Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 New Contemporaries SD Art Prize

by Patricia Frischer

2017 New Contemporaries SD Art Prize Nominated Artists at basileIE + CMCuratorial continuing until Sat. August 5.

You can vote again for your favorite artist who will receive an extra cash prize until Friday Aug 4.  There is a closing reception  Sat Aug 5 and announcement of Art Prize emerging artists recipients from 4 to 6 pm

basileIE + CMCuratorial 2070 Logan Ave, SD 92113
More info: Chris Martino
Exhibition hours: regular gallery hours: Thurs. Fri., Sat noon to 5 pm   Plus by Appointment and for opening reception and closing reception and Art Crawl nights the second Sat of the month.

New Contemporaries 2017 Catalog 

Miriam Gabriela Garcia Aguirre nominated by Norma V Iglesias-Prieto, Ph.D. Professor Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
Cathy Breslaw nominated by Patricia Frischer, coordinator, San Diego Visual Arts Network
Ashley Fenderson nominated by Richard Keely, artist
Carrie Anne Hudson nominated by Jim Ruland, writer
Rizzhel Mae Javier nominated by Melinda Chiment, executive director,The AjA Project
Adrienne Joy nominated by Erika Torri, Executive Director, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
Alexander Kohnke nominated by Debra Poteet, collector
Pablo Llana nominated by Chris Martino, director basileIE + CMCuratorial
Michelle Montjoy nominated by William Feeney, artist
Julio M. Romero  nominated by Shinpei Takeda, artist
Brittany Segal nominated by Ann Berchtold Sr. Account Executive at Sixteenfifty
Rebecca Louise Webb nominated by Neil Kendricks, artist/writer
Oslyn Whizar
nominated by Irma Sofia Poeter, artist

Every year I am excited and delighted by a selection of artists by my fellow art professional colleagues. The nominators change every year for this exhibition which features artists nominated in the emerging category for the SD Art Prize.

Only the Art Prize committee (Erika Torri, Ann Berchtold, Debra Poteet and myself) nominated every year. The other seven nominators are composed of those artists and writers that participated in the SD Art Prize in the previous year. You can see a complete list of the names above. Plus the host of the current exhibition is our wild card and this year that is Chris Martino from cmcuritorial.

This even widening circle of artists and art professional is what has made the SD Art Prize endure for over 10 years. Great thanks go to all of them and the past hundreds that have been involved. Over $50,000 has been distributed in cash prizes to the recipients. Our new public choice award only in its second year, if proving very popular. 

This year 10 of the 13 artist are women and four of those women choose to work in soft fabric. Miriam Gabriela Garcia Aguirre creates delicate symbols to tell stories on layers of net,  Oslyn Whizar bold textured hanging look familiar and new at the same time.  Michelle Montjoy  continues to elongate our imagination with her totems of croquet and Cathy Breslaw completely engulfs us in a world of endangered species and potential loss.  

Cathy Breslaw and Ashley Fenderson made installation works the latter using painting to pin point our attention and enhance the sense of landscape within the gallery.  Julio M. Romero created a multi-media area with video and handouts that show his engagement with the community.   Brittany Segal made a sculpture so large it is almost an installation. Its mirror activate the entire space around it and through it.

Pieces which leaped off the wall included works by 
Rizzhel Mae Javier with her secret messages hanging wistfully as they are moved by the breeze. Pablo Llana used crushed discarded junk food wrappers to recreate the map of Mexico.
Alexander Kohnke  is in a class by himself with drawings over laid tracing paper with cut out letters and silent video mouthing the alphabet. This work is elegant and so professionally produced, intriguing, ugly and beautiful at the same time.  

Carrie Anne Hudson and Adrienne Joy proved that painting is not dead (yet again).

Our sole photographer is Rebecca Louise Webb uses this media to document her ephemeral outside installation works. 

I have included the artists statement about the art work in this exhibition. You can see more work in the New Contemporaries 2017 Catalog  

Abysmal, 2017, Embroidered Textile, 47.25 in x 23.6 in
Light beings navigate the oceanic abyss, thanks to abilities that have allowed them to face adversity in seemingly uninhabitable territory. At Abysmal I explored the mourning and survival skills involved in that journey. Through the appropriation of a veil that belonged to my great-aunt, I contact the traces of faith in my own experience. In the rhythm of the threads, I observe the weave to which they give shape and the form as an object of multiple readings.

Oslyn Whizar
Transforming the domestic task of sewing into an artistic strategy to arrive to a plastic result, as in the act of painting, is the axis that moves my artistic production in this moment. The thread has become a graphic element and the fabrics or textiles enter as colored spots that seek to converse with painting, and often pretend and take its place. In my work, I am always looking to go back to painting. Even though the medium is not paint any more but textile, it is in the wholeness that I connect with the very particular language that only painting allows to access. 

There is a nostalgic sentiment for painting in which I chose to remain. Working with fabrics has made it more profound and has given me the opportunity to continue investigating the plasticity that I long for. I found that the act of trimming and sewing these cloths and textiles as if they where paint spots and stains, even volumes, suited me better than trying to achieve them via the traditional way with paint and brushes. It allows me to question the medium as a strict discipline and at the same time insert my work in the continuous exercise of the contemporary.

Perhaps in an eagerness to cut roads, to live in this constant condition of the immediate, I found a shortcut to satisfy a need that at some point I thought would come late by the traditional route. My work will then be a pictorial contradiction. To try to establish contact with the mysticism that exists in painting, a historical hunger within itself, and get to satisfy it by other means, would this be to deny it in this contemporaneity?
I have sought to cross, to emerge, to unite, to continue, to overflow-me by using the sewing machine to make painting. To develop my own language. My work is about self-knowledge, about building bridges into the intimacy of others by working around themes that I have depicted as a lifetime research. The concept of time, the feeling of nostalgia, the circumstances of love and the experience of the beautiful, are the means that I wish to portray in order to listen to others resonate, and then grow.

Carrie Anne Hudson

Alexander Kohnke

Alexander Kohnke  detail

Rizzhel Mae Javier

Rizzhel Mae Javier detail

Michelle Montjoy

Michelle Montjoy

The oil paintings displayed are part of a new project. Documenting my own experiences through photography and using these photos as reference material for paintings, I am interested in the fragments of collected experiences and how they can be isolated, reduced, transformed and reimagined into compositions.

Adrienne Joy detail

Pablo Llana
When we perceive the picture Plaga, by Pablo Llana, we experience a double and contradictory reaction. On the one hand, and from an intermediate distance, it becomes pleasant for us to recognize the representation of the present-day surface of a country, that is Mexico. And also, from far away, it seems attractive for us to notice its chromatic solution, that is based on the triad of primary red-yellow-blue (RYB) colours and complemented with greens, blacks, browns and whites. Upon approaching the work a little more the coarseness and lustrousness of its texture surprises us, that doesn't correspond to the country's topography nor its territorial organization. At the same time, our curiosity is stimulated by certain typographical elements which we unravel little by little. But, on the other hand, as the distance is reduced between this picture and ourselves, we get sensations that go from the surprise of a momentary repulsion as we come to understand that Plaga is done with discarded wrappings from processed and industrialized products from the brands that are most consumed in the country of which we see the map. 
And that is because this piece -and all those of Pablo Llana's authorship- isn't just only accommodating, in the face of the frames of reference of the majority of persons, but also that it confronts us with those noxious and relatively recent eating habits that we have and (or) tolerate collectively. This artist is a pioneer with regard to assuming the responsibility of once more bestowing art with a social function to add to its own artistic one. Making us assume an awareness of how tremendously harmful it turns out to be for our collective health to be consuming junk food in such high amounts as happens in Mexico, to denounce that this situation is a plague, and doing it with the artistic procedures he has mastered, constitutes a contribution of great importance that Pablo Llana makes on behalf of the continuity of artistic cultural development. Written by Calos-Blas Galindo

Pablo Llana detail

Julio M. Romero ‘Playas Lado B’ is an ongoing project by visual artist Julio M. Romero that in its current state, presents works generated by his wanderings through the seashores of southern and Baja California. In the past four years, Romero has lived in Los Angeles, Berkeley and Tijuana, and during this time, he has spent many hours observing the different phenomenon that occurs in the beaches of this region. Working as some kind of archaeologist of the recent past, Romero studies human activity and collects artifacts and data left by frequent beach visitors and dwellers that he then alters and transforms, even if subtle, into something new. The artist categorizes his findings and works with them in three facets that are collectively presented as ‘Playas Lado B’. The first component of the project consists of photographic works that document ephemeral interventions in-situ that Romero erects in the form of minimalist sculptures made out of found materials on his beach walks. And just as walking can be considered an everyday and mundane activity, Romero’s interventions are also humble and non-monumental. These pieces recall Arte Povera of the 1960’s, or some of the early works by Gabriel Orozco and those of the young generation of contemporary artist working in Mexico City in the 1990’s. The similarities of Romero’s work with that of his predecessors are both, in form and attitude. His is a do-it-yourself approach that results in poetic reconfigurations of waste materials with subtle political overtones. In these works, Romero employs both, things from nature and man-made, and are often combined to create a coexistence between the two. At times, the unassuming quality of the sculptures make this concomitance to come naturally and warmhearted, but at others, the cohabitation feels forced, sometimes literally, like when the artist ‘permanently’ ties a blue ribbon to a wooden branch, or a rock to the inside of a battered box.

Or when he cages pebbles inside a wire mesh structure. Romero animates these objects, and makes them coexist momentarily, but the desolated beaches where these ‘things’ live evoke a sense of abandonment. In this scenario, the ephemeral becomes eternal, and the objects future ruins of contemporary life.

In the second facet of ‘Playas Lado B’, Romero preserves some of the findings from his beach walks and takes them to his studio for further analysis. He then recontextualizes the materials a third time by taking them into the gallery space, where he manipulates them and creates inventive forms that fit into their newfound
environment. The gallery context incites new ways of looking, considering and reflecting on the objects, but it can also very easily sterilize and devoid them of meaning. When this happens, the objects’ new location appears as desolated as the bare seashores depicted in the photographs.

The third facet of ‘Playas Lado B’ is video and photo documentation of the people that frequent the beach and its surroundings, as well as gatherings and happenings and any other visual phenomena that catches the artist’s attention. This documentation shows fleeting moments and varied activity that took place in the beach, and just like the sculptural interventions in-situ and in the gallery, the videos and photographs produce a sense of the archaic, decadence and solitude. Romero’s three facets of ‘Playas Lado B’ bring very similar results; they emphasize the evocative qualities and the social implications of the works presented – be it through interventions, the formal, or documentation of people and events.
Written by Luis G. Hernandez, Oct 2015

Rebecca Louise Webb 
Fear and Flora is about my relationship to the american southwest desert landscape. I utilize backdrops to create outdoor studio portraits of southern California's desert plants. Some of the flower pictures depict a rare blossoming that was born of the perfect combination of rain, wind, sun, and time. The images are meant to act as a network of photographs, and arranged to present a typology of desert plants. 

The title of this project is drawn from a book by British Architectural historian Reyner Banham, Scenes from America Deserta (and his title was a reference to the book Travels in Arabia Deserta by Charles Doughty, an English poet). "Deserta" is the latin word for forsaken, lonely, and uninhabited -- yet the American southwest deserts teem with complex ecosystems. 

Banham felt a great sense of awe for the desert from an outsider's perspective. Although a Californian for about a decade, I still feel a sense of trepidation about the desert, even more so than my fears of what lurks beneath the ocean's surface. Originating from the east coast, I have a palpable feeling of photographing the "other" and the exotic, as I work on this series. Like Banham, I am an interloper in this foreign terrain. My interventions symbolize a conquest, like staking a flag in unchartered territory.

Rebecca Louise Webb 

Rebecca Louise Webb 

Ashley Fenderson

Ashley Fenderson detail

Ashley Fenderson detail

Ashley Fenderson detail

 Disappearances is one of several planned installations about climate change.  Having recently spent time in the rainforests of Costa Rica, I have developed an acute awareness of its changing landscape.  There are  substantial diminishing numbers of birds, butterflies and many wildlife in a place known for its focus on eco-preservation.  The installation is in response to personal experience hiking, zip-lining, boating, traveling through and flying over this beautiful and rugged land of volcanos, mountains, rainforests, sea and ocean.

Some of the materials used in this installation have been deconstructed and altered to process an understanding of the fragile and precarious nature of the rainforest in terms of maintaining an eco-balance, and the effects of the human footprint and our treatment of the earth.

Overall, my work seeks to reflect the ephemeral transparent lightness of the atmosphere and my sense of wonder -   touching upon the ephemeral, investigating the cosmos and powerful forces of nature that shape our life experience.

Cathy Breslaw detail

Cathy Breslaw detail

Brittany Segal
Brittany Segal’s abstract installation encourages the viewer to come to terms with two dynamics: the flaws that exist via the shattered mirror and the inner flaws the viewer harbors within. This self-reflective process mirrors the interaction of two people in a relationship. One projects their flaws onto another while fixating on the other’s shattered aspects. The play between the broken mirror and the reflections of the oil painting pull this experience together. Artist Brittany Segal is asking the questions: How well do you know yourself? Do you love yourself? Can you love another fully? Shattered mirror and all?

Brittany Segal back view

Brittany Segal floor view detail

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