Monday, December 23, 2013

State of the Arts: The Rise of the Living Artist, 2013

By Patricia Frischer

 Buying an art work by an emerging artist is
  • a gamble,
  • a case of love at first sight
  • a genuine commitment

Artists are not making art in San Diego to fill demand. They are passionate about making art even with few sales galleries. They continually find new and non-traditional ways to expose the public to what they create. We do have is an abundance of artists who make art that is easy to like and which enhances lives. A scattering of the best make work that is full of worthy content and which often challenges the viewer.

In San Diego, we don’t seem to have too many collectors that collect just to show off their wealth. Collectors like to meet the artists.  That contact can sway their purchasing decisions because of personality and likeability. We love to see collectors breaking bread with artists and not just thinking of them as investment makers.

But demand is one of the criteria that influences price. Young artist offer the fun of discovery and even the element of the gamble for very reasonable prices. Contemporary art by well know artists is out of the price range of most collectors and that is a new phenomena as we have seen auction figures for live artists skyrocket in the past few years. (Jeff Koons b.1955 sold the highest priced contemporary work this year for approx. $32 million). The amazingly good news is that all boats are rising on the tide and when the prices for contemporary art rises, it rises in all age groups. 

The following are some of our most important venues in San Diego and they are showing local artists.  I take delight that this list includes a very large percentage of women:

Emily Grenader, Jessica Sledge, Joe Yorky at the Athenaeum
Iana Quesnell, Jean Lowe and Doris Bittar at the Women, War and Industry exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art
Catherin Colaw, Linda Kardoff, Allison Renshaw, Julia San Román and Cheryl Tall at the Cannon Art Gallery

SDVAN continues to celebrate the high quality of art in San Diego.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Artists Kathy Miller and Judith Christensen, "Life Lines" exhibition, Rose Art Gallery,(Francis Parker School), San Diego

‘Life Lines’ , is an exhibition showcasing the work of Kathy Miller and Judith Christensen. The show, which takes place within the light and airy space of Rose Art Gallery on the campus of Francis Parker School leaves its mark in several ways.  Familiar found objects draw us into the vocabulary and simplicity of these well crafted works. Miller’s use of recognizable objects of a mannequin, bedsprings, ceramic hands, bits of horse hair, hand spun text, metal, wire and fabric are transformed into a visual poetry that is both elegant and intimate.  Christensen uses language together with found and self-created books, dictionaries and texts to create house structures, paper doll dresses and other sculptural pieces that illicit personal memories in the mind of viewers and engage us in a dialog with ourselves about its meaning. Miller and Christensen’s works have an affinity to the assemblage and sculpture works of  mid-twentieth century artists Joseph Cornell and Louise Nevelson whose simple materials of wood, plastic and metal created an extended linage into the hands of contemporary artists.
This exhibition runs through January 17th, however the Rose Gallery is closed from December 21 – January 5th.  Hours are 8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
6501 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111
Poetic Vessel   10 5/8" x 7" x 7"  
mixed media, hand spun text, encaustic
Kathy Miller
Shroud            12 x 3 1/2 x 2”
Organza with encaustic,
horse hair, wire, wood and alpaca
Kathy Miller

From the Remnant Table   Bamboo,
paper,stone, thread, wood
Judy Christemsen

We All Forget a Word Now and Then
Dictionaries, paper, wax
Judy Christensen

Review by Cathy Breslaw,,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mike Berg: Recent Textiles,Museum of Contemporary Art,Downtown San Diego,Review by Cathy Breslaw

Painter and sculptor Mike Berg has created a body of work in the form of textiles.  Currently living and working in Istanbul, Turkey, Berg worked with master artisans to create these mostly large-scale recent tapestries.  These works reference geometric abstract painting and are made from wool, goat hair, linen, cotton thread and natural dyes.  The natural dyes used provide an array of unique neutralized color palettes of greys, browns, greens, reds, purples, black and white.  In combination with the wool and linen, nubby, raised patterns and textures are visible within the geometric shapes. The geometry within each wall work is not precise - rather they are wonky, curved forms of squares, rectangles, triangles and hybrid angles. These irregular shapes of  varying sizes create movement, and guide the eye in a seemingly never ending circle of engagement with each work. Two of the works use ‘line’ to form the

geometric shapes – and these lines are made of embroidered multi-colored cotton threads. Some of the works appear more like rugs in their materials while others have a similarity to paintings on unstretched linen. Berg’s textiles reflect the heart of a painter who through the use of fabric, has revised the context of painting in an intriguing way.
Mike Berg, Recent Textiles, MOCA, Downtown San Diego, installation

Kilim 3, According to a Set of Principles
2013 natural dyed wool

Review by Cathy Breslaw, 

Dana Montlack: Sea of Cortez, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego,Review by Cathy Breslaw

The Log from the Sea of Cortez(1951) by John Steinbeck documents his six week expedition through the Gulf of California with marine biologist Ed Ricketts. In her current exhibition, photographer Dana Montlack references Steinbeck’s journey through her collaboration with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. Her under-sea images are dissections and magnifications of specimens and charts from the waterways of the Sea of Cortez.  These lambda prints mounted on aluminum are richly hued snippets of marine life and maps collaged in layers on mostly round formats mimicking the eye of a microscope. While we aren’t always sure what we are looking at, these photographic multi-images provide

glimpses unavailable to the naked eye.  They are  fragmentary hyper-views of the natural organic world that appear both wondrous and confusing.  These visual abstractions border on painting as the transparent layering of images blur our vision of the ‘original’ photographs used. Montlack’s photo-collages are unified in their attempts to capture the totality of nature, seeking to remind us of the ‘unseen’ universe.

Dana Montlack  SIO 15, 2013      lambda print mounted on aluminum courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mira Costa College EARTH Art

Dana Smith was kind enough to send me these images of student work on the Mira Costa College campus. 
San Elijo Campus3333 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff, CA 92007

Only up for a few more days so check them out. Well done, Mira Costa College!!!!