The Light of Space
February 8 - April 19, 2020
Laddie John Dill
Jay Mark Johnson
Mary Anna Pomonis
Site specific installations
New Works by
The Light of Space - A film by Eric Minh Swenson.
Laddie John Dill
Laddie John Dill is a Los Angeles artist whose work focuses on nature by portraying cycles and moments rather than a singular moment in time using light and space. He achieves this by utilizing materials like glass, cement, and pigment as a metaphor. With influences like Rauschenberg, Keith Sonnier, Robert Smithson, Dennis Openheim, and Robert Irwin, Dill has learned to use the physical space around him as opposed to a stationary canvas on an easel. This practice results in a magnificent scene of candescent light and sand that envelopes the viewer, entering a form of metamorphosed reality.
Contained Radiance Lancaster demonstrates his use of space as his canvas and distributes light creating a dreamlike, ethereal quality. His use of light, sand, and hard materials like aluminum 6061 within the surrounding space each work to create a harmonious and tranquil atmosphere, diffusing light and shadow to create a transcendental experience for the viewer. He portrays the light, sky and earth as parts of a whole that cannot function without the other, bearing witness to the oneness of nature and ultimately demonstrating reasons why nature should be protected and respected.
Dill was born in Long Beach, California in 1943. He graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in 1968 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After graduating, Dill became a printing apprentice and worked closely with established artists, like Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. Laddie John Dill’s work is in the permanent collections of national and international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California; High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Chicago Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois, The Smithsonian in Washington DC, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, Italy, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California, and Museo Jumex in Mexico City, Mexico. He currently lives and works in Venice, California.
Jay Mark Johnson
Jay Mark Johnson’s unconventional method of timeline photography examines human space and time, broadening established understandings about linear temporal space. He combines the storytelling abilities of a cinematographer with a handmade German scanning device to create an image that effectively melds the ideas of time and space into a single artwork.
In his series of work, the subject remains clear while the background appears to be distorted and in a constant stream of motion and colors altering time and space. Instead of standard photography which favors space and stagnation, these images are captured through the rate of movement of the subject. This project began when Johnson tested the effect of a rotating slit-scan camera had when he stopped the rotation and focused on a fixed area. The camera takes photographs of a single moment represented by a single vertical sliver and over time a series of vertical lines are created of the moving subject resulting in a composite series of strips. Depending on the rate of motion of the subject, the object can appear elongated or crushed. The rendering of reality in conjunction of time into space provides powerful interpretations of the way humans move through time and space.
Johnson was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and studied architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans and at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. He produced more than fifty series of images that have been presented in more than a hundred solo and group exhibitions. The artworks can be found in the permanent collections of the Riechstag building of the German Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe, Germany, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, California, the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, the Langen Foundation in Hombroich, Germany, the Peter Klein Museum Kunstwerkin Eberdingen, Germany, the collection of Michael G. Wilson, the Milken Family Foundation in Santa Monica, California, and the Fidelity Corporate Art Collection in Boston, Massachusetts. He currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California.
Kysa Johnson conceptualizes the microscopic and the macro landscapes of subjects like molecular structures, maps of the universe and diseases transforming them into lively still lifes and landscape paintings. She effectively introduces scientific concepts that would normally be invisible to the naked eye and magnifies its contents, exposing the viewer to the world’s most fundamental parts of our structural universe. Providing meaningful, emotional, and historical relevance, this magnification of the microscopic and macro allows for the viewer to connect to scientific concepts and phenomena providing a newly found appreciation of our reality.
Inspired by images gathered from the Hubble telescope and particle accelerators, Faraway, So Close utilizes subatomic particles to portray the cycle of death, rebirth, and transformation from supernovas to the formation of new stars in nebulae. She shows both the fragility and sheer power of these happenings with elegantly placed loops of particle decay to demonstrate the life cycle of these celestial events. The images are made up of hundreds of ink markings contrasted with a stark, black background symbolizing the darkness of space and the universe resulting in a newly realized perspective of life and death.
Born in Illinois in 1974, Johnson trained at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Johnson has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut, The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, Roebling Hall Gallery in New York City and The Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, Wyoming. She has been featured in a number of group shows including exhibitions at The 2nd Biennial of the Canary Islands, the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York, the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts and Standpoint Gallery in London, England. Johnson has created site-specific installations for KK Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2008, Dublin Contemporary in Ireland in 2011 and for the New York Armory Show in 2013. She is a 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, a 2009 Pollack Krasner Grant recipient and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Shana Mabari’s work revolves around the use of color, light and geometric forms to relate ideas about visual perception and our surrounding space. Inspired by the Light and Space movement that occurred in the 1960s, she pulls the west coast artistic movement from key figures like Robert Irwin and James Turrell and explores the philosophy of human perception and the highly technical and advanced scientific fields of astrophysics and psychophysics.
In Mabari’s series, she records her astronomical observations during the summers of 2018 and 2019 in Ibiza, Spain. Her prints focus on the overlapping views of the same object - the positive and the negative. In this case, the “positive” view would be the object looking up from earth and the “negative” would be the view of the object looking down on earth. She also makes the choice of incorporating aluminum into the drawing to demonstrate aluminum’s historical importance to aerospace and its natural occurrence in space. The prints in Planeta and Stella incorporate mathematical information like right ascension, declination, apparent magnitude, radial velocity, distance from Earth in light years, eccentricity and synodic period into the intricately placed geometric lines and forms demonstrating the inherent beauty and structure in space.
Mabari was born in Los Angeles, California. She has traveled extensively, and lived in Paris, Northern India, and Tel Aviv. Her education includes studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In 2016, Mabari’s Astral Challenger, a 20-foot-high rocket-shaped sculpture, was installed in the center of a roundabout at the intersection of Challenger Way and Avenue L in Lancaster, California, in honor of the City’s ongoing achievements in the aerospace industry, and in commemoration of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. She holds a patent for the design of “Dynamic Spatial Illusions,” a portable version of a visual and sensory experimental environment. She is a recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation Artists’ Resource for Completion (ARC) grant. Mabari currently works and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Mary Anna Pomonis
Mary Anna Pomonis’ work functions at the crossroads of mysticism, abstract painting, geometry, and popular culture. She utilizes a multitude of different source materials including quilt squares, sacred geometry, icons, and abstract painting tapping into themes concerning personal power. She channels these ideas with symbols like crests and banners using historically revered artwork to emotionally move the viewer.
Mary Anna Pomonis’ new exhibition Iris Oculus, focuses on the eight point star or temple rosette and is a visual celebration of Inanna, the Mesopotamiam goddess of war and sex. Inspired by images seen of Mother Mary and the Greek Orthodox church, Pomonis joins the sacred images of mandorlas and the architecture of churches to celebrate goddesses of antiquity. Utilizing sacred geometry and geometric forms allows the viewer to transcend beyond the physical realm and invokes the mystic nature of the work. In turn, she creates a space of personal strength connecting to both the artwork and the otherworldly.
Pomonis is a Los Angeles based artist. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Illinois and her Master of Fine Arts at the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been included in exhibitions at galleries and institutions including the Western Carolina University Museum of Fine Arts in Cullowhee, North Carolina, the Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, California, the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in St Louis, Missouri, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California, and I-space Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. Her artwork and projects have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Artillery Magazine, Art Forum, Frieze, Hyperallergic, National Public Radio, Whitehot Magazine, Yale University Radio and Artweek. Additionally, her curatorial projects and essays have been featured at commercial and institutional galleries, such as the Vincent Price Art Museum in Monterey Park, California, Whittier College Greenleaf Gallery in Whittier, California, PØST in Los Angeles, California, and the Peter Miller Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art Education at California State University Fullerton.
For 12 years, Los Angeles painter Robert Standish had been representing his perceptions of the undercurrents of the human condition through photorealistic paintings of people and blurred lights. Seven years ago, Standish shifted away from constructing life-like replicas based solely on his photos to delving deeper into the unconscious unknown and new psychological depths. His choice to explore pure abstraction unlocked an organic spontaneous paint process of his own making, which is evidenced in both his current Rhythmic series and Anti-Sporadic series .
With an interest in metaphysics, Standish uses basic elements like line, color and texture, to represent the dynamism, constance and transcendent flow of the universe. Standish’s lusciously colored, abstract paintings appear to be in the tradition of both American Abstract Expressionism and German Expressionist painting. There are no finite borders or endings in his works as every stroke bleeds into one another in an eternal unbroken chain that seems to extend far beyond any conceivable edge of the canvas. The painting’s many layers, strokes and scrapes of color may thus appear as “beautiful” as anything found in nature that came into existence partly according to a predetermined structure (such as DNA), as well as by way of unpredictable occasions of pure chance and the action of outside forces. Standish taps into a universal and organic language as his traces begin to take on the shape of fractal patterns, earth frequencies and topographies and biorhythmic waves. As he once manipulated the real into the un-real, Standish now transforms the natural into the supernatural.
Robert Standish graduated from Antioch University in 1996 with a Bachelors of Art in Psychology. His works can be found in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California, The Weisman Foundation in Los Angeles, California, JP Morgan Chase, the Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York City, Larry and Marilyn Fields, Patricia Arquette, Bryant Stibel, along with numerous acclaimed private collections. His paintings have been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, with a recent group show at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California in 2019, and is now excited to share his first solo show with us here at The Lancaster Museum of Art and History. He currently works and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Gary Lang is a widely-known Western contemporary abstract painter whose work is centered around color theory and the study of time. Recognized for his intense and brightly colored circles, he combines the precision of his brush, hand, paint and canvas to his hypnotic paintings that simultaneously convey an immense amount of sharpness, gradiance and permeability.
In Lang’s Glitterworks, he strays from his iconic circles to a playful rendition of color and space. However, these works still continue to explore Lang’s fascination with effervescent colors and visual consciousness. He uses 120 six inch fabric squares from clothing that he wore while working with dabs of different colors, glitter and reflective film placed into square wooden frames, creating a sense of order in the energetic splashes of color. This contrasts sharply with the carefully controlled, concentric circles one witnesses of previous works. The result challenges traditional ideas about formal composition while exploring Lang’s themes of color and space.
Gary lang received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of Art and his Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University. In 1975, Lang received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Barcelona where he studied the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Lang’s work has been shown in more than seventy solo exhibitions in the United States, Austria, France, Japan, The Netherlands and Spain. His work is also featured in permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California, Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine; the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York, Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, Detroit Institute of the Arts in Detroit, Michigan, Gemeentemuseum den Haag in The Netherlands, among many others. Gary Lang currently lives and works in Ojai, California.
Edwin Vasquez’s work ranges from a multitude of different mediums including photography, digital images, poetry, and mixed-media utilizing art as a vehicle for social commentary about his surrounding environment and human nature. His art expands on his universe and his perspectives on today’s controversial social and political climate tapping into themes about immigration, freedom, and Latinidad.
Vasquez’s new body of work combines a logical, mathematical analysis of shapes with digital photographs of space and purposefully deconstructs these images creating a harmonious depiction of the planets and constellations. His art relies on his intense saturation of colors and forms to promote the reactions of the viewer. Vasquez achieves this with the use of fractal geometry, a mathematical approach to describing, measuring, and predicting systems occurring in nature. The installation consists of more than 200 images that Vasquez has manipulated through different software melding various colors and shapes until finding an image that he is satisfied with. The use of fractal shapes, bright colors, abstract shapes, and space function to create structure and pattern inside our tumultuous universe.
Vasquez is an artist, photojournalist, published author, and videographer in the Antelope Valley. He has participated in a number of different exhibits including: Refractions, Metro Gallery, Pomona; dA Gallery 16th Annual d’Aztlan: El Movimiento; Hispanic Heritage, Latino Art Museum; Convergence From Pixels to Picote, Colleen Farrell Gallery, Tehachapi; Vasquez has been featured in several group exhibitions including The State Latin American Visual Arts in Rhode Island (where his work was recognized by Governor Lincoln D. Chafee), Communication at Casa 0101 in Los Angeles, Don’t Sleep! at the Latino Art Museum in Pomona, Day of the Dead Installation at the MOAH, and regularly participates in the Museum of Art & History’s Annual All-Media Juried Art Exhibit. He is currently an Artist-in-Residence for #CountMeIn and a Kipaipai Fellow.
Jeff Frost explores time and space through different sub-mediums like painting, photography, video and installation. In combination with short films that traverse themes about creation and destruction. He often works with time-lapse and stop motion to portray notions of science and physics to understand the subtleties of our physical world. This process is achieved by taking photos from several points in time and coupling them into a smooth, chronological flow of spatial events. The use of time-lapse and stop motion is also utilized in the painting of empty, abandoned buildings, capturing a fluid motion of events that appears to have seemingly materialized on their own.
In the series, GO HOME, Frost dissects the meaning of “home” through a series of optical illusion paintings in derelict, abandoned structures in southern California. Typically, abandoned locations don’t conjure up feelings associated with the idea of home, Frost challenges the physical representation of home by questioning our emotional alignment with these ideas. “In order to maintain our world view, our emotional alignment must be very precise. One step to the left or right and the illusion breaks.” Frost said. The work examines the physical and ideological notion of what one considers to be a home and explores the frailty of these concepts through the different layers of illusion.
Frost was born in Utah and graduated from the University of Eastern Utah in 1998. His work has been shown at his own independent Desert X 2019 parallel installation, Los Angeles Art Association curated by Leslie Jones for LACMA, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN), and LAX. He has been selected for the Nordic LA residency at the ACE Hotel in Palm Springs & the Facebook Artist in Residence program in 2019. He performed a soundart set at the Desert Daze music festival in 2019. He was both a producer and subject of the 2017 Netflix docuseries, Fire Chasers. He has been featured in numerous online publications and TV interviews such as PBS Newshour, TIME Magazine, Artnet, and American Photo. The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) named him one of the best photographers of 2014. U2 and Ladytron have commissioned him for artwork used on tour and in album art. He has spoken at TEDx in Switzerland, the Seattle Art Fair, University of Southern California, Palm Springs Art Museum, Orlando Museum of Art, Snap! Orlando, and photoLA
Ruth Pastine’s painting practice is an ongoing contemplative and reflective investigation focusing on the austerity of the three complementary color systems which, although seemingly finite, access limitless possibilities. Her paintings evolve in concert with and in juxtaposition to one another furthering the perceptual interaction of color contexts while challenging phenomena of color perception and the relativity of color and light. Working serially, Pastine’s process is informed by the systematic understanding of color developed at the Bauhaus and the 19th Century research of Michel Eugène Chevreul and his discovery of simultaneous contrast. Confronting the unknown is always at the edge of discovery and is the onramp to new work.
Pastine’s minimalist color field paintings explore essential tensions that drive her work: presence and absence, surface and depth, materiality and immateriality, the finite and the limitless. She continues to evolve pure abstraction and follow the concepts of Minimalist theory, furthering the phenomenological experience of light and space in her work. Pastine explores the subtle character and nuance of color, color and light are reduced to their most elemental form, working with oil paint on canvas thousands of small brush strokes resolve and appear visually seamless, producing an image that is both objective and dematerialized. Challenging preconceptions about color, her investigations into the manipulation of color, light, and matter question the perceptual experience and redefine the visual field.
Born and raised in New York City, Ruth Pastine received her B.F.A. from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and upon graduating was awarded an independent residency grant to the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She received her M.F.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York where she focused on painting, color theory and critical studies. In 2009, Pastine began site-specific work with a public commission entitled Limitless, composed of 8 large-scale paintings, installed as two series in the adjoining lobbies of Ernst & Young Plaza, in downtown Los Angeles. In 2014, Ruth Pastine had her first museum survey exhibition titled: Attraction: 1993-2013 at MOAH Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA with exhibition catalog essays by Donald Kuspit and Peter Frank, with an appreciation by De Wain Valentine. In 2015, she opened Present Tense: Paintings and Works on Paper 2010-2015 at the CAM Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA. Ruth Pastine’s paintings are included in numerous private and public collections, including the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; MCASD Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; MOAH Lancaster Museum of Art and History Lancaster; Brookfield Properties, Ernst & Young Plaza, Los Angeles; AXA Art, Cologne, Germany; Qualcomm, San Diego; CIM Group Headquarters, Los Angeles, among others. Ruth Pastine lives and works in Southern California.