• – “Interstitial” opens at the Pasadena Museum of California Art!

      – Gallery 30 South at Green Street Village.

      Bottoms Up by Joel Otterson, 75 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, electrical parts (Photo - Courtesy of the artist and Maloney Fine Art, Los Angeles).

      Bottoms Up by Joel Otterson: 75 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, electrical parts (Photo – Courtesy of the artist and Maloney Fine Art, Los Angeles).

      A new exhibit of contemporary sculpture is presently in view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The show features Los Angeles based artists Jeff Colson, Renee Lotenero, Kristen Morgin, Joel Otterson, Rebecca Ripple, Aili Schmeltz, and Shirley Tse.

      By Toti O’Brien

      Don’t let the title fool you.

      The fifteen pieces here collected don’t hide in the cracks. They boldly occupy a large section of the Museum’s main gallery. “Sculpture,” says curator John David O’Brien, quoting Barnett Newman, “is what you bump into when you back up to see a painting”. In other terms, the presence of this art form in galleries and museums is usually secondary. For once, priorities are switched.

      Intersitial” subverts expectations, first of all directing the viewer’s attention off the walls, which are pristinely empty. In its novelty, the effect is refreshing. Liberating. The sculptures (two relatively small, thirteen very large) are free-standing or hanging from the ceiling, occupying the space with natural poise—as if by their own will—still furthering an impression of freedom. Labels are missing. Museum personnel stands around, handing out broadsides proportioned to the art, containing all due information.

      The work chosen for the show is also “interstitial”, as it oscillates between genres, utilizing and repurposing domestic objects, morphing industrial or urban residues into abstract structures. Thus Joel Otterson’s mobile shelf, made of intricately woven copper pipe, is an Alice-in-Wonderland-cupboard displaying a fantastic miscellanea of china artifacts. Vases, mugs, statuettes, are juxtaposed in a masterful harmony of pastel, uncaring of correct orientation, pieces of a puzzle gone crazy. The same eeriness characterizes Otterson’s “Bottom’s up”, a chandelier made of wine glasses in shades of green and blue, upturned, loosely echoing a cluster of grapes, festive in their elegant absurdity.

      All work shares to different degrees elements of displacement and wonderment. Lotenero’s dismantled landscape—the inception of a paved alley, dirt mixing with stones—a bunch of cast iron (strange silvery bouquet, ripped out of a gate)—corners of a pink-tiled roof as if from a doll-house—melt on the floor like a slice of wedding cake. Shirley Tze’s delicate contraption—steel mechanics from some industrial engine—is partially covered by moss. It leeks icicles, as if nature were surreptitiously about to reclaim technology, at least hybridize it.

      Morgin’s ethereal collages of nostalgia—old books, magazines, records and toys, appear on the verge of crumbling away (most of them are accurately reproduced artifacts, hand-painted, unfired clay, very fragile). They are line-assembled, as for an encephalic tracing, or radiate like dendrites from a neural nucleus.

      Colson’s wonderful trompe-l’oeil tops the magic. A red tent of steel of fiberglass softly wraps around itself. A desk is submerged by a fugue of paper, stacked in enormous piles, so real you shyly tiptoe around it, breath little, unwilling to be the one starting the avalanche. No worry. As weightless and perilously balanced as it looks, the office mess is solidly built, perfectly stable.  All these white pages, though, magnetize the viewer with their clarity, their enticing emptiness. Meanders of unexploited potential—the unwritten tale, the essence of creativity itself.

      March 5 – August 6, 2017
      Wednesday – Sunday: 12–5pm
      3rd Thursdays: 12–8pm
      Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.

      Pasadena Museum of California Art

      > PMCA will be open for free, with extended hours and complimentary shuttle transportation, on Friday night for ArtNight.

      Toti O’Brien was born in Italy and lives in Pasadena. She’s a published poet and writer. She is also a folk musician and a coloratura soprano, singing opera and choral music, as well as a visual artist. She joins our ColoradoBoulevard.net family writing about Opera music and the arts.

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      "Mother of Corridors" a mixed media on canvas by Margo Taylor (Photo - gallery30south.com).

      “Mother of Corridors” a mixed media on canvas by Margo Taylor (Photo – gallery30south.com).

      Gallery 30 South is a new contemporary gallery, and a welcomed addition, to the Green Street Village in Pasadena.

      La Luz de Jesus Gallery director Matt Kennedy and his wife Ai Honda Kennedy launched Gallery 30 South in February 2017. Located at 30 S. Wilson Ave., just south of Colorado Blvd., the new gallery strives to represent a broad selection of emerging and established international artists.

      Gallery 30 South’s upcoming March exhibit will feature Shigeru Idei & Margo Taylor. A painted conversation on diaspora between two artists separated by age, ethnicity, and geography and yet their approach to materials and subject share similarity – even as their styles remain vastly different yet complementary.

      Shigeru Idei is an internationally-recognized Japanese painter who uses a combination of medium such as oil, acrylic, gold foil, ash and mirror. His new series is based on an overlapping image of a wolf and a boy representing conflicts and unity. His implementation of the mirror gives a depth to his paintings. He says:

      In the world there are always conflicting values that cannot be divided by the simple composition of good and evil, and the truth is sometimes hidden in contradiction. I feel, however, that, even when we have different positions and conflicts, it is necessary for us to share the same point of view – in other words, to have the same eyes.

      Margo Taylor, born in Pasadena, recently graduated from the ArtCenter College of Design with a BFA in Illustration. She switched her focus from portrait to abstract painting as a means of connecting her cultural roots with new forms of expression. Her work was created specifically for this show to reference Idei’s work on the opposite wall.

      The show will run through Sunday, April 2nd.

      Opening Reception
      March 12, 2017
      2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

      Gallery 30 South

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