Monday, February 27, 2017

Empowering Advacacy

By Patricia Frischer

I was at a meeting recently and the chairman was absent. When asked for a progress report on an upcoming event from one of the staff, the response was that they were waiting for direction from the chairman. He was told that was not necessary and that he has the committee permission to design and implement the project himself. This galvanized him into action and within 24 hours the event was more or less organized and being promoted.

The staff member was fully capable before this empowerment. He had all the skills necessary to complete the task although the rest of the staff made positive and encouraging suggestions. So what held him back from moving forward? I believe it was a lack of belief in self, coupled with the daily interruptions that draw our attention away from a task that might be more important than we realize. In other words, this event needed to have a priority in his mind and he needed to bring his considerable skills to this task, decisions he had to make himself.

We can all find ourselves in this position at various times in our lives. But I think right now, it is particularly important to make decision on a personal level about how we can move our community forward. Yes, we need to all work together, but each of us has to make a decision about how we can individually lead an effort. I would love to see people taking initiative and coming forward with ideas that we can all support and promote. I believe there is a leader in each and everyone of us.

So now I make a call to empower everyone in the arts community to lead a project that support public art policies and helps to increase the awareness of the value of art. Small or large, a single effort or a partnership, I want you to feel that you can make a difference and, in fact, it is only with your own advocacy for the arts, that we will survive at a time when arts funding might be increasingly under attack.

March 20–21, 2017 is Arts Advocacy Day and we are celebrating it with a banner on the home page of SDVAN. Each year arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for the annual Arts Advocacy Day. This effort brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Before Show: Patricia Frischer at Symbologist

By Patricia Frischer

The Before Show: Patricia Frischer Closing VIP reception Sat. March 11 from 6 to 9 pm at Symbologist Gallery (2060 Logan Ave unit C, SD 92113 in Barrio Logan) during Chicano Park gallery crawl night The exhibition runs  from Feb 11 to March 30,  2017 More info: Kaarin Vaughan 619-693-5004

Most of the time, when you go to an art opening, everyone is standing around drinking, eating, gossiping, networking, hanging or trying to score. What made this exhibition opening reception different was that the attendees were talking about the art. There was a massive amount of content in the show to discuss and that was partly because the work spanned about 1/3 of the life of the artist (presuming she has another 20 years to make art!) and partly because this artist makes neo-narrative work. That means the art tells a story, maybe not a linear story, but a story that relates to the viewer. Of course, some art relates more to one person than another, but that is what makes a conversation.

The show's title is intriguing and refers to the work made from the beginning of Frischer's time in San Diego and spans the time until she started making sculptures in about 2013. She received her master degree in  sculpture from California College of Arts and Crafts then in Oakland and now renamed CCA in both San Francisco and Oakland. So this show represents a cycle of painting in the US after 30 years of painting in London, England where she resides after graduation.The paintings on display give a small taste of a number but not all of the series that were created: Water Rings, Cafe Deception, Borders of Intmacy, Sacred and Profane.Only one work in the show, Takes Time But Worth It, is being shown for the first time.  The titles of the individual works are little poems in their own right.  

Returning to sculpture completes the cycle and the speculation is that an AFTER show of 3-d work might be forthcoming some time in the future. 

Firthscape, Scotland,1997 – living in Glasgow on the firth of Clyde with this dramatic sunset view, the last area of exploration before returning to America

Prevailing Wind, San Diego1997 – first view in the new house in Cardiff by the Sea. Ocean sunsets are done by everyone but these are stong and individual

Synch or Sink, San Diego, 1999
Water Rings series – large red version was donated by buyer to the Women’s Cancer Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital 

Unfazed Fetish, San Diego , 1999
Water Rings series – shoes have always been a passion and have been sculpted by this artist  in aluminum and clay. 

Archimedies Redefined, San Diego, 1999
Water Ring Series, Dancing glass of champagne owned by the director of Symbologist Gallery, Kaarin Vaughn

The Deception is in the Depth of Perspection, San Diego,1999
Café Deception series – background  doodles by ladies from SD and LA brainstorming ideas for the Café Deception exhibition.  The show was part of Art Wallk and took place in what is now the MOCASD downtown location. 

Queen Recluse, San Diego, 2002
Sacred and Profane Series – a strong women, but secluded in the house yet her power is felt out in the world.This is the wizard of oz legend reinterpreted by a woman from Kansas.  

Part of Her, 2002
Sacred and Profane series– notice the night shadow figure on the frame, he is ominous and also protecting.

Ladies Night In, his view, Sand Diego, 2002
Sacred and Profane series
Ladies Night In, her view, Sand Diego, 2002
Sacred and Profane series – notice these two are the two different views, one of him looking across at her and one of her looking down at her own feet..

Borders of Intimacy, San Diego, 2004
Borders of Intimacy series – name sake piece for the show. Many elements reoccur including the lips  in lots of these works with references to film noir. Notice the shadow man.

Double Dipping, San Diego,  2004
Borders of Intimacy series  - do you know someone well enough to share a glass or plate of food, use the same utensils?

Girl with Tit, San Diego, 2004
Borders of Intimacy series - The sexual reference to tit…probably the bird is not even a tit!

Water Remembers, San Diego, 2005 
The title of this works comes from a set of secrets that were deposited in a show at Mesa Collage.  Fat and Happy is the circle top right and was a right brain exercise to tap into the subconscious This circle with it paths and vistas is another re-occurring image

Takes Time But Worth It, San Diego, 2005
Borders of Intimacy series – all about sex, slow down, enjoy it. The cylinder behind represents the bottomless pit that is never filled up…can you ever have enough sex? 

Gap in the Clouds, San Diego, 2005 – Sex and shadow man...the artist did a very early series of work before and after a trip to Japan and those symbols re-appear in the continuing non-linear story. 

Little Prince, San Diego, 2016
Passport to France series – one of five banners  that all contained images of the Eiffel Tower. The adult/child book The Little Prince inspired this work with its sad and wise characters. This event was held by the Encinitas Friends of the Art saround the same time as the tragedy in Nice where many were killed in a terrorist attack. 

Back to sculpture, the artist made these plastic wrap and cellophane figures wrapping the gallery director Kaarin Vaughan who was more than the model, but the actual body of the three works on display.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

John Dillemuth: Gomos and Contraptions at Oceanside Museum Of Art

by Patricia Frischer

I am featuring John Dillemuth in this posting but also covered are Trinh Mia, Dan McCleary, Alixia Markarian, and Russel Forester, all showing at OMA

John Dillemuth: Gomos And Contraptions at Oceanside Museum Of Art (704 Pier View Way, Oceanside 92054) opening on Feb 4 and runs to July 23 with an opening reception on March 25.  Curated by Vallo Riberto, assemblages, contraptions, vehicles, and paintings combine to create an installation that references the real and imaginary. Also note:  For more info: Collette Stefanko  760.435.3720

In Defense of the Purely Visual: a Humanistic* Essay
By Patricia Frischer

It was a cold snowy night in 1973, when I found myself in an artist’s loft in Brussels. I was on tour shepherding an exhibition of California modern master drawings I had curated around the capitols of Europe through the US Embassy cultural program. My host had to leave me to do a radio broadcast, but asked if I would like to stay until his return. He invited me to open the ice crusted window, and have a drink from the bottle nestled on the snowy ledge while he was gone. This was my first experience of Chateau Eyquem, the most exquisite of the honeyed wines of the world. I was 25, and the world was as astonishing and as sweet as that nectar. This intense vivid experience is the same thrill I get when I see excellent art. That stimulation is present when I view John Dillemuth’s installations at Oceanside Museum of Art, curated by Vallo Riberto.  It is a pure visual delight to wind your way through this unique collection of contraptions and their supporting case of charming paintings.

I find I am in need of visual art more than ever right now. I find it a sanctuary from a crazy political world. I can escape into Dillemuth’s sanity where double meanings are the norm, emotions can be mixed and no conclusions need to be drawn. We are privy to the conversations that Dillemuth is having with himself. The body of work is its own proof of that dialogue. We don’t need to hear it or read it to believe it. We can trust the freedom of expression in front of our eyes. Staying free seems to be of utmost importance right now and in that I find this work extremely reassuring.

In writing this I was inspired by one of the first and greatest essayist: Michel de Montaigne. I read a review (New Yorker, Jan 16, 2017) by Adam Gopnik of a book about Montaigne by Philippe Desan. The review itself was very mixed but was an education to me when Gopnik says of Montaigne, “He’s funny, he’s touching, he’s strange, he’s inconclusive. Ironic, self-mockery, muted egotism, a knowledge of one’s own absurdity that doesn’t diminish the importance of one’s witness, a determinedly anti-heroic stance that remain clearly ethical……” For me, he could be speaking about John Dillemuth.

 And just an added little note, Montaigne’s family owned Chateau Eyquem.

*The humanistic perspective is an approach that stresses the good in human behavior including human rights and equality.

John explains his work to a selection of docents plus the new OMA Director Maria Mingalone

Trinh Mai: Lifeline December 17, 2016–March 5, 2017

I was lucky to see Trinh Mai's work when she shared some studio space at The Artist Odyssey  in Encinitas. In both spaces she deals with wounds and repairs. I have always liked her bones works that are wrapped and tied, but this new series of open wounds (or are they mouths or vaginas?) is a whole stunning  series which have been inset in the wall. 

Dan McCleary, Etchings And Studies: Taller De Grabado, Oaxaca 2000–2016 December 17, 2016–April 30, 2017

McCleary's very intense oil paintings are what really capture the eyes in this show. But most of them have been seemingly studies for the etching and dry points that hang side by side.  I especially liked it when he returned the color back into the printed images in the vase of flowers. The skill is apparent in both types of work, but though the accomplishment of mastering print making must be very satisfying, they still seemed to me diminished.  

Alexia Markarian: Desire Is Never Enough December 17, 2016–April 30, 2017

The title of this show seemed to be more of a holding place for this collection of three or four different series by Markarian.  I was particularly fond of the Terra Obscura series. Nothing to do with desire, but then desire is never enough. 

This and the following work are part of the Terra Obscura series

The Russell Forester show is now over but here are a few examples from this amazing graphic design oriented artist. 

This piece fascinated me with it little windows and dark brooding color. It still reminded me of an advent calendar with little treats behind each door. 

Michelle Montjoy’s show Rope opens  at the same time as the formal reception for John Dillemuth at  on March 25. We are eager to see this exhibition so save the date.