Edward S. Curtis, “A Hesquiat Maiden”



May 16 - November 29, 2015 at the Bowers Museum, Orange County

by Scarlet Cheng



We never seem to get enough of those noted photographers of the American West: Edward S. Curtis, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. They were remarkable artists, and we remain steeped in their romantic notions of the West with its promise of open expanses, rugged individualism and nature in all its glory. Curtis is famous for capturing Native American tribes, including their costumes and customs, while Adams and Weston engaged the landscape and architecture of the West. "Photographers of the American West" features 42 photographs from these three masters, grouped by photographer, with prints that range from 1905 to 1967.




Darwin Estacio Martinez, “Azul Profundo,” acrylic, 78 3/4 x 51”.



May 16 - July 11, 2015 at Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica

by Kathy Zimmerer



It is fitting that the exhibit “Straight from Cuba” should be presented when high-level talks are currently in progress about normalizing our relationship with Cuba. The rich diversity of art and music in Cuba has long been a major attraction, as the island has an unparalleled distinction in the creative and performing arts.  The three artists featured in the exhibit, Alan Manuel Gonzalez, Darwin Estacio Martinez and Luis Rodriguez NOA, partake deeply of this lush tradition.




Kim MacConnel, “Foumbam"



April 18 - May 16, 2015 at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Downtown

April 11 - May 2, 2015 at Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla

by Betty Ann Brown



To walk into an exhibition of Kim MacConnel's "Avenida Revolucion” paintings, produced about 25 years ago but only now being show on the West Coast, is to find yourself in the middle of a parade down the streets of a Mexican town. Flags flutter, costumes sparkle, music soars, and the world becomes a tsunami of color and motion. The riotous patterns of MacConnel's paintings swirl around in dizzying profusion, animating the walls with brilliant intensity. Orange circles bubble up through blue chevrons; red ribbons undulate through green fields; serpentine lines of white dance across yellow and turquoise. MacConnel uses all of our favorite choices from the crayon box with a playful exuberance that is at once childlike and entirely sophisticated. His deployment of geometry is also knowing: irregular triangles are sprinkled with dots, then scattered across a white field in a practiced dance of form that establishes a graceful equilibrium, rather than a mindless jumble.




Edward Burtynsky, “Rice Terraces #5, Western Yunnan Province, China”



April 25 - June 7, 2015 at Von Lintel Gallery, Culver City

by Diane Calder



Historically in Western culture, Mother Earth has primarily been seen as fertile, recumbent, fruitful, proliferate and pliant. Although ideally considered the source of beauty and power, selections such as the following, from an early Greek Homeric hymn, imply that she has long been capable, when angered, of withholding her blessings and casting destructive forces upon those who hoard, waste or desecrate her bounty: “I will sing of well-founded Gaea, earth mother of us all. To you it belongs the means to give life to mortal men and to take it away.”




Katherine Rohrbacher, “Wallflower”



May 2 - September 12, 2015 at Laura Korman Gallery, Santa Monica

by G. James Daichendt



The subject of self-portraiture developed during the Renaissance with the help of the invention and usefulness of mirrors. It was a practice that only gained in popularity during subsequent centuries, as art became a commodity beyond the church. In the contemporary era, it’s a genre that is useful for artists to wrestle with their own identity and introspection. In Katherine Rohrbacher’s recent body of work she contributes to this lineage, holding a metaphorical mirror to her personal, physical and emotional struggles over a period of time. Pattern together with unusual objects or contexts symbolize these issues and accompany a fairly regular and stoic demeanor. While the artist herself maintains a melancholy yet brave posture throughout the series, they come across as quirky and delicate, which makes them easily accessible.



JMW Turner, “Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1934,” oil on canvas, is currently on view at the Getty Museum.


During the last sixteen years of his life, when he produced some of his most innovative work, the audacious British painter JMW Turner found inspiration in waterways and the luminous atmosphere rising from them as his theater for drama. Inspired by poetry produced by flamboyant peers such as the Romantic poet Lord Byron, Turner typically launched his work by attacking blank canvases with veils of thin oil paint, applied with rags in long, nimble sweeps of his arm. This set the stage and overall tone for the buildup of more detailed imagery, applied with brush, pallet knife or even the artist’s fingers, with a final topping of varnish or beeswax to amplify glistening highlights. Turner’s hands on, experimental method of working was remarkably successful, particularly in paintings such as his version of the fable of “Regulus” and scenes from Venice, Italy, where he successfully blurred the boundaries between water and air. Watercolors became the ideal media for sketches Turner made during his travels a well as larger finished works. This exhibition includes 27 watercolor paintings, along with 35 oils, grouped thematically. Among the outstanding works, many on loan from the Tate’s collection, are oils including “The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons,” and “Whalers,” and watercolors such as “Venice at Sunrise from the Hotel Europa, with Campanile of San Marco.” Several are paired with appropriate poetic texts, Turner’s own poems or poetry like the following excerpt from Byron’s “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:” “The moon is up, and yet it is not night. The sun as yet disputes the day with her” (J. Paul Getty Museum, West Los Angeles).


Diane Calder


APRIL 2015




Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.


To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.


Here are our Previews and Recommendations for April, 2015.



Ruth Pastine, "Warm-Light Yellow-Orange, Diamond, Interplay Series"



March 15 - May 24, 2015 at Carnegie Art Museum, Ventura County

by Roberta Carasso



Master colorist Ruth Pastine’s current show surpasses her previous exhibitions. The artist exhibits 32 new works, hung in six galleries where each room is designated for displaying a particular color system investigation. Placing each color interchange in separate areas allows the viewer to experience the depth of Pastine’s art. Seen individually, each oil on canvas is a record of the profound dialogue that ensues in her process. Seen together, as a series of ensembles, the art effectively sings either sotto voce; and in some areas, shouts with color.




Robert Ginder, “Ornelia"



April 11 - May 23, 2015 at Lora Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica

by Bill Lasarow



Remember Roy Lichtenstein’s long series of brushstroke paintings? Graphically flat and conceptually blunt, they weren’t really of course, but they were evocative of nothing else but. In direct contrast Robert Ginder signals us that his artworks do double (and then some) duty in a simple rendering of paint squeezed fresh out of the tube. He starts out from, but does not arrive at art about art. Not when that lime puddle he calls “Cartouche" has been left undisturbed by a brush. Taking the title at face value, we understand that paint is there to contain, to frame an image.  It calls up the old notion that a block of marble has a figure in it which the sculptor is meant to liberate for all to see. A cobalt daub assigned the title “Kestrel,” a type of falcon, sports a sharp beak rising and curling out of the right edge of the paint. This unambiguous association may be a tromp l’oeil image, but it proclaims: Go no further! These most modest works in the show announce that there is something holy about paint. OK, now we may proceed. Come, let us worship art together.




Carol Es, “Unexpected”



March 21 - May 9, 2015 at Shulamit Gallery, Venice

by Molly Enholm



For her current exhibition self-taught artist Carol Es brings together a series of mixed-media collage works and a series of paintings titled “Abstracted Desert Landscapes.” These two-dimensional works display many of the stylistic characteristics that the Los Angeles-based artist has developed over the course of her career: dark rough outlines, pre-printed fabrics, a penchant for bright colors formed into uneven shapes with occasional drips running down the picture plane. The artist’s patchwork techniques are rooted in the experiences of her troubled childhood, which included working long hours with her brother cutting patterns for her father, who worked in the garment manufacturing industry. She has described her art as rooted in cathartic experience meant to transform painful memories into a more positive and meditative experience of the present.


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