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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Steve Schmidt


Mixed-Media Sculptures

March 16-April 27, 2013

Edward Cella Art & Architecture
6018 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tues-Sat 11-6pm/ by appt

Gyre # 3 2013 (plastic containers, zip ties, metal structure) 64"x64"x20
Schmidt's title for his current work (Gyres) is revealing about the artist on various levels.  As a surfer who is an artist and an artist who is a surfer, the Gyres series examines Schmidt's daily experience of riding the curl on his surfboard.  The monochromatic forms of this series can be viewed as abstractions of the atmospheric foam forms caused by the accelerating waves as they begin to fold over and curl. On a physical and metaphyscial level, he is nestled between four of the five major ocean gyres which are continuously rotating clockwise and counterclockwise.
Schmidt spoke of his influences of Robert Irwin's illuminated disc when referring to Gyre #3. He focused on the circular form that appeared to simultaneously rotate peripherally and  vibrate magnetically in the center.  Because Schmidt was responsible for the installation and lighting of his series, he was able to maniuplate the lighting and optimal placement of each work. 
 Like the Light and Space artists that Schmidt is inspired by, (Robert Irwin and Craig Kauffman), each Gyres piece sensuously hones in on the lights of the gallery space and electrifies each sculpture as individualized site vortices.
Regarding the exclusivity of the plastic milk bottle as an art medium, Schmidt said that he felt he was already working with material that was perfectly designed.  As in Marcel Duchamp's Readymades, the artist choose everyday objects such as the Bottle Rack, and the Fountain (urnial), that also stood on their own design merits.  Deconstructing the same design form of the milk bottle, aloud Schmidt to have consistency of sculptural forms creating subliminal spirituality.
Installation view of Gyres series
Gyre# 4 2013 (plastic bottles, zipt ties, metal structure)
Steve Schmidt and Carl Berg-artist talk 3/23/13
Edward Cella Art and Architecture


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Poetry of Observation

Claire Anna Baker

Paintings- Ink on polyester

March 16- April 27, 2013

Edward Cella Art & Architecture
6018 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tues-Sat: 11-6 pm /by appt.

Strings of Desire 2013 -54"x92" (ink on polyester)
The artist talks that director Edward Cella and curator Carl Berg provided on Saturday March 23, 2013 for Claire Anna Baker and Steven Schmidt is a tribute to the emergence of supporters like Cella and Berg to promote the relevance of artists extending their works in dialogues with viewers, art students, artists, patrons and devotees.
During artist talks many artists have been known to create pieces of performance art during their presentations.  Such was the case with Claire Anna Baker. SunBody portrays Baker's jubilance and rejoicing in the process of making art.  Baker beamingly delivered her process which was nurtured in a poetic womb papered with stories of art and artists.  Baker referenced The Life of Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser, as one of her main inspirations for this series.  She sentimentally read heartfelt excerpts from her personally worn book. Baker praised and appaulded her poet- mother for introducing The Life of Poetry to her in childhood. For Baker " poetry causes negotiating with the self. "
Baker's "negotiating" included influences by artists like Helen Frankenthaler and Franz Kline.  She spoke of how Kline's gestural paintings were influenced from real life.  Baker also references real life by having a massive quantity of thrown and stacked objects in the center of her studio. This intentional conglomerate is her quasi-still life. 
Baker has found that painting on polyester, for this series, aids in achieving her process of bold ink gestures traveling throughout the canvas.  She said that "polyester has a memory".  In Strings of Desire the signal wave of motion appears to carry with it memories of Baker's observations and the time of their conceptions.  The subtle layers of the gesture are form and shadow.  The viewer can experience Baker's thought process from its inception to the end of the gestural dance.
Thomas Edison felt that our world was being "observed".  As he looked in his microscope he believed he could keep our world afloat by performing the same gesture.  Baker is an observer, who transcribes her world through movement in various periods of time.
Fighter Flight 2013  60"x84" (ink on polyester)
View of painting series
Carl Berg and Claire Anna Baker at artist talk 3/23/13


Monday, March 18, 2013

reFresh: Furniture & Fiber

reFresh: Furniture &  Fiber
March 2-April 6, 2013

Zask Gallery
Contemporary Art
550 Deep Valley Dr #151
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
hrs: Tues-Friday 1:15-6pm, Sat 11-6pm, Sunday Noon-4pm

June Diamond "Reserved" (found chair, blades, ) 2013

 Gestation, June, & Reserved
 Steve Nasker & Charlotte Stone
Yu Cotten-well
The current exhibition at Zask Gallery contains artists who work in mixed-media, found objects, and recycled material.  Many of the artists in the exhibit used chairs in their artwork.  From a psychological aspect, chairs in art  have been known to represent parents.  In many cases the artists may be working out personal issues with their parents or family.  June Diamond described "Reserved"(2013) as an homage to the loss of her beloved brother-in-law that she considered one of her anchors.  The "reserved" message can signify a reservation at a restaurant and also a reservation for "the great unknown".  The encased rusted single-edged blades incorporate a sense of time with the rust and the deepening grief that exist with the loss of a loved one. 
In in 1979 when I was in graduate school, there was a movement in Los Angeles that was spreading the word "chair" as a concept.  It was a quasi-chain-letter that promoted an open communication where artists discussed the word "chair" -whispered it, chanted it, drew it, engulfed themselves in it.  Whenever I see a chair I automatically recall that conceptual event. 
This exhibition stimulated my experience. 
Beyond the chairs were found object tableaus created by Ben Zask and John Sollom.  Sollom's piece "Bird Key Holder" is also functional as the title indicates.  These pieces have the inspiration of Joseph Cornell as they focus on a slice of life and a mini-fairy-tale.
John Sollom
Gary Paige (Pallette Chair)
Artists featured:
Yu Cotton-well
June Diamond
Paul Guillemette
Steve Nasker & Charlotte Stone
Gary Paige
Janelle Pietrzak & Robert Dougherty
Andrea Senn-Kitts
Erica Sims
John Sollom
Nancy Voegeli-Curren
Steve Webster
Darlyn Susan Yee
Ben Zask