Thursday, July 14, 2022

New Art Gallery in Solana Beach: Oolong Inaugural exhibition "Global Entry"

Carrie Marill — Cornell MFA, paintings of modern art in relation to folk art and sculpture  

The very first exhibition at the new Oolong Gallery is Global Entry on view until July 23 and we suggest you don't miss it or miss seeing this wonderful space. It looks rather like an Asian Tea house and that is why the gallerist/owner Eric Laine called this slightly re-jigged space Oolong after the Chinese tea.  

The current show is a selection by Mr. Laine of what he calls mid-career artists, those who have a healthy resume and are professional artists of note. The prices reflect that from $2500 to $24,000. Because of Laine's art world connections in New York and LA as well as Miami and Berlin, I wonder if he will soon be involved in the secondary market, which has always been a source of income for contemporary galleries. 

349 North Highway 101,  Solana Beach 92075

Right off the bat you see the two sculptures by Fay Ray (yes, an alias) which seem to be site specific to this gallery. They fit the architecture, impose themselves on the space as if they are royalty. 

Fay Ray  — represented by Shulamit Nazarian, aluminum sculptures inspired by the Mojave  

Fay Ray and gallerist Eric Laine

I was immediately drawn to the works of Carrie Marill. I related to the work at the top  of this blog titled Crowd, 2014  because of  the depiction of fingers and the title. My own art site is and one of my recent series is Not Your Mother's Finger Bowls. But it is her obsession with patterns that I share and that I find compelling, simple and clever, meticulously rendered and selective in hue. Her studio is at the rear of the gallery where she has also curated a selection of jewelry, clothes and artifacts. So I would hope we will see more of her work in the future. She and her husband Matt Moore turned the gallery over to Laine when Moore's business, (the desks designed by him in the space) took off online. 

Carrie Marill

Carrie Marill

Carrie Marill

Griselda Romas was a 2020 San Diego Art Prize recipient who is now the curator of the Athenaeum Bread and Salt Gallery. SDVAN has posted articles about her from the the Cannon Gallery 2021, Lux (now ICA North) 2020, Oceanside Museum of Art 2020, Art San Diego 2019.  Laine is showing an iconic work on faux ostrich with deep fringe and her colonial themed stitch work. 

The candy colors continue with a glorious abstract canvas by Sara Carter which is large enough to consume you. 

Sara Carter — veteran abstract painter from Texas, studied at SF Art Institute in early 90s

Michael Decker's jig saw of floral flattened boxes is a rather elegant composition of his normally useless objects transformed.

Michael Decker — prolific CA mixed media artist, sculptor, and former Mike Kelley assistant

Alika Cooper gives us a cast bronze bathing suit. Making casting from real life objects is nothing new. Peter Volkos cast an entire chair back in the 70's, but these are  pleasingly composed and could grace any beach home.
Alika Cooper — acclaimed LA artist originally from San Diego, showing bronzes and painting 

I was pleased to get an explanation from Eric Laine about this transfer and graphite work by Bas Louter. Evidently he was trying to listen to music when his son was making annoying noises.  These little insights into the daily happenings in an artist life I find endearing and authentic. 

Bas Louter — Dutch mixed media artist published in "The Age of Collage, Vol 3" (Gestalten) 

No, this is not a digitally enhanced photography. It is a painstaking graphite on paper composition by Carlos Valencia. 
Carlos Valencia — NY bred freehand graphite work on paper, Filipino American from SF 

I am including this last gallery view of the sculpture by Jason David as this my husband's favorite work in the show. I always try to ask him to chose one and tell me why he likes it. He told me he enjoyed be able to walk all the way around it and he like the massive weight of the work. There are four other artists not included in my personal selection, so visit the gallery, enjoy the space, and welcome a new gallery to San Diego.

Jason David — wood sculptor Art Inst. Chicago, fine line between figuration and landscape

Other artists in this exhibition include:
Robbie Simon — CA painter of flat abstract graphic compositions, bright unique palettes
Timothy Ernst — dark paintings of SoCal nocturnal urban and desert settings, Tulane MFA
Kinga Kielczynska — Rietveld Academy artist from Poland, nature vs artifice in video art 
Robbie Simon — CA painter of flat abstract graphic compositions, bright unique palettes 

Please note: Captions are from the Oolong Gallery Guide.  
Global Entry at Oolong Gallery
Showing from  June 4 - August 21st. 
Gallery hours Tu- Fri 10-6  Sat 11-5
349 N Highway 101,  Solana Beach 92075

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