Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 2012 Roundup of Exhibition: Picked RAW Peeled

Tales Of The Maya Skies presents the rich history and culture of the ancient Maya civilization at Chichén Itzá, immersing audiences in Maya science, art and mythology.  Southwestern College Professor of Art History Mark Van Stone, an expert specializing in Maya Hieroglyphs and calligraphy who worked on graphics for the film, and will speak on Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Museum on December 3.

It is not often that you come away from a lecture informed and amused. Prof. Mark Van Stone was as entertaining as he was accurate in debunking the myths of the end of the world that are flying around about the date Dec 21, 2012. And if you are reading this, I guess he was right. Not only is there no prediction by the Mayans, but there is contradiction and confusion among scholars.  And when you add the marketing of sensationalism, there is lots more fiction than fact available to cloud our judgment of a people who would certainly appear to be mathematically extremely advanced.  They figured out a system to record very large numbers with no decimal points or fractions. So we were convinced that instead of the world ending in 12.21. 2012, it might just be the end of one calendar period and the beginning of the next. There is also evidence to suggest that the Maya calendar continues well into the 4000’s

The lecture was given to a room of seemingly very intelligent San Diegans of advanced years on what is known as Senior Mondays at the Fleet.  Afterwards we saw the film Tales of the Maya Skies, a beautifully produced animated film about the origins of the mythology of this culture. It was made spectacular by the huge digital presentation dome a new $2 million screen generously donated by the Jacobs. Every school child should have the opportunity to be mesmerized by presentations like this one. It was visually so exciting with aerial swoops and dives, changing perspectives and great glowing splashes of color. I came out of the theater elated.

Michelle Cole, Journeys  from Dec 3 - Jan 8 at the Encinitas Library,( 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas 92024) Based on life-transforming travels to South and Central America, the South Pacific and Caribbean, these uplifting works of light, color and form explore a passion for the natural beauty of people, their countries, and the oceans. More info: Jim Gilliam Jim Gilliam

 The glass “paintings” of Michelle Kurtis Cole are radiant and seductive. These are not pieces of glass that are painted on but glass that is manipulated while red hot into controlled compositions. Yes, there is an element of happy accident, but Ms. Cole has a second sense of how the glass will perform and she channels her very potent energy and extreme knowledge of the material to coax luminous lines and rushes of intense color into slabs of glass that are very covetable.

When entering when the library was brand new, 6 beautiful lighted display cases greeted you. Unfortunately, those display boxes are now separated and a bevy of rather unattractive book shelves is the first thing you see. I have nothing against books and even feel that displayed correctly they can be a center piece, but this wasted opportunity is distressing to me and I hope it is corrected soon. How glorious it would to see Michelle Kurtis Cole’s art as your first glimpse of the magic awaiting you at the library. 

Remember you can still see Luminous Passage: Works in Glass and Light by  Michelle Kurtis Cole and Abe Ordover until Jan 1 at the L Street Gallery at the Omni (628 L Street, SD 92101) More info: Kay Colvin760.492.2876

One more chance to see the final works of Jen Trute in this  retrospective: Enviroscapes from Dec 8 to April 21
at the Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 92054). More info: Danielle Susalla 760.435.3720

I was so delighted that the OMA museum did an outstanding job of hanging this show. Great thanks goes to Danielle Susalla Derry for making sure that the show was a first class tribute to this artist of immense talent.   I feel strongly that Jen’s work could take its place in history someday along side of Eva Hesse, another passionate artist who died way too young. Jen Trute had many long time friends. I was lucky to know her and speak to her often about her work.  I was interviewed by Kelly Davis for City Beat about the Jen Trute show and so I decided to repost her column for you to read here.

On her website, Jen Trute explains the inspiration for “Sunbathe Barbie at Bombay Beach”:

“We pulled into the village… and drove around this godforsaken trailer-ville that looked like a modern day ghost town…. The beach was lined with layers of orange and turquoise and chocolate colored foam. Where you could see into the water, pinky beige gunk waved back. There were lots of rotted out houses and trailers submerged out in the lake to about the 4-foot level. A rusted out delivery truck was sunk in sand up to the dashboard. Dead fish lay along the water’s edge.”

Trute was a passionate environmentalist, says longtime friend Patricia Frischer; scenes of environmental degradation fill her paintings.

“It can look like it’s anime or surreal, but… the underlying passion in her life was that,” Frischer says.

Trute died on July 23, 2011, after a long battle with breast cancer. She left her paintings to her friend and fellow artist Dennis Paul Batt, and Batt started making plans for a retrospective exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), where Trute had shown work in the past. But, on Jan. 30, 2012 Batt died suddenly. His sister, though, made sure the exhibition moved forward, Frischer says.

Trute’s body of work is small, Frischer says. The artist spent much of her life in a great deal of pain. “She was very conscious of how much energy she had and how she had to use it very wisely. She couldn’t afford to waste any time and she knew that.”

“Sweetness and fear, side by side” Frischer says, “That is what imbue Trute’s work. She captured that combination so perfectly. She added Pop art and  surrealism  and made them her own.”

The San Diego Museum of Art  has set aside a small room on the left of the grand staircase to showcase the work of Marianela de la Hoz a ten year resident of San Diego County who has established a following through her gallery Noel Baza. . Her detailed painting technique is informed by Surrealism and focuses on representational art. Heaven and Earth, the Determined Freedom of an Undetermined Life consists of an altarpiece with 11 individual paintings and is inspired in part by the Museum’s painting, Madonna and Child, ca.1468 by Carlo Crivelli. But de la Hoz has given us more to ponder and discover with her new masterpiece showing until Feb 2013.


Mark Jesinoski: Aquaticus at Pulse Gallery until 27 December is showing painting which are described by the artist as the organic and meditative abstract paintings where “Life is constantly changing and, like water, we can flow and adapt to our world while gracefully shaping it over time.”. What I see is a great leap forward by this artist who is producing sensitive works that are elegantly painted and showing off really improved skills. I have watched Mr. Jesinoski progress over the last few years as he finds himself not only at a new level within his work, but finding a bride and honing in on a balance between his day job and his passion for art.


Capturing The Wonder of Women at the Women’s Museum of California is first juried show in the brand new gallery space at Liberty Station. UCSD's Li Huai, was the curator and installer and Robert Pincus made his choice for the $1000 prize and two honorable mentions.  More than 150 local and regional artists submitted work for this show and  48 pieces were on display. Ashley Gardener tells us that the theme for the museum future shows at least in the near future will all be about Wonder Women in all sorts of guises. The show had many many artist that we know and love, too many to mention here, but it was a good representation and a wide spread of concepts. Juried shows on themes this vague are not my favorite, but it is a handsome show with something for everyone. AND we are thrilled that the museum now has an elegant and roomy showing space for art by and about women.

   Exhibition view

Lisa Marie Rodriguez

  Claudia Cano
Anna Zappoli
Emilia Sedeghi

 Mele Fox


No comments:

Post a Comment