Surfing the Strip and the Spectra
R. Nelson Parrish has cooked up an intriguing project by taking photographs of the famed Strip from a moving car and turning them into faux abstractions
BY JOSEF WOODARD NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
For these, for which he mounted a camera on his car and snapped some thousand-plus images of the famous/infamous Sunset Strip, which he cruised from dawn to dusk, as they say, all for art's sake. This is the centerpiece series of the show here he logically names "Light Color Motion," along with a few scattered examples of his work as a sculptor, surfboard and guitar artist, and all-around post-"finish fetish" design specialist. Earthy post-psychedelia is his specialty, as an artist working in fiberglass and surf's up-cultural garb.
But what we find in the blurred Sunset Strip photos, "With wavy bands and swaths of electric color, are optical treats in and of themselves, a case of the current trend of ultra-soft focus photography pressed into the service of abstraction seeking, color-centric seduction. But recognizing, the mashing mesh of Sunset Strip's both grand and gutter-level legacy and the loftier ambitions of this work's artistic mandate makes for a fascinating odd-coupling of underlying influences. Hedonism and aesthetic asceticism meet and do a little dance with - and around - each other.
There is surprising variety to be found in the highly selective sampling of images from the large pile of "field studies" the artist (and his car) produced. Number 521, for instance, is a more fluid and edgeless piece, conjuring up an unexpected waft of lyricism. Others, such as Numbers 585 and 534, have a more frazzled and nervous energy, with II sense of being plugged into some nocturnal, rock 'n' roll-flecked spirit.
Pure color, with scarcely a recognizable hint of the fabled boulevard he's shooting, becomes content in these images, on some level. But once duly informed of the background; he can't help but put a spin on things. And Parrish certainly isn't one to satirize or moralize about Californian culture. The sum effect in this show is an expressive and fakiy non-judgmental attitude evocative of various things Californian: at the beach, on the roads, in the clubs, and in the art galleries.
GEORGE LEGRADY: REFRACTION
November 5 to December 31, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 5, 2011/ 6:00 – 8:00 PM
“Refraction is the change in direction of a wave when it enters a medium, for instance, a ray of light entering water. Hypermnesia is a state of highly developed memory, based on registering experiences by associating them to mentally created images. In-between these two states of transformation and invention lies interpretation and the unfolding of narrative” – George Legrady
(Los Angeles) - Edward Cella Art + Architecture announces a solo exhibition of new work by multi-media artist George Legrady. Entitled Refraction, the project includes eight black and white compositions, each consisting of three different photographs interlaced together with a lenticular process. The exhibition also includes two new dynamically generated installation animations. Using his unique processes, Legrady creates works in which movement alters their narrative potential of the image. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog featuring an essay by noted critic and art historian, Abigail Solomon-Godeau.
Known for his ambitious interactive installations, photography and data visualization projects, Legrady’s artwork of the past twenty years has focused on the exploration of photography, computational technologies and their potentials in developing new forms of visual expression.
Legrady’s Refraction offers a series of images that recompose three distinct still photographs taken by the artist at the onset of his career. Repositioned within a contemporary context and lenticular technology, the assembled image create the illusion of transition between images when observers change their viewing angle in front of the image. The resulting ambiguity or difficulty of the image opens the potential for movement to transform our understanding of cinematic experience. Drawing upon the visual aesthetics of French New Wave Cinema, Legrady creates an experimental situation with the viewer.
George Legrady was born in 1950 in Budapest and raised in French Montreal. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. George Legrady is currently a professor of interactive media arts at UC Santa Barbara. His early artistic work focused on a conceptual and semiotic analysis of the photographic image. Legrady’s contribution to the photography and digital media field since the early stages of its formation into a discipline in the early 1990's has been in intersecting cultural content using computational processes as a means of creating new forms of aesthetic representations and socio-cultural narrative experiences.
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Enrique Martínez Celaya, Schneebett (Snow-bed), 2003-4. Mixed media installation. Dimensions variable. Collection Miami Art Museum, promised gift of Dieter and Si Rosenkranz. Courtesy of Enrique Martínez Celaya.
MIAMI.- Miami Art Museum will present the United States debut of Enrique Martínez Celaya’s Schneebett, a major installation inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven’s convalescence and death in Vienna, Austria in 1827, originally created for the Berliner Philharmonie. Enrique Martínez Celaya: Schneebett will be on view from October 14, 2011 through January 1, 2012 in the Museum’s Anchor Gallery, a space dedicated to large-scale works from the permanent collection. The exhibition opening will take place October 13, 2011 from 6 to 8pm and feature a performance by members of the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
Schneebett, which reflects on and transports the viewer into the final hours of Ludwig van Beethoven’s life, was the first work of art commissioned for and exhibited at the Berliner Philharmonie since its founding in 1882. It was presented in 2004, and was shown in juxtaposition to the music of the Berliner Philharmoniker with special programming at the American Academy in Berlin. Schneebett was presented again in 2006 at the Museum der bildenden Künste in Leipzig where it offered a counterpoint to Max Klinger’s statue of the heroic Beethoven as the creative genius. The title, Schneebett (“Snow-bed”), is from a poem by Holocaust survivor Paul Celan, a meditation on death. To re-animate the spirit of those celebrated exhibitions, Martínez Celaya created a new version of the installation for Miami Art Museum, which opens with a performance of Beethoven’s late quartets by the Miami Symphony Orchestra. A video of the performance will be on view for the duration of the exhibition.
The three-part installation conveys Beethoven’s final moments in Vienna, far away from his native Bonn.
In one room is a bronze bed, its surface covered in a thick layer of frost created by an elaborate compressor system. Behind it is a large tar-and-feather painting of a dense, snow-covered forest. The entry to the room is blocked by a pile of sticks and branches. On the other side of the blocked doorway is an “ante-chamber” with a solitary chair from which a viewer can peer into the inaccessible “bedroom,” and experience the environment as a memory of what was, or what might have been. The Leipziger Volkszeitung remarked that Beethoven’s presence “literally hovers in the air as sound.”
Schneebett is a promised gift to the museum from German collectors Dieter and Si Rosenkranz.
“Schneebett is a major work by an internationally-renowned artist,” said MAM Senior Curator Peter Boswell. “It will have a special resonance here in Miami since Martínez Celaya, who was born in Cuba, was inspired in part by the thought of Beethoven’s passing away far from Bonn, the city of his birth, which he left at age 21 never to return.”
About Enrique Martínez Celaya
Born in Habana in 1964, Enrique Martínez Celaya worked primarily as a scientist until 1992, when he decided to be an artist, an endeavor he had been pursuing since an early apprenticeship during his teenage years. Marie Louise Knott, editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, which dedicated an entire issue to the artist, stated, “Martínez Celaya’s work reinvents the original magic of art.”
Martínez Celaya studied applied physics at Cornell University and, supported by a fellowship from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, pursued a Ph.D. in Quantum Electronics at the University of California, Berkeley. As a scientist he worked on superconductivity, lasers and laser delivery systems, research for which he was issued an often-cited patent. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine and received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His work is represented in such public collections as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including most recently, the honor of being the second Visiting Presidential Professor in the history of the University of Nebraska, and the prestigious Anderson Ranch National Artist Award. Recently, the University of Nebraska Press released Enrique Martínez Celaya: Collected Writings & Interviews, 1990-2010, which traces the development of the artist’s thought throughout his twenty-year career as an artist, writer, and lecturer.
Portraits (and Anti-Portraits) of the Artists as Award Winners
With the flagship '2011 Individual Artist Award Winners' show at the Arts Fund Gallery, there's a particular freshness in this year's crop
BY JOSEF WOODARD
SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
A certain and palpable buzz descends on the Arts Fund Gallery once a year, when all concerned know "it's IAA time." In the most important group show of the year in the Arts Fund Gallery, a handsomely acquitted hot spot in Santa Barbara's beach-adjacent "funk zone," the winners of its annual Individual Artist Award competition go public. This year's group is a particularly fresh bunch.
Many names and artistic "faces" are involved, among both winners and runners-up, including as-yet familiar figures on the Santa Barbara scene well worth keeping a lookout for. Each year, the categories shift, and the 2011 points of visual art focus were 2D Figurative Work (winner, James Petrucci, honorable mention going to Mary Carol Kenney and Henry Rasmussen) and Printmaking (winner, James Hapke, alongside honorary mention holders Alejandro Casazi and Stephanie Dotson).
We'll be seeing more of the winners next year, as both Petrucci and Hapke earn one-person shows in this space as a coveted part of the IAA prize. To some degree, we might pay more attention to the honorable mentions in the house, whose presence here is, for now, more fleeting.
Serenading the gallery space, representing the winner in the sonic sphere of this year's "solo vocal" category, is the fine tenor Geoffrey Hahn, laying out the dulcet tones of Ralph Vaughan Williams' art song "Wither Where I Wander," on a YouTube video.
In some way, that luminously sung classical piece is the most traditional artwork in the room, but actually not the only music-related piece. The most intriguing piece here is by Casazi, whose etching and lithography pieces are delicate, ephemeral affairs."4'33," dedicated to conceptualist-composer John Cage's famous "silent" piece for inactive pianist, of course is not silent or static, reliant instead on what sounds occur in the concert hall where the piece — noise, and life, go on.
In Casazi's piece, the artist alludes to the aleotoric airs of the Cage original, with markings both clear, deceptively rational and Cage-ily cryptic.
Printmaking winner Hapke works many angles toward some malleable middle in his works, mixing up imagery and text, scruffy surfaces and data conjuring mash-up intrigue. We look for clues into the heart and mind of the artist, for instance, in the piece he calls "Cumulative Self-Portrait #2," with its mysterious and tasty matrices of slapdash picture-making, teasing and power words, and the occasional religious icon. But we sense that the artist, too, is on a search for self-definition, which becomes both a subplot and a super-plot in the work.
Dotson, one artist in this group who has been making her odd and oddly delightful artistic presence known around the Santa Barbara art scene in recent years, goes in a different, but not necessarily more easily self-revealing direction with her print "Portrait." In this compact compression of pictorial information, a vintage woman's photograph is caught in a clenched pile-up of a drawn tree limb, a few extra eyes for cosmic flair, and murky swipes of pink and gray. All of this central imagistic activity is adrift in a cleansing broad perimeter of white void space. It's a portrait and anti-portrait, in one strangely seductive package.
In the IAA awards figurative zone, various enticing roughneck strategies are afoot. Kenney's richly but also ruggedly painted nude scenes respect painterly conventions while also twisting up our expectations. In "A Different Kind of Marriage," a lounging nude couple — possibly pre- or post-sexual contact — uniformly gawk off to our right, as if numbed by an unseen television."Close Distance" is a sumptuously realized study of a healthy, happy nude woman, one of a more Rubenesque proportion, off to the left of modern emaciated model standards. In his paintings, Rasmussen steers away from tradition more fervently, into the realm of what could be called post-punk painting. Faces loom large in the compositional frame of his pieces, but the details have been smudged into a defacing blur. We get a general feeling of primal energy and graffiti-inspired, Banksy-esque prankster modernity.
And in his own special way, IAA figurative art winner Petrucci also mucks about with the orthodoxy of the painting art, and is finding his own way through the historically loaded thicket of the medium. Of particular interest in this show is "Adrift," a quixotic painting of a young man in a chair, in a kind of apparently neutralized — "adrift" — emotional state. His affect is enhanced by the distinctive painting style with details roughed-up and fragmented, without losing the essence of the pictorial substance at hand.
There is an intriguing expressive paradox at work in Petrucci's work, which has the effect of whetting out appetites for his one-man show, coming soon enough in this rewarding — and awarding — art space.
'2011 INDIVIDUAL ARTIST AWARD WINNERS'
When: through Nov. 5
Where: Arts Fund Gallery, 205C Santa Barbara St. Gallery hours: 1 to 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday Information: 965-7321, http://www.artsfundsb.org
Please see our calendar page for more info:
Please see our calendar page for more info:
OCT 1 - OCT 3, 2011
Opening Preview Friday, September 30
More information available here:
Passiflora vitilolia 36x25" acrylic and ink over Audubon print 2011