One Exhibit. Nine Unique Artists.
In every hero’s journey there comes a point of no return, a single moment in time and space where a decision must be made: to move from the familiarity and comfort of their home or take their first steps into a larger, increasingly perilous and complex world. This human experience is a culmination of the physical and metaphysical structures that are constructed by their interactions across time. Each of the artists featured in Structure, explore the dimensions in which humans organize inner and outer spaces, presenting their unique interpretation and understanding of transformational architectures - and the permeable boundaries that exist between them.
The artwork featured in Structure is presented in a wide array of media, from physical sculpture to small-scale collage, illustrating mental spaces and blurring the line between the tangible and intangible elements of life. HK Zamani, Kimberly Brooks, Coleen Sterritt, and Cinta Vidal create work that visualizes time, space, and structure through the lens of human experience. Time plays a key role in the artwork of Matjames Metson, Chelsea Dean, Stevie Love, and Jim Richard, all of whom source their material almost entirely from past eras. Mela M, also influenced heavily by the concept of time, instead looks to future architecture and social structures. Ultimately, these artists hone in on the present social systems, their origins, and the futures they hold.
The art presented in Structure provides visual commentary on the spaces where immaterial framework meets concrete structure, calling attention to the system failures of the past. Present issues such as climate change, political corruption, and social inequity are all the result of these archaic constructions. Through lived experiences, the interactions of the interior and exterior resonate beyond any one individual, transforming the communities and environments that so many call home, for, as author Kamal Ravikant writes, “Once you cross the threshold, you will never be the same."
HK Zamani is an Iranian-American multidisciplinary artist and founder of PØST, an alternative exhibition space in Los Angeles. Teetering between the obscure and the objective, his work examines the synthesis of artistic medium, conception, and interaction. Interplay between structural materiality and metaphysical interpretation are prominent in Zamani’s work. He uses this exchange of the indefinite to comment on the current social structures and expectations of society. The physical use of artistic media is put into conversation with the representation of cultural overlap.
Body and Immaterial: A Conversation of Sculpture and Painting, A 20 year Survey of Works by HK Zamani comments on the relationship between two prominent art mediums. The exhibition includes works such as Fashion of the Veil (2008), Prague Dome (2004), the Inadvertent Protagonists series, and many more. Works vary in medium. Sculptural and material elements showcase the skeletal and structural aspect of the work. Rigid frameworks such as the metal geodesic support on Prague Dome (2004) are juxtaposed with softer, more gentle textiles that make up the walls of the same work, calling to ideas of duality. Paintings provide preliminary and complimentary concepts that coincide with the sculptural work. Abstracted forms presented in his paintings also mimic the figures that can be seen in works such as Inadvertent Protagonists and Fashion Erasure I-18 (2021), noting the multiplicity of possibility and interpretation discussed in the work.
HK Zamani received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from California State University, Dominguez Hills and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Claremont Graduate University. He is the recipient of City of Los Angeles Getty Trust and California Community Foundation grants. In 1995, Zamani founded POST, in 2009 it became PØST. His work is included in the collections at Berkeley Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He currently works and resides in Los Angeles.
Through a myriad of paintings, drawings, and collages, contemporary artist Jim Richard construes interior and exterior depictions of Modern architecture. Since the late 1970s, Richard has created a profusion of modernist interiors loaded with art and kitsch objects that settle into multi-hued graphic fields. Richard manipulates interior aesthetics from the 1960s and 70s warping the display of art influenced by the modernist idea of a utopian society. The adornment of objects within Richard’s collages is strategically curated from a selection of 1960s and 70s home decor magazines and furniture advertisements. Visually, his work fuses elements of photorealism, hard-edge painting, and collage, resulting in a 2-D abstract style imbued with an array of rich colors and patterns.
Richard’s body of work has a persistent focus on the recontextualization of Modernist art and design. Absent occupants, the clash of decorative objects and imagery against the busy patterns of Jim Richard’s collages evoke the presence of an art collector. The claustrophobic slew of sleek furniture and ornamental ephemera is Richard’s satirical yet humorous commentary on the ambitious goals of Modernism and Modernist art. At this point in time, many artists were striving for pure originality, seeking to advance their art practice beyond acceptable forms of "high art.” By structuring the composition of his collages around curated art-objects Richard’s architectural frameworks act and feel like a mausoleum putting outdated aesthetics and politics to rest.
Originally born in Port Arthur, Texas, Richard currently lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is represented by the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and Inman Gallery in Houston. Richard received his Bachelor of Science from Lamar State College of Technology and his Master of Fine Art from the University of Colorado. Richard's work has been exhibited in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Drawing Center, Oliver Kamm Gallery, and Jeff Bailey Gallery. For several years, he taught painting, served as a Graduate Coordinator, and was in charge of the Visiting Artists Program at the University of New Orleans served as Graduate Coordinator. Richard's paintings can be found in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, The New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Houston Museum of Fine Art.
Contemporary American artist Kimberly Brooks examines identity, history, and memory by utilizing a combination of landscape, abstraction, and figuration in her work. Stemming from a long tradition of American painting, her scenes depict subject matter that meets the edges of realism and abstraction. Examination of feminine identity is also present in a majority of her work. Projects such as The Stylist Project (2010), Fever Dreams (2019), I Have a King Who Does Not Speak (2015), as well as many others include the depiction of women in relation to their surroundings. Their identities and histories are depicted in loose brushstrokes, hinting to ambiguity and fleeting memories.The hand of the artist is apparent; the painterly quality of her work stands out in her varying compositions.
Painting Architecture (2021) showcases the use of the built environment as landscape and subject matter. Both interior and exterior scenes are depicted: Rococo walls adorned with paintings hung salon style, arches and tilework of a mosque, an outdoor gate and pathway flanked by foliage. While these spaces may seem innocuous and arbitrary, these environments carry strong associations that are informed by their architectural styles. Brooks calls forth the provenance and significance of these spaces. The line between contemporary and antiquity is blurred. Instead of deviation, similarities are shown. A quiet, more meditated atmosphere is harmonious between the works. The play of light provides a still and almost objective showcase of these environments. There is a formal rigidity that is present between all of the works that is made apparent by the strong perspective lines that indicate the boundaries of these spaces. Juxtaposed to this is again, the use of loose brushstrokes and painterly techniques that are a mainstay of her practice.
Kimberly Brooks was born in New York City, New York and raised in Mill Valley, California. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and studied painting at the University of California, Los Angeles and Otis College of Art & Design. Brooks hosts monthly artists talks on her discourse platform First Person Artist and is also the author of The New Oil Painting. Her works have been showcased internationally. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Employing skillful assemblage and woodworking techniques, Matjames Metson incorporates found antique objects into elaborate mixed-media sculptures using only paint, glue, and matchsticks from the present era. The re-purposing of discarded and forgotten objects is essential to Metson's work; he spends a great deal of time seeking out items from abandoned buildings, estate sales, and friends' garages, among other places where one might find momentos and personal items. For Metson, each object has an assumed history — a resonance of an unknown past — which triggers an inherent emotional response in the viewer.
As a survivor of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina disaster, which displaced more than a million people from the Gulf Coast, Metson is driven by the concept of survival in addition to his obsession with hoarding forgotten objects. The hurricane destroyed his artwork, community, possessions, and livelihood, forcing him to relocate to Los Angeles with only his two dogs and the clothes on his back. The relics used in his artwork are assembled together in a way that reflects Metson's existential need to pick up the pieces of his life and create a new structure for his future while remembering and honoring the past.
In Tower, Metson utilizes and modifies myriad antique objects including time-worn rulers, pocket knives, keys, fountain pen nibs, printed ephemera, and children's toys. The wooden materials used to construct the architectural elements of the piece were sourced from vintage furniture, doors, and cigar boxes. Incorporated into the assemblage are Metson's signature motifs (wasps, eyes, skulls, rabbits) and phrases (such as "HARD WORK" and "HEAT KING"). At the top of the structure is a hand-carved golden wasp, a sample of the symbolism used by Metson, and an exemplification of his explorations in craftsmanship. The sculpture also features a crank-operated kaleidoscope displaying an array of vintage photographs.
Matjames Metson is a self-taught artist, carpenter, and architect known for his assemblage sculptures and his illustrative work. He has completed several graphic novels including Survivor's Guild, an autobiographical account of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. His work has been shown at Coagula Curatorial gallery, the Fowler Museum, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, among others. He was born in Charlotteville, New York and currently lives and creates in Los Angeles, California.
MANIFEST STRUCTURES FROM THE IMAGINAL is a new body of work from Mela that captures the artist's concept of "a provocative stream of consciousness as the past informs the present… to imagine multiple future possibilities." For Mela, these works bear witness to species-driven archetypes that result in how humans structure their lives on a physical and emotional level. The acceleration of science and technology have made these cultural systems increasingly complex, and these intricacies are reflected in Mela's structural representations. Mela strives to create visualizations of the different layers of human consciousness as imagined through multiple dimensions and timelines, and hopes her work challenges upcoming artists to draw inspiration from this not-so-common era.
There are five distinct but related components from throughout the museum that make up MANIFEST STRUCTURES FROM THE IMAGINAL: a set of four acrylic paintings titled THE EVOLUTION OF THE OMEGATROPOLIS THROUGH FOUR SEASONS OF ARCHITECTONIC METAMORPHOSIS (lobby atrium), the hand-drawn CITYSCAPES OF ARCHITECTONIC METAMORPHOSIS FOR THE COMMON ERA (wall leading to the Jewel Box), a symbolic monument titled THE TOTEM OF THE MOON CASTLE (Jewel Box), and two architectural wooden sculptures titled THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE MOVES THROUGH IRREGULAR ANGLES IN A RISING WALL FROM AN ARCHITECTONIC CITY WITHOUT NAME OR PLACE OR TIME and THE WALL TEMPLE AT THE VANISHING POINT (Ralph and Virginia Bozigian Family Gallery).
Mela M has an MFA from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California and an MFA from the Technological Institute of Art and Textile Design in Belarus. Her work has garnered national and international recognition with over twenty solo exhibitions, twenty-seven museum group exhibitions, and dozens of group shows in colleges and universities. She has been honored with numerous prizes and awards internationally, and her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Long Beach Museum of Art in California, the Southwestern Oregon College at Coos Bay in Oregon, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belarus.
Challenging herself to explore and adopt new art forms, contemporary artist Stevie Love has expanded her creative practice by taking on the role of adobe builder. In 2001, after attending a four-day workshop at Southwest Solar Adobe School in Bosque, New Mexico, Love and her husband Dr. Bruce Love decided to build their very own adobe house in Juniper Hills, California overlooking the Mojave Desert. Architecturally, the concept of an adobe house is an ancient building technique common amongst historic civilizations in the Americas and the Middle East. The term “adobe” is Spanish for mudbrick or Arabic for brick. Honoring the traditional techniques of adobe building, Love and a small crew hand-sculpted each brick and structural element of her adobe home. Throughout the seven years Love constructed her adobe home, she photo-documented the turbulent yet immersive experience constructing the home, as photographs displayed in this exhibition.
From laying the foundation to picking tiles, the Loves put in a great amount of research and effort in building an authentic yet personalized adobe house. When building the foundation, walls and overall base structure of their adobe dream home, Love committed to only using materials within walking distance from the building site. Love also made sure to align the structural orientations of the house with the Earth and sky axis, taking the seasons into account just as the first adobe builders once did. Furthermore, throughout the Love house, one finds design components from a diverse and international pool of influences. For instance, the threshold to enter the structure is fashioned with ancient wooden doors from India. As visitors cross the entryway, they are met with an alcove (a small nook or cut-out in the wall), the Loves decorated with saints and angels to protect all who enter the home. In the master and guest bath one finds Japanese and coin tiles, fossils, and Chinese half-boulder sinks. In the Loves adobe residence, the list of obscure decor goes on — every cranny, cabinet, and doorway in-between tells a unique story.
Outside of hand-building her own adobe home, Stevie Love is well known for her self-declared addiction to acrylic paint and its ability to create autonomous forms. She is widely recognized for her paint-sculpture hybrids, inspired by intense energy, nature, visual culture, and open experimentation. Love earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from California State University, San Bernardino and her Master of Fine Art degree from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been featured in private and public spaces across the United States, Asia, and Europe and can be found in the permanent collections of the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA, and the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA.