EXHIBIT 32.0

    Virginia Broersma: Dithyrambic

    The paintings of Broersma occupy an enigmatic space where anthropomorphic gestures collide with classical genre painting. Her bent, twisted and twirling forms weave the figure and the environment together into a seamless pictorial event. Executed in a manner that is both haptic and subtle, Broersma's painterly vocabulary mixes a reserved sensualism with dithyrambic operations. As such, her unique take on classical themes like 'the bathers' and 'the odalisque' challenge not only traditional ideas of beauty and design, but they explore the shifting space between figurative naturalism and the (post-)modern preoccupation with formlessness.

    As such, Broersma's work avoids being read as a display of figurative pathos or another return to painterly 'heroism'. Instead, her images develop a dialectics of dissonance based on revealing and concealing, veiling and unveiling, determined mark marking and improvisational actions. These dynamic qualities, which represent forms coming in and out of being, also reveal a second set of questions concerning the phenomenal quality of what is being pictured. That is to say, a closer reading of Broersma's images quickly reveals a 'catalog' of pictures that stand twice removed from the subjects they portray. Of course, this is the case not only because painting is always already a form of mediation, but because the subjects in her source material hint at museum lighting techniques and the staged quality of the cultural imaginary in the era of hyper-mediation.

    By making us aware of the split between the affect of 'staging' and the rhetoric of display, Broersma's work asks us to question not just how we think about classical themes as a reflection of socio-political and gendered interests, but also how iconic images are constructed as a total experience that extends well beyond the confines of what is 'pictured'. In other words, it is not just the aura of the image that serves as the raw material for Broersma's art practice, but rather, an engagement with the very techniques that are used to produce the 'quality' of the iconic for public consumption.

    Thus, Broersma is not just another history painter of sorts, or someone who is interested in painting figurative morphologies, even though both of these concerns are central to her art practice. Rather, what we find at play in Broersma's imagery, beyond a certain painterly opulence, is that her images court an indefinable space that consists of endless questions about canonical works and their conditions of presentment. This paradoxical doublebind - of reworking historical or academic themes in order to make them more porous and less identifiable - is what gives Broersma's project a unique sense of purchase in the contemporary moment.

    Composed of inerrant indices of the iconographic, her paintings work to reconfigure the status attributed to the image as a cultural artifact by directly addressing the crisis of terminal metastasis known as pluralism. Not only that, but Broersma's oeuvre challenges the cult-like 'status' of the image by sampling techniques and imagery from the most over-determined styles of picture making and then making- them-over into new models of plastic expression.

    What we witness in such moments is the apotheosis of the 'grand manner' as it becomes subject to the mutations of improvisation over and against the auratic techniques of exhibition design as well as the 'quality' of mechanical and/or digital reproduction. Most importantly however, Broersma's work takes up this position as a process of open-ended play, providing a polyvalent reading of history painting that is a rare and honest achievement in a period of art production that often derides the codex of historical themes as retrograde or simply démodé. In Broersma's theater of pictorial pleasures, the themes of modernity take on a new vitality, not just for engaging with the past, but for opening up new avenues in thinking about the pictorial problematic in the early twenty-first century.

    Bio: Virginia Broersma (b. San Diego, CA) received her BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA in 2004. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, IL and group exhibitions at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA and at JAUS, Autonomie, and with 5790projects in Los Angeles, CA. Upcoming exhibitions will include a group show that will be traveling to the Palazzo della Provincia de Frosinone in Italy, and to the Oceanside Museum of Art and the Riverside Art Museum in Southern California. Broersma has been the recipient of a several grants including funding from the California Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Puffin Foundation and was awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago, IL, which she received in both 2010 and 2011. Broersma currently lives in Long Beach, CA.


    EXHIBIT 31.0

    Becca Shewmake: Assembler Clouds

    The works of Shewmake collide the unmentionable with the intentional, resemblance with semblance and the graphic with the haptic. Consisting of highly stylized, layered surfaces, Shewmake's paintings are rich in both affect and allusion. Moving between the abstract and the figurative, her anamorphic characters float, merge and simply cohabitate in a manner that creates a sense of psychological unease. These rather precarious pictorial relations are further highlighted through the use of asymmetrical pairings and unequally weighted compositions. The contrast between tension and playfulness in her work develops out of an implied narrative that acts as a place of projection and desire for the viewer.

    Working with a scatological vocabulary that celebrates the pitiful, the shabby and the embryonic is what allows for Shewmake's imagery to open onto diverse readings, readings that range from solemn empathy to abstract allegories. Whether seen as modern refuse, postmodern refusal, or contemporary refugees, Shewmake's hybrid figures are often cast in bas-relief from the environments they inhabit. By bringing together varied strategies from color field painting, neo-expressionism and gestural abstraction Shewmake's pictorial vocabulary creates a fusion of effects that range from the clinical to the emotive.

    Extending a tradition of cartoon-like figuration beyond the manic images of George Condo or the psychosexual figures of Carroll Dunham, Shewmake's works ask us to consider the possibility of subtler narrative devices. Neither overwrought nor underworked, her pictorial sensibilities move between attraction and repulsion without needing to insist on an aesthetics of the non-descript. Rather, her idoscyncratic imagery emerges from a deft hand and a mood of thoughtful repose. This approach to feeling one's way through the figurative impulse allows the viewer to settle into a space of imaginative conjecture, and ultimately, of active reception.

    Whether seen as a commentary on modes and models of painting, or as a visual anthropology of the figurative impetus, Shewmake's work makes us more aware of how it feels to be a subject of expression in an age of subjective compression. Her oeuvre might even be considered to be a form of notetaking, or a catalogue of sorts, about the status of the subject in the age of accelerated capitalism, where a fleeting impression, a minor indication or an affected contour is enough to put us in touch with what remains of the human condition in era that is often 'characterized' as post-human.

    From this point of view, Shewmake's paintings could be seen as representing an uneasy form of realism that serves as a timely meditation on the contradictions of figuration's past, present and future. If anything, they are certainly emblematic of thinking about figuration as a verb tense, or even as a dangling participle. The idea of the figure as an intractable event is what makes Shewmake's contribution of special import in field of phenomenal and psychological impressions. As such, Shewmake's work makes more of an impression for not letting its viewers off with a sense of resolve, but rather, for opening up a myriad of questions that might be thought of as visual gestation, or of thinking about figuration itself as the muse of perpetual inquiry.

    Bio: Becca Shewmake received her Master of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2013, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 2005.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the Midwest and California, including the DeVos Art Museum in Marquette, Michigan, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN, and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, California.


    Exhibit 30.0

    Please Join us FRIDAY, August 8th from 8-10pm for a Daftpunk, a small survey of contemporary drawing practices, curated by Kio Griffith. 


    Curated by Kio Griffith

    We are continuously marginalized by technology. The modern pencil, tracing back to the Napoleon trenches of early 1800s, will draw a line 731 miles but several miles short of reaching the Oregon border if you begin the mark in south central L.A. The need for an immediate drafting tool to keep up with the growing industry spawned inventions of the ball-point pen, markers, and spray paint which now share ground with computer driven apps. Lately, returning analog has become the recent stance of the graphite rebels among us. The shimmer of the dark carbon can still outshadow its brighter cousin, the diamond.
    DraftPunk is a survey of the relevant practice of drawing today extending from traditional mark-making to the conceptual significance of the medium opening up endless possibilities of experimentation. 
    - Kio Griffith
    Marie Thibeault’s storm tree collage/drawings, which are the majestic remains of landmark trees left standing after a major tornado flattens the landscape. These trees, left vertical, are remarkably tangled and impaled with large objects and debris, creating a symbolic clashing of force and resistance. Some become shrine like and have symbolic resonance for the surviving communities. 
    Jason Manley creates drawings, sculptures and public artworks that contradict the functionalism inherent of the built environment.  He repurposes industrial materials such as concrete, steel, and found objects for poetic means of expression and to explore language as a physical form within the public realm. 
    Kiel Johnson's drawings and sculptures tell tales; layered narratives speak of his travels and adventures through everyday life. His works become a springboard for metaphorical investigations of the world he inhabits. Although both factual fictions and absurd scenarios, they are ultimately testaments to observation that force us to question the concrete and truthful. What at first might appear safe and secure will be, upon further inspection, very precarious.
    Bridget Beck’s drawings act as a vehicle searching for possibilities unspeakable in terms of a constructed three-dimensional form. The drawings test the water for the new uses of materials to be created into sculpture. The cosmologies existing on the page provide a place for hardships to battle with the lighthearted and create sanctuary. The ink urges the sculptures on to new and interesting places. The drawings are also a place for personal release and fanciful stories, which break from the daily struggle of constructing the larger physical work.
    Mark Dutcher brings together elements of abstraction, Surrealism, and Pop in paintings that incorporate layers of words and symbols, imprecisely rendered and frequently illegible. Often sampling song lyrics or names of former loves in his rough-hewn paintings, Dutcher explores notions of transience, loss, and death. He leaves blemishes and fingerprints visible and mistakes intact, emphasizing the artist’s hand and process.
    Aili Schmeltz’s current body of work in process, Psionic Generators, combines an interest in utopic architecture and philosophy to investigate forms that claim to be ‘ESP activating’ from a 1970’s New Age book about psionic generators from a family archive from the year she was born. Psionic generators are devices that propose to activate the energy streaming from your eyes with specific proportions and relationships to induce paranormal phenomena. She manipulate the patterns and proportions of these psionic generator forms as generators of form and concept, questioning the function and result.
    Dorian Wood has brought his emotionally-charged works to concert halls, museums, music venues and performance spaces throughout the US, Mexico and Europe, with a voice that channels the skill and ferocity of such auteurs as Scott Walker, Nina Simone and Tom Waits.
    Rema Ghuloum makes drawings, paintings, and sculptures that inform one another and as a result become the visual language that generates subsequent work. Recently, she has been examining the work of Giorgio Morandi. Like Morandi, she arranges still lifes of her sculptures into different configurations, which she then examines from different vantage points. Subsequently, she draws or paints aspects of these arrangements from observation and memory. Her work oscillates between abstraction and representation and the illusion of two and three- dimensions. Color and material constraints control this process and arriving at a painting is as important as the finished product. 
    Nadege Monchera Baer’s drawings share in common an obsessive use of small gestural lines that are sometimes non-objective, sometimes abstracted figure-spirits, and other times clearly used to shape recognizable portraits… While the long view may telegraph a face, the close inspection, conveys immersion in a process divorced from the harness of definition. What appears to be almost arbitrary in their smooth unfolding flow of interlocking forms is almost ironic considering how well it disguises her normally laborious process of shaping and re-forming via re-arrangement, constant erasing, layering and re-layering, all of which which imparts a spontaneous capricious appearance that thoroughly belies the rigorous but practically invisible editing involved throughout.
    Jane Hugentober invests in the physicality of her work, the resulting intimacy that is created, and what happens psychologically through the body/mind connection.  Her interest is in the idea of physical memory; the memory constructed by way of the repetition of bodily experience.  It is through this process that the energy created will hover within the work as an experience long after the process has ended. 
    Daniela Campins drawings are an indirect response to physical phenomena, memories, and even a sentiment or mood, a reaction to a place.  It is a manifestation of a fleeting moment, a symptom of temporality, and a reaction to the act of drawing itself. As ruins from my personal dérive, these drawings on newsprint were produced after extensive walkabouts in East Haddam, Connecticut, during an art residency in 2013.  The forest in East Haddam was freezing cold, covered in snow, and ghostly memories.  The atmosphere was damp, subtle nuances infused the air, muddy forest of ancient tall trees dominated, and rocky paths presented themselves surprisingly in the middle of nowhere.


    Exhibit 29.1

    Tessie Whitmore

    Main Gallery: Space Face

    The uncanny cacophony of cult-like objects that make up Whitmore's art practice create a space where nostalgia and interventionism challenge our 'ready-made' expectations. This 'mixed' status carries across her paintings, collages and errant idols in a way that allows us to put performativity and worship in question, and not just in the white cube, but also in the greater world of ritual behavior. Moving between counter-culture symbols and the motifs of abstract art, Whitmore's work collides the formal and the spiritual in a mode of artistic shamanism that embraces paradox and contradiction. Throughout her various bodies of work we find the emblematic designs of the new age movement colliding up against the iconic purchase of high modernism, allowing us to reflect not only on the melancholia of the post-historical age, but on the constant slippage between two disparate types of 'cultural' production.

    Whether directly engaged in a performance, or re-presenting footage of a certain happening, or even making a space for viewer participation within her installations, Whitmore's art practice asks us to engage in thinking about how presence operates in the twenty-first century. By bringing everyday experiences into a place of alter-like reverence, and using common materials and processes to produce a meditative aesthetic, Whitmore's pieces have the ability to transfix the viewer without relying on a transcendental signified. Repetition and reduction, as well the dynamic use of image, sound and language, all work to create a space in which aesthetic experience connects us to questions about cultural as a form of resistance.

    Whitmore's newest works push these dialectic antagonisms even further by bringing a heightened sense of absorption together with a deep historical engagement that examines the notion of 'belief' writ large. By colliding baroque motifs with a wholly immersive aesthetic, the gallery space is transformed into an arcane study in cultural iconography. Bringing the idea of the total work of art - or a complete installation - together with aspects of minimalism, color field painting, sacred geometry and secular mysticism, makes us ever more aware of the kinds of aesthetic conflicts that Whitmore traffics in. Caught somewhere between romantic disavowal and a hidden desire for transformative experience, we find that the duplicitous desires that drive Whitmore's art practice just might provide the curative effects and ecstatic experiences we need most in a culture of intensive commodification and near instant co-option. One might even say that the most poignant aspect of Whitmore's project is that it allows for the redemption of contrasting modes of experience by letting the ephemeral and the transcendental comingle is a space of equal repose.

    Bio: Whitmore studied at Claremont Graduate University, MFA 2012 and California State University Long Beach, BFA Drawing and Painting 2009. She is a 2011 recipient of the Albert B. Friedman Grant Award and the 2013 Artist in Residence at Coastline Community.  She was included in Mas Attack II, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, GLAMFA 2012: Greater Los Angeles Master of Fine Arts Exhibition, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, andBOOM Southern California MFA Invitational.  She recently has been curating shows with her collective Manual History Machines including The Familiar Unfamiliar, Wonder Valley, CA and Are Friends Electric I at Fellows of Contemporary Art and Are Friends Electric II at Claremont Graduate University receiving the 2014 Curators Lab Exhibition Award.


    Exhibition 29.0

    Bessie Kunath

    Project Room: Free Normcore

    The works of Kunath challenge how we think about interpretive modes of making as well as theoretical models of knowing. With past bodies of work like "auction items", and "everyday scenery", the fine line between commerce and aesthetic commentary is held in abeyance. But this is not to say that Kunath's work is absent historical references, or that it aims at merely repositioning the mundane. Instead, what we are presented with is a repurposing of the transient elements of culture in a manner that activates a variety of social, material and aesthetic presuppositions.

    In Free Normcore, a term that further extends the claims made on behalf of the de-industrialized fashion movement, Kunath brings together a selection of 'free' and found objects for exhibition that have been rejected from commercial trade. By abutting cultural dejecta with programmatic premises, Kunath's works are able to occupy a space between aesthetic interventionism and the anti-aesthetic urge that puts both positions in question. Simultaneously reductive and random, Kunath's chromatic recasting of found materials underscores how notions of value, fragility, and outmodedness can challenge the insularity of interpretation that haunts the hermeneutics of meaning production.

    In this way, Kunath's works openly embrace the productivity of ambiguity by lightly effecting found materials, as well as highlighting various forms in an open-ended and provisional manner. Thus, by challenging the rhetorical devices of re-presentation, and making selective interventions in domestic and discarded objects, we find that the threat of overdetermined meaning is constantly decentered by the encounter between artist and object, spectator and object, and culture placed in a broader context. Within the bounds of Kunath's projects however, there remains a subtle hinting at the larger architecture that frames the contemporary art world, given over to us through the use of sculptural objects as a type of edifice that is everywhere implicated in our current culture of disposability. In this way, we can say that ecological and social responsibility are part of the strata of expectations that attend the productivity of the art object, and Kunath's practice as an artist in particular. What is revelatory in Kunath's work however, is how the substrate of the common object can become a language that signs the present moment in a myriad of unpredictable and unforeseen ways, making a piece of cast-off commerce into a morphological experience of collected meanings that are as prescient as they are untimely.  

    Bio: Bessie Kunath lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She holds an M.F.A. in Studio Art from University of California Santa Barbara and B.A. in Art and Education from the University of San Francisco. Kunath has actively participated in exhibitions in San Francisco, Orange County and Los Angeles. Kunath has been curating art exhibitions as well since 2005 and is a member of LA-based collective, Manual History Machines. 


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