“Before the Bridge” at the Jason Vass Gallery succinctly and beautifully sums up images of change – perfect for the gallery’s location in the shadow of the soon-to-be-no-more 6th Street Bridge. This is only the third exhibition at the gallery space, which opened January 30th, but it’s not to be missed.
Featuring the work of six artists, Deborah Brown, Dan Callis, Mark Dutcher, Cynthia MacAdams, Douglas Tausik and Gene Vass, paintings, sculpture, and mixed media are the mediums for some dazzling art works about transition.
Above, Douglas Tausik with the two creations his wife’s pregnancy inspired.
Douglas Tausik’s “Venus” is the artist’s tribute to his wife’s pregnancy. “I changed my approach to the work in this piece,” Tausik says. “While the idea of traditional sculpture being exhausted is premature, this piece came out a little differently, a personal narrative, thought and emotion united,” he says. The flowing curves of this piece seduces, the feeling of birth is present in every soft line, even had we not heard the story of the work’s inspiration.
Dan Callis say his multi-layered paintings reflect light beneath darkness. “I wanted to build up these very dense layers to create intentional space, then subvert it, and build it again. That may be emblematic of my own aging,” he laughs. “I want my paintings to be beautiful but not in a traditional way, rather in a way that comes out of going down some difficult roads.” Delicate and translucent colors create a translucent effect; there’s a sense of reflection, light, water, glass in each of his pieces that pull viewers in as if floating in a wave of color.
Mark Dutcher’s abstract paintings include stark but sensuous lines weaving through flows of color. His “I am Hart Crane,” is blue with black graphite lines. It could be a river or a highway, something that courses on, as mutable as time.
Deborah Brown’s “I Thought I Could Handle It” is hilarious, sexual, and simply captivating, an interweaving of female legs and bodies with a mushroom head with which Freud would have a field day. This too is a piece about transformation, as desire, as feminism, as identity. Both surreal and whimsical, her work dovetails nicely with photographer Cynthia Macadams, who presents iconic photographs of men and women that delve beneath the surface of the skin. Also beneath the surface: the swimmingly dark monolithic forms of Gene Vass that offer fine cracks of light breaking through these seemingly immovable shapes.
Yes, it’s all about change. Check out this exhibit which will change after June 12th. The gallery is located 1452 E. Sixth Street in DTLA.
- Genie Davis; All Photos: Jack Burke