounting to a virtual mini-retrospective, Marco Breuer’s "Now and a Half" is L.A.’s first opportunity to get a real taste of his entirely process-based, camera-free brand of photography. Breuer’s vocabulary includes violating silver gelatin and chromogenic photo papers by sanding, burning, scratching, embossing, scraping, brushing, and, yes, exposing them. The results are wide-ranging in color and effects, yet there’s always an emphasis on the thing-ness of each piece, a heightened engagement with the object/image dynamic.  Several works are ethereal abstractions barely removed from abstract paintings, and some of those same works along with many others tease viewers with heavy indications of his process without actually revealing it. “Early Light/GE #5” (2008) is a mesmerizing yellow-to-orange-to-black hole meditation whose process-originating reflective imperfections make us think we’re at least partially privy to its exposure methods, but they again remain out of reach. The object-image relationship is especially pronounced in a series of cerulean blue "Untitled" pieces on chromogenic paper from 2012, in which burnt blue flames — both within the image and on it — bring that dynamic into complete consolidation (Diane Rosenstein Fine Art, Hollywood).

MS

 

 

 

Deborah Aschheim, "August 9, 1974 (El Toro - after Patrick O'Donnell)," 2012, ink on Dura-Lar.

 

 

Deborah Aschheim’s show, “Involuntary Memories: Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and the Nixon Years,” is a simple affair. Walls are hung with a few dozen ink sketches on Dura-Lar interspersed with wall text; a couple of wall-mounted architectural sculptures; and a 30-minute documentary film edited by Penny Lane and Brian Frye. The result of a 6-month artist residency at The Great Park, the fragments of text are snippets of conversation taken from months of informal interviews that Aschheim staged during weekly open studio hours, on topics ranging from Orange County, to the marine base, to Richard Nixon. The result is much more than the parts – the memories go back to the very beginnings of Orange County, an era where kids could bike from one end of Irvine to the other, when residents really believed they lived in “The Best Place.” Sampling events from the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Watergate and more, the historical lens is seen through personal recollection and idiosyncratic reminiscing. The effect of reading the surprisingly interesting (and largely nonpartisan) interview excerpts operates not only to slow the viewer down, but also creates a distinct sensation of remembering. The exhibition is a succinct and effective community/site-based installation that lends credence to the evolving artist-in-residence program in Irvine (Great Park Gallery, Irvine).

Jeannie R. Lee

 

 

 

Fatemeh Burnes, "Wedding," 2013, mixed media.

 

 

In “Interstices,” Fatemeh Burnes builds photographs that have the appearance of luminous abstract paintings with billowing shapes reminiscent of waves, clouds, colorful scarves blowing in the wind and smoke. Some are rendered in bright primary and secondary colors, others are restricted to black and white. Her tools include primarily lenses, creative use of apertures, mirrors to reflect subjects and people and shapes in rapid motion. If there are discernible subjects, they are bodies in motion, dancing, twirling, reveling in the ecstasy of the moment. Burnes explains that she loses herself completely in the process of creation, submerged within the photos she builds. Once the work is complete, the creative experience is over and the art is put out there, living its own life. The recent addition of resin to the work adds accessibility and sensuousness, producing semi-reflective effects in which viewers see themselves. In that way there is a degree to which we vicariously experience the artist’s moment of inspiration. But most important, the photos stand out for their aesthetic beauty without being trite or derivative. “In Flesh” is an installation composed of 20 small square pieces, each an abstract study in browns, oranges and yellows. “Off” is an explosion of blues and greens, seemingly done with expressive brush strokes, which is in fact created with the camera. The black and white “Wedding” features peaks and valleys of smoke-like images, while “Landing,” also in black and white, has puffy images that are more robust. If the artist’s works defy classification, it is because "I resist at every turn our tendency to simplify the world by categorizing it into types of things, or kinds of art. There are no categories for me, only experiences” (The George Gallery, Orange County).

Liz Goldner

 

 

 

Anibal Catalán, "Zona Morfologica/Supremat," 2011, acrylic on canvas, 70 7/8 x 47 1/4".

 

 

While Mexican artist Anibal Catalán has studied architecture and is inspired by this discipline in his work, his sculptures are so free-form that they spoof and even challenge our common perception of what a dwelling is. Most of the work in this “Out of Order” exhibition are built on site, put together spontaneously, and made entirely from Home Depot materials: wood, aluminum, corrugated plastic, fluorescent lights, screws, nails and glue. The resulting sculptures, inspired by the Russian Constructivist movement, have a kinetic, abstract, about-to-take flight quality — with raw materials and jagged edges shooting out in a multitude of directions. The artist calls these works an “endless labyrinth with multiple entrances and exits.” He adds that the constructions have falling roofs, walls, stairs, peaks, cables, floating canvases, vectors, and hot and cold areas. Several large acrylic and ink paintings from the artist’s “Morpho & Debris" series, primarily in black and red and painted directly onto the gallery walls, complement the sculptures. These also include jagged edges and kinetic features, yet draw more clearly from Constructivism by virtue of their clean geometric designs. Perhaps unintentionally, the paintings also appear inspired by California hardedge painting with their large expanses of bright, sharp colors. Tying the exhibition together are small Polaroids, called “Instant Architecture,” that the artist shot in Mexico City, each photo featuring a free-form sculpture shot against a notable structure or façade. While Catalán’s latest works are bewildering and disorienting, they provide a seemingly endless adventure into the different ways that space and dimension can be manipulated (Salt Fine Art, Orange County).

LG

 

 

 

Anja Van Herle, "In Bloom," 42 x 42".

 

 

The up-close, vibrantly painted faces of Belgian-born Anja Van Herle combine the artifice of high fashion with deeper issues of female seduction, confrontation, arrogance, and even the look/don’t touch aspects of runway models. The artist, trained in the fine arts with previous experience as a make-up artist, explores her range of abilities creating female faces that simultaneously attract and repel, that allude to contemporary fashion as well as to females in thirties and forties films. “In Bloom” is a deep-red-lipped pouty face, sporting huge sunglasses through which peer exquisitely made-up wide eyes, all surrounded by white roses; this face’s perfection appears to hide pain within. “Mrs. Minty” is the same face with larger sunglasses, while the mouth is questioning/imploring the viewer. “Quiet Kisses,” a female with exotic slanted eyes, has her neck covered with lipstick kisses and her finger crossing her pursed lips. While perusing this series of work is often reminiscent of viewing a parade of overly dramatic silent film faces, a more confrontational piece is the 60 x 60 inch acrylic on panel, "Simply Swarovski.” In this one, hundreds of crystals, laboriously applied to the come-hither face, form a pair of fashion eyeglasses, creating a subject so over-the-top with wealth and glamour that her true self is hidden. The series, also appearing as work mimicking fashion shots, reveals a deeper intention — exposing the enigmatic and conflicted nature of our most beautiful women (JoAnne Artman Gallery, Orange County).

LG

 

 

 

Jane Bauman, from the series "Sighting Mothra," 2013.

 

 

Jane Bauman’s art does battle with Mothra, a fictional Japanese Kaiju character in the guise of a giant butterfly/moth. The super heroic iridescent female creature protects her people as she zooms gracefully about, accompanied by two priestesses with psychic powers. Until Bauman raised Mothra to a level worthy of art, she was a lesser character that appeared in some of the early Godzilla films. But this exhibition is not about Godzilla, nor an interpretation of any of the movies, nor about how Mothra is portrayed in film. Rather Bauman takes liberties and creates her own Mothra mythology based on her vivid imagination and excellent artistic abilities. The visual tales here capture the evanescence of a radiant lepidopteron using archival vellum, aluminum lithography plates, enamel and oil paint.

 

To capture the inherent symmetry of Mothra, Bauman develops imagery based on Rorschach methods of duplicating in print the right with the left sides. She diligently creates many images, but only a few are chosen to be developed. The colors are gray on white paper with bold black paint; or silvery reflective surfaces of recycled aluminum bearing choreographed lines, shapes, and patterns. Each image allows the viewer to contemplate what might be happening in each abstracted story. On some Bauman paints the back with a reflective yellow coating that creates the illusion of a sequestered glowing insect world. This is inspired by medieval French and Italian illuminated manuscripts, as well as the Asian sensibility. Bauman intuitively melds drawing, painting, and printmaking into distinct pictorial structures. She does not repeat, has no formula, but treats the process individually to produce visual gems that have a life of their own (Brett Rubbico Gallery, Orange County).

Roberta Carasso