Friday, January 25, 2013

Joyce Cutler-Shaw’s art and Lois Stecker auction at La Jolla’s Athenaeum

What Comes To Mind: Nature/Human Nature and Visual Translation by Joyce Cutler-Shaw at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library  will be on when the show and auction of the works of Lois Stecker come up for sale on Jan 25 beginning at 8 pm (viewing from Jan 5)  (1008 Wall Street , La Jolla 92037) opens on Jan 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 and runs until Feb 9. For more info: Katie Walders 858.454.5872

I was so impressed with the Joyce Cutler-Shaw's show at the Athenaeum. I had only seem small amounts of her work in group shows and of course, the public art in the Mission Valley Library. But this is a chance to see new exciting works and the older books in the Athenaeum collection as well. Wow, the first thing I saw was the small room, still human size but covered with large scale photo of tree branches and brush. Then a series of 3-D layered photo works. And finally the really exciting brain scan video work. The most likable thing was how these videos still functioned as paintings or low relief sculptures but then they also move like kaleidoscopes. 

Joyce Cutler Shaw - large walk in book
Joyce Cutler Shaw - 3-d layered images

Joyce Cutler Shaw - Being Rose

 I feel very sentimental about this show of Lois Stecker., our beloved and much missed friend of all visual artist in SD. This is a lovely chance to see some of her works but also the works in her private collection. This was an opportunity to obtain a little bit of her to keep her spirit close by.
Lois Secker silent auction sale of her art and her art collection

What Comes to Mind: Joyce Cutler-Shaw’s art exhibit combines nature, science at La Jolla’s Athenaeum by Lonnie Burstein

For the past 40 years, Joyce Cutler-Shaw has been exhibiting her drawings, artist’s books and installations at museums and libraries around the world. The artist, who has called La Jolla home since 1959, is currently showing an impressive selection of her slide-out, large-format and “tunnel” books at La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in “What Comes to Mind: Nature-Human Nature and Visual Translation.”
At the Jan. 11, 2013 opening, more than 100 art-lovers gathered to admire the exhibit, which continues from the main gallery into the North Reading Room and includes a 10-foot-tall walk-in book that super-sizes an image from Cutler-Shaw’s original “Garden of Wild Birds and Grasses.”
Another, more permanent, version of this piece is on view at the gateway to Stonecrest Village, a housing development in San Diego, in the form of a pair of steel sculptures expressing the artist’s concern with the interplay of natural landscapes and built environments.
“My subjects are human identity and the natural world,” she wrote in an artist’s statement. “My themes are evolution, survival and transformation: from reptile into bird, from mammal to human, and from human, perhaps, to humane.”
Cutler-Shaw, who is artist-in-residence at UCSD School of Medicine, is fascinated with anatomy, and the exhibit includes a small sample of her “Alphabet of Bones,” a unique calligraphy inspired by her detailed drawings of the leg bones of a messenger pigeon.
But the most captivating works here are four wall-mounted tunnel books, framed by her own brain scans, that invite the viewer to contemplate a loop of videotaped “memory pictures” within; it’s the artist’s way of showing how the brain accumulates images from the past, becoming a storehouse of personal and cultural memories.
Also on display are “Limbs and Trunks,” three-dimensional drawings underscoring the connections between humans and trees, and “What Shall We Do When the River Runs Dry,” wall-mounted slide-out books that act as a visual meditation on the dwindling supply of our most precious resource, water.
Visitors are encouraged to open drawers and peer into cases to discover some of the artist’s interesting but lower-profile works.
This is not Cutler-Shaw’s first show at the Athenaeum, which has a number of her pieces in its permanent collection and was part of a four-library retrospective of her work in 2003. But it’s a show well worth seeing:
“What Comes to Mind” will give you plenty to marvel at and think about.
IF YOU GO• What: ‘What Comes To Mind: Nature/Human Nature and Visual Translation’ by Joyce Cutler-Shaw
• When: On view 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays to Feb. 9. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
• Where: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla
• Admission: Free
• Contact: (858) 454-5872

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