December 6, 2012 - March 2, 2013
September 29, 2012 - January 1, 2013
December 6, 2012 - January 19, 2013
Jennifer Glass: Cyanotypes
Cyanotype Greek: kyano (blue; dark blue) + Greek: typos (type or form; print) English 1835-1845
Jennifer Glass captures moments in the life of women through her cyanotypes of vintage gowns. Selected from her private collection, these gowns are reproduced as cyanotypes through a process that the artist sees as a deeply metaphorical statement on the roles of women, politics, power, and fashion. Specifically, this body of work emphasizes the artist’s affinity for fashion as a polarized narrative. The large-scale reproductions are strong in their Prussian blue impressions while fragile in their ghost-like translucency. Glass explains that her connection to the world of fashion elicits a “strong emotional response to how [fashion] may either empower or constrain a woman depending on how she uses it”…she continues: “fashion has been used as a tool by women for years and although it has confined them in many ways, it also has liberated them…these garments belonged to someone.” Glass notes that although the women who wore these garments are now gone, in their time they danced, brought about new life, felt pleasure and pain, and likely changed policy, leaving their own imprint on the world however large or small. Glass’ prints are created through the deceptively basic methods of light exposure and chemical preparation on fabrics.
The cyanotype was pioneered in 1842 by Sir John Herschel as a photographic method to quickly duplicate technical drawings that are normally time-consuming to draw and reproduce. Herschel discovered that when iron salts react with sunlight they leave a permanent blue imprint. When paper or porous fabric is treated with a solution of ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, almost any image may be reproduced if it is drawn on a transparent surface, placed over the photosensitive paper in a darkroom and then exposed to sunlight. The areas of the photosensitive paper (or canvas/fabric) that are concealed by the lines of the drawing remain white while the exposed areas turn into an insoluble blue, resulting in a reverse silhouette. In 1843, shortly after Herschel developed the cyanotype, his friend and colleague Anna Atkins, a recognized botanist, utilized the cyanotype method to catalogue her extensive botanical collection. By placing her algae specimens on the photosensitized paper, she created the first known volume of cyanotype photograms. Atkins went on to self-publish her cyanotypes in her book: Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. Atkins published three volumes and only seventeen copies were reproduced. As a photographer, Jennifer Glass is carrying on this tradition in contemporary times, a method that has gone underutilized since the advent of digital reproductions.
A Florida native, Jennifer Glass earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Social and Political Science from Florida State University. Glass went on to study photography at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale along with taking workshops in New York with well-regarded photographers Debbie Fleming Caffery and Mary Ellen Mark. Glass currently resides in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ann Marie Rousseau: Sight Lines
Ann Marie Rousseau is a photographer, artist and writer formerly of New York City and currently living in southern California. She works with photography, painting and drawing on paper. Rousseau has a deep interest in line in all its manifestations - drawn, painted, photographed.
Madonna and Child: Selections from the Accatino Collection
The Museum of Art & History is proud to present an exhibition showcasing Madonna and Child paintings from
the Tom and Christie Accatino Collection. Dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the selections feature
Madonna and Child paintings from Russia, Ukraine, and Spanish Colonial origins. The Accatino’s are regional
collectors, based in Riverside and Palm Springs, whose eclectic tastes range from California landscape painting to
Asian artifacts. They have a particular interest in certain themes and approaches associated with the Old Masters,
and over the past few years have amassed a group of portraits, still lifes, and religious subjects by various
painters – many still unidentified – working in the Baroque and classic styles prevalent in their day. The selections
here are in honor of the holidays and include a range of treatments of the Madonna and Child subject.
Kokeshi and the Totem: the Art of David Svenson and Kazumi Kobayashi Svenson
David Svenson and Kazumi Kobayashi Svenson are mixed-media sculptors based in the High Desert of southern California. They both share an affection for folk art traditions, in particular the kokeshi: wooden Japanese dolls, and the wooden totems of Pacific Northwestern tribes. This exhibition highlights the Svenson’s traditional kokeshi collection and its influence on David and Kazumi’s mixed media work, which includes hand blown glass, neon, wood and concrete. Through their artwork and teaching, David and Kazumi are helping to keep folk art traditions alive by sharing their collection with the public and creatively interpreting the kokeshi and the totem through contemporary art-making methods. Although the couple shares an affinity for folk art traditions and sculpting with glass, neon and mixed-media, they come from very different backgrounds.
David Svenson grew up in the 1960’s among the many contrasts of southern California. He was surrounded by the flashy neon signage of historic State Route 66 standing out against the vast expanses of citrus groves that dominated the landscape at the time. David recalls the contrast of multicolored light emanating from the neon signs against the darkness of night as an important impression on his aesthetic development. David subsequently left California to study Tlingit art and culture in Alaska where he witnessed the breathtaking displays of the Aurora Borealis. Having a similar effect on his aesthetic development, the use of light became central to his studio practice. While working with the tribes, David was equally influenced by the way of life practiced among the Tlingit families that adopted him into their clan. There, art and life are intertwined in daily interactions and the overarching respect for life is honored through the arts and gift-giving. Totems are always made for someone else, to honor another family or clan. David recognizes kokeshi and totems as fine craft, and sees kokeshi as similar to the Pacific Rim totems because they both honor the family and the spirit of gift-giving. In addition to his studio practice, David teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and has taught classes at the Pilchuck Glass School, in Seattle, Washington; the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York; Urban Glass in Brooklyn, New York, and internationally. He continues to work periodically with a team of Alaska Native totem carvers. Learning, teaching, and sharing skills and knowledge about glass, neon, art and the cultures of the Pacific rim are central aspects of David's life and work.
Kazumi Kobayashi Svenson was born in Sendai, Japan, the heart of kokeshi country. She creates miniature kokeshi as well as drawings and sculpture. Kazumi’s interest in kokeshi began while growing up with her mother’s traditional kokeshi collection, which consists of wooden dolls made in the 1930’s of Japanese maple, Cherry or Dogwood. The family collection contained examples from Onsen, an area in northern Japan renowned for its hot springs and kokeshi workshops that lined the streets offering the dolls for sale to tourists and locals. Traditional kokeshi are meant to honor the loss of a child or simply be given as a souvenir to bring happiness to the home. The floral and linear patterns painted on their kimonos have been developed and passed down through generations of kokeshi craftsman and are distinctive to the area where they are made. The 2011 Fukushima earthquake was centered in kokeshi country, a devastation that has taken an additional toll on keeping the tradition alive.
Kazumi works in the relatively new “Creative Kokeshi” style which developed after the second World War as a departure from traditional doll making. Although many Creative Kokeshi retain the traditional limbless body, contemporary interpretations often show a more shapely body and additional features such as hair and perhaps a more colorful and exquisitely patterned kimono. The features, materials, and styles of Creative Kokeshi are always unique to their creator. Kazumi utilizes glass as her choice of material and creates in a range of scales from tiny dolls made of individual hand blown glass beads to the larger Italian glass and neon pieces. Because the traditional method of creating kokeshi was by lathe turned wood, it converts easily to glassblowing due to the similar methods of turning the material either by a blow pipe or in using a mandrel for bead-making. She often places her Creative Kokeshi miniatures in a mixed media ensemble of neon and old boxes, perhaps referencing her move to America and symbolically bringing the childhood collection with her. Kazumi recalls that the experience of coming to America afforded her the opportunity to see her own culture from a new perspective and allowed her to translate the traditional art form into her own visual language. Kazumi has been blowing glass for twenty two years as well as teaching the craft in Japan. She first began studying neon in the United States in 1994 and has continued combining neon with glass and exhibiting internationally.
Gary Baseman: The Seven Sacred Magi
MOAH is honored to bring the artwork of multitalented and internationally celebrated artist Gary Baseman to the Antelope Valley. Born and raised in Hollywood, the artist crosses many disciplines as a painter, illustrator, video
and performance artist, animator, TV/movie producer, curator, and toy designer. His artwork captures the bittersweet realities of life: playful yet vicious, naughty but nice and always telling a story layered with the pleasures and pain that life brings across generations.
Winter Wishes: Letter to Santa
This charming exhibition showcased letters and drawings to Santa inside paper snow globes from local Antelope Valley school children.