January 18 - March 16
Second Floor - Staircase Atrium
Second Floor East Gallery
January 23 - March 13
Ruth Pastine: Attraction 1993-2013
In the world of human perception, perhaps no single stimulus evokes a more complex cascade of responses than that of the phenomenon of color. Our perception of the color spectrum is completely dependent upon light and is encountered thousands of times a day in seemingly infinite combinations. Whether in our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, cities, in film, in art, even in our dreams, these encounters have the ability to trigger emotional, physiological, intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual responses. Creating this phenomenological interplay between color, light and perception is where renowned painter and color theorist Ruth Pastine thrives.
Pastine’s oil paintings and pastel works on paper provide a contemplative field in which we may dwell and absorb the intimate relationships she presents between warm colors and cool colors, between light and dark tones, between two-dimensions and the illusion of three-dimensional space. Pastine’s life’s work is dedicated to evolving the visual experience of color and redefining the perceptual field by combining contrasting color systems that challenge our preconceptions and ask us to move beyond the immediate attraction into the optical realm. The work is best experienced in person, which reveals the optical and visceral resonance of the hand painted surfaces. Through her work, color and light are reduced to their most elemental form. Thousands of tiny brush strokes appear visually seamless, producing an image that is both objective and pure and filled with nuance and subtlety that engages the viewer in the present tense of discovery. This journey parallels her painting process of being in the moment, in the here-and-now as she transforms a neutral canvas into a rich field of color. The square, vertical, and horizontal-rectangular framework of the canvas provides a gateway for departure, a means to access the future work, beyond that which seems finite.
Ruth Pastine was born and raised in New York City. She received her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY in painting and art history, and her M.F.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York in painting, color theory, and critical theory. She received the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Grant in 1999, and in 2000 in conjunction with The Shifting Foundation matching grant. In 2001 she relocated to Southern California where she currently works and resides. In 2009, she received a public commission from Brookfield Properties and created a site-specific installation titled Limitless, which is comprised of eight large-scale vertical paintings permanently on view in the lobbies of Ernst & Young Plaza in Los Angeles, CA. The Museum of Art & History is pleased to present Pastine’s first museum survey show with exhibition catalog essays by Donald Kuspit and Peter Frank. She has exhibited widely in the United States and Japan, and is included in many public and corporate collections across the nation.
Gisela Colon: Glo-Pods
The work of Los Angeles-based Gisela Colón has been associated with California Minimalism, specifically the Light & Space and Finish-Fetish movements more broadly referred to as “Perceptualism.” Colón’s sculptures investigate the properties of light in solid form and luminescent color through the use of industrial plastic materials. The Glo-Pods body of work—meticulously created through a proprietary fabrication process of blow-molding and layering acrylic—mark Colon as part of the next generation of southern California artists using light as exploratory media.
The light appearing to emanate from the objects is an illusion based on color and form. Colón's use of amorphous, organic, asymmetrical lines and light-reflecting and radiating media make her objects appear to pulsate with light and energy. They simultaneously appear to both actively materialize and dissolve into the surrounding environment, allowing the experience of pure color and form in space. Colon’s goal is to bring about intriguing perceptual contradictions between visual elements such as: mass/lightness, solidity/delicacy, opacity/ transparency, muscularity/femininity, and intensity/nuance thus allowing for the exploration of the phenomenology of light, color, materiality, and space as we experience it through the human lens of the senses.
Colón was born in 1966 in Vancouver, Canada, to a German mother and Puerto Rican father. She was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico, graduating magna cum laude in 1987 with a BA in Economics. Colón moved to Los Angeles to pursue graduate studies, receiving a Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1990. She was given a Congressional Scholarship Award by the Harry S. Truman Foundation in recognition of her outstanding academic excellence. She was able to turn to art full-time in 2002, quickly developing a following for her abstract paintings. Colón’s increasing interest in light and space and issues of visual perception brought her to her present series of work and her conscious association with Light-and-Space and Finish-Fetish artists such as Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Craig Kauffman, DeWain Valentine, Helen Pashgian, Larry Bell, Ronald Davis, Mary Corse, and Peter Alexander.
Colón has exhibited at national and international venues. In 2014, she will be featured in the survey exhibition “Trans-Angeles” at the Museum Wilhelm-Morgner Haus in Soest, Germany.
John Eden: Roundel Series
In his Roundel Series, Sculptor John Eden presents multicolored disks that are interpretations of the symbols and colors used to identify military aircrafts’ country of origin. These 'Roundels' were originally inspired by the tricolored Cockade uniform ribbon of the French Revolution and repurposed again during WWI for aerial combatants. Mr. Eden further abstracts these symbols into pure shape and form. Eden started the Roundel Series in the late fall of 2012 and to date has created twenty-nine discs in various sizes, with twenty-five different Roundel designs. Like many of his contemporaries within the Southern California Finish-Fetish movement, he works solo in his studio, attending to every detail with pride and dedication to his craft. His work is grounded in his lifelong fascination with hidden or secret meanings: things that appear to be one thing, but are quite the opposite—in this case beautiful objects with lethal intent. This series explores the idea that “all that glitters is not gold” and the dark side of beauty.
Eden’s Roundel Series builds upon the pioneering legacy of Southern California artists who married industrial materials and the Los Angeles car culture with political activism in the early 1960s. Eden credits the feminist artist Judy Chicago and her 1964 Topical Car Hood Series as an inspiration for his Roundel Series. Chicago sprayed acrylic lacquer on Corvair car hoods in precise, bold patterns thereby ushering in a new era of materials and content in Southern California art.
John Eden received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Southern California; Master of Arts in inter-media from California State University of Northridge; and Bachelor of Fine Arts in independent filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. Eden attributes his skills in handling sensitive pigments, high polish surfaces and non-traditional materials largely developed by the California aerospace engineering industry to his advanced training under Jack Brogan in his world renowned fabrication studio. Since the 1960s Jack Brogan has been an important facet of the art scene in Southern California, working closely with artists such as John Eden, De Wain Valentine, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Helen Pashgian and John McCracken as a conservator, fabricator, and collaborator. MOAH is proud to continue exhibiting this legacy of artists and the fabricators who have helped pioneer the Light and Space and Finish-Fetish movements, all unique to Southern California.
Eden shows widely in California and has published in The Los Angeles Times, Art Review and The San Diego Union Tribune. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Johannes Girardoni: Chromasonic Field Blue/Green, 2013
Johannes Girardoni is an American-based sculptor and installation artist. Girardoni is known for work that blurs the line between virtual and material content. Dispersed throughout a gallery filled with natural light, Chromasonic Field-Blue/Green is a series of semi-translucent blue cast resin beams. White LED’s illuminate them from within, projecting artificial light as well as allowing the surrounding natural light to pass through. The installation is outfitted with sensors calibrated to measure the specific color frequency emanating from the resin as well as the ambient light. The sensors drive a tone generator, which converts the light information to sound, essentially making light audible. These sensors also register the presence of the viewer moving through the space, which further modulates the sound. The boundaries between natural and digital phenomena are blurred in a field of luminous sound.
Johannes Girardoni's work has been widely shown at museums and galleries in the US, Europe and Asia. In 2011, Girardoni's light and sound installation The (Dis)appearance of Everything was included in the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy. Selected other exhibitions include Personal Structures at the Ludwig Museum, Germany, 30 Years of Contemporary Art at the California Center for Contemporary Art and Creative Migration at The Austrian Cultural Forum, New York. His works are represented in public and private collections, such as the Harvard Art Museum, The Progressive Collection and The Margulies Collection. Girardoni has been the subject of features and reviews both nationally and internationally including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ArtNews, Art in America and Sculpture.
In 2013, Girardoni completed a major in-situ permanent work, Metaspace 1 (The Infinite Room), a light and sound sculpture conceived as part of architecture in collaboration with Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt National Design Award winner Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects. Girardoni’s Metaspace V2, a groundbreaking interactive sculpture project that brings together art, technology, and science was first presented at the exhibition Off and On at Nye+Brown in Los Angeles.
Phillip K. Smith: Lucid Stead: Four Windows and the Doorway
Drawing inspiration from the optic sensation of California’s Light and Space movement, Phillip K. Smith III creates deceptively simple objects that seem to breathe and move as they are observed and experienced. This exhibition showcases one aspect of Smith’s Lucid Stead, 2013 an entirely site specific installation that incorporated LED lighting with mirrored panels on a 70 year old homesteading shack in the Mojave desert. Smith’s design of Lucid Stead was deeply influenced by his relationship to the desert, where he lives and works, and the inherent qualities unique to the Mojave: the quiet, expansive space, the reduced pace of change, and the uninterrupted color fields that occur as day shifts to night over the horizon. Using these ephemeral qualities as material and medium through the reflection of light and mirrors mounted on the homestead, Smith was able to place the building in direct conversation with the surrounding landscape. The four windows and doorway were outfitted with LED panels that slowly drenched the viewer in color. The desert context disappeared as day transformed into night and the colored panels appeared to float into the black sky. Smith happily pulled these light panels away from their desert home and into the MOAH to enable him to strictly focus the eye on pure color. His usual mode of working with light is from the inside-out, meaning he imbues his objects with light from within. Now, the interaction of color occurs as colors reflect and mingle on the gallery walls, washing the gallery in shifting changing light and color. Lucid Stead: Four Windows and the Doorway provides a direct path to the human sensory system, and the installation itself takes on human physicality, as if the color is breathing light into the participant. Smith is concerned with time and the ephemeral nature of life. In the past was Lucid Stead. In the present is: Lucid Stead: Four Windows and the Doorway, a bridge to the future where Smith will take re-site a monumental installation into the landscape, where the Southern California desert and the purity of his solar powered light panels interact seamlessly.
Phillip K. Smith III received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. From his Indio, California studio he continues to push the boundaries and confront the ideas of modernist design. Drawing inspiration form the rigidity of the Bauhaus movement in its pure shapes, colors and forms, with the reductive geometries of minimalism and the optic sensation of light and color, Smith III attempts to resolve the complex challenge of finding a natural state of life and spirit within these ideological constrictions.
Commissioned to create more than a dozen monumental public art works in the last 5 years in Kansas City, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Arlington, VA, Phoenix and several sites in California, Smith has enjoyed rapid success with a 2008 feature in the Art in America Annual Review. In addition to these larger scaled works, Smith continues to work on an ever-growing list of smaller scaled works for private collections.
Karl Benjamin (December 29, 1925 – July 26, 2012)
Born in Chicago, Karl Benjamin began his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1943. Interrupted by service in the US Navy during WWII, Benjamin resumed his studies at Southern California's University of Redlands in 1946. Graduating in 1949 with a BA degree in English literature, history and philosophy, Benjamin began his career as a teacher with no intention of becoming an artist. However, his relocation to Claremont California in 1952, shortly after he had begun "playing" with paint in 1951, galvanized his career path.
Though he continued to teach in public schools and, later to great acclaim, for Pomona College, the artist's work blossomed amid the lively art, design and architecture scene in Los Angeles in the mid twentieth Century. Numerous gallery showings of his work during the 1950s culminated in 1959 with his inclusion in Los Angeles County Museum of Art's ground-breaking exhibition "Four Abstract Classicists: Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley and John McLaughlin." The exhibition garnered national attention along with the creation of a moniker for Benjamin's meticulously orchestrated color and form: Hard Edge Painting. Subsequently Benjamin's work was included in the exhibit Purist Painting traveling to Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse and the Columbus Museum of Art. The Whitney Museum included his work in Geometric Abstraction in America. Museum of Modern Art (NY) also featured the artist in their watershed exhibit The Responsive Eye.
Benjamin was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Visual Arts in 1983 and 1989. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Seattle Art Museum, WA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY among others. Benjamin taught for many years at Pomona Valley institutions and was named Professor Emeritus at Pomona College.
Dion Johnson: Light Sequence – Aquarium, 2013
Dion Johnson is activating the Education Gallery with an animated video projection of slowly evolving abstract fields of color, stripes and architectural forms. This is a site specific work of art that Dion has created exclusively for MOAH. Mr. Johnson imagines the projection as a moving painting that draws inspiration from how he senses and experiences the environment. From observing shadows stretching across his living room floor, watching the curvature of the freeway interchange while driving to his studio, and seeing the Southern California light filtering through urban structures, Light Sequence – Aquarium holds a full range of associations and perceptual cues that percolate as the video animation unfolds.
Dion Johnson received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio State University and his Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University. He exhibits nationally with solo shows in museums and galleries across California, New York, Florida, Ohio and Texas. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Innovations 29th Annual All-Media Juried Art Exhibition
Highlighted in the 29th Annual All Media Exhibit are 107 pieces created by 73 talented High Desert Artists. The entries were judged by Southern California artist Ray Turner, an American artist known primarily for his portrait and landscape painting and award winning sculptor Sarah Perry who currently resides in Tehachapi. All work in this exhibition was produced in the past three years and has not previously been shown at the Museum of Art & History. All forms of artistic media, including, but not limited to, painting, photography, and mixed-media were welcomed. The award winners were chosen by the esteemed judges with aditional awards given by community members and City leaders.
Best of Exhibition
• 1st (Best of) Christine Kline - Origins
• 2nd (Best of) Stevie Love - Paint Thing 2
• 3rd (Best of) Antoinette de Paiva - Afterthought Series #5
• 1st Place Hanna Creech (age 13) - The Peacock
• 2nd Place Elizabeth Engeda (age 10) - Northern Cardinal
• 3rd Place Jack Kozlovsky (age 7) - Jack's Magic Dragon
Beryl Amspoker Award
• Tina Dorff - Portrait of the Young Countess Deirdra Rose
Lakes and Valleys Art Guild Award
• Sal Vasquez - Harris Vineyards Harvesters
Dean Webb Memorial Photography Award, Presented by the Lancaster Photography Association
• Betsy Batish - Unhitched
• Tina Dille – E.B.
City Manager’s Award
• Michael Evans – Steampunk Top Hat
• Regis R. Gagnon – Cotton Belt on the Outskirts
• Anita Ray – Loose Ends
• Nay Schuder – Crackin’ Up #1
• Michael Evans – Steampunk Media Player
•Antoinette de Paiva - Afterthought Series #7
• Thaddeus Grzelak - Plein Air - Old Gold Mine
• Frank Dixon - The Machine Age
• Dennis Borak - Field of Sun Flowers
• Dennis Borak - Artist Considering a Painting
• Susan Cunningham - Dreaming of Zion
• Nancy Scherich - Bitter Sweet
• Hossen Mofarrah - Particles in the Air
• Ralph Richeson - The Circus Came to Town
• Christine Kline - Drowning Man
• Jarnold - Meat Head
• Tina Dorff - Deirdra & Jacques
• Dennis Adams – Old Barn
• Cynthia F. McConnell - Voids
• Karyl Newman - Inter-Airspace Velvet
• Stevie Love - Paint Thing 3
• Bruce McAllister - Sarah Says (As Neptune Swims)
• Katherine Shannon - Kidding Around