August 4 - September 27, 2018
The Robot Show is comprised of eight exhibitions exploring the place robots, and other forms of artificial intelligence, have in a contemporary social landscape – from popular culture to nature and spirituality. Featured in the Main Gallery at MOAH is a retrospective of Emmy-nominated artist and animator, Dave Pressler. The Robot Show also showcases the solo exhibitions of Jeff Soto, Patrick McGilligan, Robert Nelson and Karen Hochman Brown, with site specific installations by artists Cristopher Cichocki, Alexander Kritselis, and Chenhung Chen.
Dave Pressler’s 20-year retrospective, Idea to Object, is a narrative of his career, which focuses on how he made his ideas a reality. Pressler’s robots are fixtures in popular culture and he is best known for his Emmy-nominated Nickelodeon series, Robot and Monster. “Pressler’s work appeals to audiences of all ages,” says Andi Campognone, Curator at MOAH. “His work is a great example of the combination of strong contemporary concepts and expert craft, and we are so excited to exhibit his work for both the Lancaster and greater Los Angeles communities.”
Jeff Soto, in the East Gallery, is a pop-surrealist who also features robots prominently in his bold paintings and murals, which are meant to evoke nostalgia and the natural environment. In the South Gallery, Cristopher Cichocki furthers this connection between the artificial and the natural with his newest body of work, Divisions of Land and Sea, which combines audiovisual performance and black light painting into an immersive environment. Karen Hochman Brown’s digital photographic compositions will be highlighted in the North Gallery joining Robert Nelson’s robot paintings in the Wells Fargo Gallery along with Patrick McGilligan’s work in the Museum’s lobby and atrium. Alexander Kritselis will feature one of his multimedia installations in windows of the Museum’s Hernando and Fran Marroquin Family Classroom. Rounding out this exhibition is Chenhung Chen, a Los Angeles-based artist, who will be installing her technology-based towers in the Vault Gallery.
Dave Pressler: Idea to Object
Dave Pressler is a Chicago born, Los Angeles based artist and character designer who has used sculpture and illustration to fuse together his passions for fine art and pop entertainment. He is a self-described “blue-collar artist,” meaning he subscribes to the notion that there is no such thing as high or low art because all art requires skill, technique and imagination regardless of medium or intent. This exhibition is a survey of Pressler’s 20 year career, focusing on whimsical portraits of robots and fantasy creatures.
Dave Pressler’s Idea to Object exhibition gives the public the opportunity to view the thought process in character designing, and the transformation from idea to object. This installation includes work made over two decades, as well as themes of demystifying the art process, and demonstrated through learning technique and hard work that anyone who wants to can pursue art. Pressler has collaborated with many notable artists including Mark Ryden, Camille Rose Garcia and Ron English. Pressler has worked from the smallest scale to sculpting large scale robots both for exhibition and for fun. He recently created a custom printed robot in partnership with Pretty In Plastic. This robot is hand painted and a limited edition, the Shut Up And Draw! robot will come with a custom pencil and stand 8 inches tall. In addition to sculpting, character development and animation Pressler is a celebrated illustrator and recently released the Scholastic book Back to School with Big Foot.
Dave Pressler is an Emmy-nominated television producer, character designer, animator, illustrator, sculptor and painter. Over his career he has designed characters and IPs for a variety of children’s entertainment companies and co-created Nickelodeon’s Robot and Monster and the stop-motion animated series How to Do Everything with Garrick and Marvin for DreamWorksTV. Concurrently, his designer toys and artwork have been sold in galleries all over the world. Dave Pressler currently resides in Los Angeles and is committed to creating at least one robot a day.
Jeff Soto: Futuregods
In his formative years, Jeff Soto discovered traditional painting and street graffiti at the same time. This simultaneous exploration of both worlds conceived his unique style and continues to inform his work to this day. His distinct color palette, subject matter and technique bridges the gap between pop surrealism and street art, inspired by youthful nostalgia, nature and popular culture.
Soto depicts friendly creatures and personifications of earth’s forces that thrive in a dystopian environment plagued by the complexities of modern living. The robot-like creatures wear friendly smiles that may mask their real intentions. They are super complex beings, just as we are; some are good and some are evil, but most are somewhere in between. Soto’s otherworldly creatures roam the surreal landscape and are surrounded by overgrown greenery, deteriorating technology and overall societal decay. Plants and wildlife are taking over technology and in many cases merging together. However, Soto’s use of vibrant colors and organic shapes evoke a sense of hope and effort to revitalize, communicating themes of family, nature, life and death.
In addition to painting and commercial illustration, Jeff Soto has been painting murals internationally including New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Miami, London and Paris. Soto shows with Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City. He is represented by B&A Reps for illustration work. He will be one of the featured POW!WOW! Antelope Valley artists in Lancaster this October. Jeff Soto received an Associate’s degree from Riverside City College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and currently resides in Riverside, California.
Cristopher Cichocki: Divisions of Land and Sea
Cristopher Cichocki encapsulates the cycle of decay and renewal through an examination between humankind, the natural world and industrial production. Expanding upon the historical trajectory of Land Art, Cichocki underlines the increasingly toxic global environment confronting our planet in the new millennium. Situated on the fringe of art and natural science, the artist’s environmental interventions reflect on the timeline spanning from prehistoric oceans to present-day transmutations. For decades, Cichocki’s work has been immersed in the desert of southern California, responding to the dynamic ecology and water issues of the region through interconnected works of painting, sculpture, video, photography, performance, sound, installation and architectural intervention.
The contrasting application of fluorescent color in Cichocki’s palette stems from his earlier explorations of street markings used for construction and infrastructural development. In the midst of desert landscapes once submerged underwater, these fluorescent applications become further amplified as suggestions of deep sea bioluminescence when exposed under the ultraviolet radiation of black light. Divisions of Land and Sea merges both as excavations and restorations distilled from elements Cichocki regards as surviving seeds from an ancient ocean.
Cichocki received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Art, CalArts, Valencia, California. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world in such institutions as the Museum of Image and Sound, São Paulo; Bienalle Urbana, Venice; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janerio; Museum of Moving Image, New York; Portland Museum of Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California; Artere-A, Guadalajara; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California; MM Center Cinema, Zagreb, Croatia; and The Paseo Project, Taos, New Mexico. Cichocki works and resides in the Coachella Valley in California.
Chenhung Chen: I Ching in America 2.0
In her work, Chenhung Chen is completely involved with line, having first recognized its power in Chinese calligraphy and painting, and later American Abstract Expressionism. Through her line focus, she is able to express feelings of delicacy, power, buoyancy, strength and constant motion. The linear qualities inherent in nature also inform her assemblage process and creative vision. Her work refers to dichotomy: concord and dissonance, stillness and chaos, the beautiful and the grotesque, the subtle and the powerful.
From her urban recluse experience, through mixed media works, Chen strives to express her perception of the inner existence: its simplicity and its profundity. Included in her freestanding 3D work are recycled materials, or the detritus of technology, such as copper wire, electrical wire and an array of electronic and computer components. The fact that this material’s original function was to harness electrical power and transform its potential, bending it to the will of man, is fascinating to Chen. In her 2D work, she experiments with materials from graphite to ink, oil to acrylic, paper to canvas, as well as daily use objects with linear qualities.
Chen graduated from the Chinese Cultural University and received her Master of Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has traveled the world spending time in India, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, North Eastern China as well as Beijing and Rome, as a volunteer for the Prem Rawat Foundation working for global peace. Her artwork has been exhibited across the United States and internationally including locations throughout the Los Angeles and San Diego area, New York, Utah and Taiwan. Chenhung Chen was born in Beigang, Taiwan,