Working as an artist can be an isolating experience. Whatever the medium, expression lends itself to self-exploration and withdrawal from others in order to create something long-lasting and honest. Still, art can be a lonely task. The recent gallery reception of Ten on 25 came about from an attempt to dispel that loneliness.
Ten modern artists in the Los Angeles area came together to critique and support each other's work. From these regular discussions came the idea to display their work together, despite varying mediums and styles, in a one-day event. Like LA itself, the curation of the show defies any one particular definition.
"Ten on 25" features work from Jack Barnhill, Tracey Harnish, Sandra Lauterbach, Alain Rogier, Lisa Segal, Anne Troutman, Velda Ishizaki, Laurie Yehia, Wanda Boudreaux, and Essi Zimm. Zimm, also an architect, was able to curate the show in a 3D application so each artist could see how his or her work would be displayed.
Jack Barnhill’s work opened the show with a series of oil and acrylic portraits, including the evocative African Baby and Wall. Barnhill, a veteran of the U.S. Army, has lived all over the world, and his art serves as a therapeutic way to showcase all that he has seen. The oil and acrylic pieces focus on the intimacies and complexities of the human face as seen from Barnhill’s travels.
On the other hand, Essi Zimm’s dramatic pieces delve into the animalistic side of humanity. Inspired by her love of literature, Zimm uses book pages, pulp, or hand-illustrated drawings in her work. Particularly powerful was Deer With No Heart, influenced by Aesop’s Fable, The Stag With One Eye. Her use of color and literary imagery make for a sharp, raw series that catches your eye and refuses to let go.
Another series derived from classic literature is Laurie Yehia’s work on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. Yehia uses surface texture in her process and to follow the narrative of Dante’s travels through the chapters of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Her four pieces on wood are carved, sanded, burned, and layered to recreate Dante’s journey. Adamantine, Perse, Porphyry, Lethe, and Emyrean each represent a different process of self-discovery.
Painter Wanda Boudreaux experiments with mixed mediums in her "Tree" series, using acrylic paints and graphite over manipulated Polaroids. Her rich connection to her hometown of New Orleans, as well as to California, creates a warm, magical collection of work. She recently curated and participated in the exhibition "Louisiana Trees: Life Entwined" at Sibley Gallery in New Orleans, and a companion exhibition on Los Angeles is well under way.
Many of the other artists were drawn to lines, layers, and form. Velda Ishizaki’s work is driven by color and movement, while Alain Rogier’s expressionist and postmodern abstract paintings use the brush as a tool to carve out structure. Sandra Lauterbach weaves a multitude of fabrics, cloth, and gorgeously detailed knitting to create a tactile space of organized chaos. Lisa Segal’s sculptures were overwhelmingly meticulous, constructed of toothpicks, cardboard, bamboo skewers, found objects, and painted, while Tracey Harnish’s voluminous style imbues her work with a particular weight. Lastly, Anne Troutman’s series of large-scale, found photographs soared over the exhibit, exposing body and form.
The "Ten on 25" exhibit was a one-day event, but the group continues to meet and plan further shows. Although they all had something different to offer, the artists’ talent and drive pulled the gallery into a cohesive, exhilarating show.
"Ten on 25" debuted February 25, 2012 at 5797 Washington Blvd., Culver City.
Header image: Wanda Boudreaux, 'Louisiana Tree #16', Photographic print on vellum, acrylic, graphite 13 x 22.