What a Place: Art in Place at the Newberry Lofts Long Beach

Therrio sculptures and other works
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A dazzling array of artists are hanging out at the Newberry Lofts in Long Beach. Or rather, hanging at.  A stellar, museum quality show presented by
ViCA in association with Engels & Volkers – representing the Newberry Lofts Long Beach, Art in Place offers over 80 works by 55 artists. Curated by Juri Koll in 7000-square-feet of exhibition space, the wide variety of Southern California-based contemporary artists represented is really quite extraordinary.
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Using individual lofts on two separate floors as galleries,  the artwork both compliments and creates an intimate setting. Artists are well-paired in the lofts,  in a thoughtful merging of styles, colors, and contrasts. Open by appointment through the end of January, the exhibition will have a closing open to the public on January 27th, and will be issuing a catalog for this extensive show with signed copies available at the closing.

Presenting artists include: John Baldessari, Sandy Bleifer, MB Boissonault, Jodi Bonassi, Bob Branaman, Cosimo Cavallaro, John Eden, Sam Francis, Gloriane Harris, Joel King, Barbara Kolo, KuBO, Maria Larsson, Lawrie Margrave, Stefanie Nafe, Hung Viet Nguyen, Terry O’Shea, Max Presneill, Osceola Refetoff, Phil Santos, Sonja Schenk, Theodore Svenningsen, Reginald Van Langenhove, J. Renee Tanner, Edmund Teske, Ron Therrio, Jae Hwa Yoo, Ginny Barrett, Chenhung Chen, David Clark, Denise DeGrazia, Jeanne Dunn, Matt Ehrmann, Lewis Francis, Stephanie Han, Courtney Heather, Elena Kulikova, Cody Lusby, Emily Maddigan, Kim Marra, Bruce McAllister, Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass, Lena Moross, Cat Phillips, Linda Sue Price, Caryl St. Ama, Mark Rebennack, Georgina Reskala, Frederika Roeder, John Rosewall, Karrie Ross, Christine Sawicky, Linda Stelling, Katie Stubblefield, Stephanie Sydney, Scott Trimble, and Tracey Weiss.
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Above, the work of Cat Chiu Phillips – the medium here is unspooled video tape.
 
According to Koll, who often curates in alternative spaces as well as museums and galleries, artist and former public art project manager Renee Tanner spoke with Koll during a recent exhibition he co-curated at Muzeumm, Gimme 5. Tanner asked if Koll would like to show in Long Beach, and the extensive project was born.
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Above, the work of Barbara Kolo 
 
“I said depending on the circumstances, of course I would,” Koll reports. “She brought me down, introduced me to the folks at Engel & Volker who run Newberry Lofts, and we decided to partner up. Renee referred new artists to me, handled parts of the organization, and did a great job helping with the show. Her work is featured prominently in the show.” Below, Tanner presents a meditative installation “Show of Hands,” shaped from canvas, gloves, and pins, in colors as soft as a spring sky.
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Seeking to avoid predicability in shaping the exhibition, Koll says “I believe people deserve something new every time, something they haven’t seen before. In short, a real show. A real exhibition. I work very hard to make that happen. I believe in these artists and what they represent. I do a lot of research. All too often in the art or entertainment world things remain hidden in artists’ studios, never to see light of day. I love discovering them.For example, Gloriane Harris’s monumental quadriptych was painted in the early 1980s and has only been seen once in public in the mid-90s…so I got her to agree to show them. In the same room, the work by Terry O’Shea has never been seen since it was made by the artist in the early 70s.”
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“The large wooden sculpture by Ron Therrio was commissioned especially for this exhibition. He worked night and day for months to make it happen, and it’s a show-stopper.”
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Indeed, this room is gorgeous. Therrio’s plywood work, “Title Unknown,” is both alien and intensely familiar, smooth and supple, a work in which one feels immediately connected to the being he’s created, something from another dimension that the viewer feels privileged to enter.” Therrio’s work is super solid with a strong dose of sly humor,” Koll says.
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Harris’ lush, large scale oil paintings are born of the sea and buoyed by light, her “Vermillion Morning,” “Breaking Bright,” “Late Afternoon Break,” and “Azure Early Evening,” are indeed magnificent. “She uses classical glazing technique, along with a nod to Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ in their use of differing light and times of day, and a unique Southern California aesthetic. She’s always been near water, and it shows,” Koll notes.
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“I started with an overall concept of picking only the best works I could find, and that they had to have some connection to something else I’d selected. I started with the title, Art in Place because it seem general enough. Then, work I was attracted to often had a sense of place built in. That’s a major and unique trait of work made here in Southern California, I believe,” Koll says. Above, Koll stands next to a work by Jae Hwa Yoo.
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Eden’s large scale dimensional works here are an homage to Jay DeFeo; O’Shea’s rich resin “The Milky Way” and “Tar Pit Triangle” are deep and mysterious.
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Koll describes hanging Max Presneill’s vibrant abstract “Redact 091” and KuBO’s intense pieces which “dance around the surreal” with his “WH81” and “WH82,” both artists’ works shown above, across from each other in a juxtaposition of color and shapes.
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Some of Koll’s favorite pieces, along with those mentioned above are works by Sonja Schenk, whose floor sculpture/painting is a wonderful reflection back to her wall-mounted oil painting that suspends a mountainous rock formation in the sky.  Both pieces, “Me Falta” and “Two Skies” are riveting and original looks at the natural landscape.
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Theodore Svenningsen is another stand-out. “These pre-Google Earth/internet map paintings – all over the show – are prescient, painterly, magnificent, and have never been seen in a gallery setting – they come direct from his studio where he painted them in the early 80s.”  Acrylic on canvas, Svenningsen’s evocative, almost ethereal works map the human spirit as much as the locales he depicts, such as “The Road to Mandalay.” Maria Larsson with lustrous archival pigment prints “Levitate I, II, III, IV, V;”  Reginald Van Langenhoven, and Jae Hwa Yoo, are all artists whose work Koll feels passionately about. Of course, there are many more wonderful pieces here as well.
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Above, in a collection of multiple works from his astonishing “Sacred Landscapes” series, above, Hung Viet Nguyen’s water, earth, and sky, undulate both in texture and subject, transfixing viewers with their beauty and sense of harmony.

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Caryl St. Ama’s “Combined Forces,” created in encaustic monoprint and silkscreen on wood panel is a mystical, involving work.

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Karrie Ross’ abstract work, “Reaching,” glows both from her use of material – acrylic, metal leaf on panel, and from a sense of something arising within.

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Chenhung Chen’s “Aerial #2” and #3 are delicate, web-like abstracts that startle with bursts of green and blue color.

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Several dark-toned visceral pieces by John Rosewell, “Drive” and “Push,” above, are also standouts. 

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Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass’ “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” is an electrically striking piece as well.

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And the moody, figurative abstract of Scott Trimble’s “Worry Not, for Perfection is Merely A Notion that Does Not Exist” is both haunting and delicate. 

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Photographic artist Osceola Refetoff offers two pieces that capture a fresh view of the world beyond SoCal, the archival pigment prints “Julie & Mita – Arena Blanca Bioko, Equatorial Guinea” and “Wildebeasts Running With Tree – Masai Mara National Park, Kenya.” The former work is vivid with color, as alive as the two women it depicts, the latter a moodier long shot of fragile-looking wildlife.

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Works by Barbara Kolo are spread throughout the exhibition. The artist’s amazingly detailed impressionistic abstracts are truly special, reminiscent at times of Seraut; colors seeming to glow.

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Phil Santos exhibits two incredibly lovely tributes to DTLA architecture, “Eastern Building” and “Million Dollar Theater.” Acrylic on panel, these are memorably vibrant, richly detailed realistic works.

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At the November 4th opening, Santos live-painted.

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Tracey Weiss has created two mixed media installations, one hangs in the courtyard of the 4th floor of the exhibition, the hanging sculpture “Polyethylene Sepentes” crafted from PET plastic bottles and monofilament; and the walk-in-closet sized “Carousel,” a sculptural installation that uses 35mm slides, slide carousels and boxes, rendering even the unseen images magical.

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And don’t overlook the lush work of Mb Boissonault with her oil work, “The Hoax,” or the somehow quintessentially Californian lustrous modern neon of Linda Sue Price’s glowing beaded orange “Consistency is Not a Virtue.”

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Jeanne Dunn’s oil on canvas, “Entwined II,” depicts the miraculousness of nature in a way that only Dunn can, with a grace and purpose that immortalizes the fragility of that world. 

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Emily Madigan’s marvelous, mythic sculptures – three in this show, including the life-size figure “Anima,” above, encompasses materials such as foam, antlers, sequins, pins, and beads creating blinged, surreal creatures.jodi mine

Jodi Bonassi’s work often seems the visual equivalent of “magical realism” in fiction, and here in an untitled work, offers more of her deeply, wonderfully detailed visionary takes on humanity.

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Lena Moross, working in watercolor and ink, makes a still life of a soft blue sofa into something utterly alive in “Couch #11.”

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Along with other works, Koll has displayed some classics from his own private collection, including pieces by Sam Francis, Bob Branaman, photographer Lawrie Margrave, John Baldessari, and one of Koll’s mentors, Edmund Teske, whose works were acquired in the mid-70s.

Put the January 27th closing on your calendars, and prepare to fete an outstanding collection of artworks.

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Above, sculpture by Ginny Barrett
Genie Davis; photos Genie Davis, additional exhibition opening photos provided by VICA.

Gimme 5 Closes at MuzeuMM

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Closing this Sunday, October 15th at MuzeuMM in mid-city,  don’t miss Gimme 5, juried by gallery director Mishelle Moross, and Juri Koll, director of ViCA, the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art which partnered with MuzeuMM on this project.  The international juried show is an exciting mix of mediums and artists, from the photographic to the sculptural, from paintings to drawings.

The extremely well curated, tight show features a wide range of incredible, museum quality pieces – so in short, go to the closing, this Sunday at 3, and prepare to be dazzled.

The longer version? See work such as a stunning slide triptych by Tracey Weiss;  archival pigment prints such as Sacred Steel by Diane Cockerill, and Boy on Trike – Niland, CA by Osceola Refetoff. While Weiss is working in sculptural form, all three artists are using photographic materials to create works that are astonishingly fresh, vivid, and meaningful.

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Catherine Ruane’s astonishing graphite and charcoal work depicting the flora and fauna of the natural world as always amazes with detail and passion, here with Gargoyle. Working in mixed media, Steve Seleska’s Landescapism #2,  above, makes viewers want to literally and figuratively dive into his work.  Frederika Roeder’s mixed media  Power of Sun, dazzles with depth and color, below.

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On the wall, above, Hung Viet Nguyen’s Sacred Landscape #8, is an oil on canvas work, one in a series of spiritually nuanced, brilliantly textured works that evoke something otherwordly as well as a state of grace. Here, the rich aqua of the water contrasts with a dark sky and dark trees. Randi Matushevitz’ Dive In, is a mixed media work that also evokes both darkness and light, with floating faces a potent metaphor for life itself.

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We continue to be impressed with Scott A. Trimble, above, here with a somewhat ghostly, almost ethereal figure in The wants of true #empathy. Glenn Waggner’s oil on panel Pigs in Bumper Cars, charms with a surreal edge; while Steven Fujimoto’s mixed media Scratch Built is an impressive large sculptural work that defies easy categorization. Bryan Ida’s vibrant acrylic enamel and urethane abstract, China Basin (below) and Campbell Laird’s shimmery Rain dream gray no.1, 016, a resin film print are also stand outs. The large scale cast aluminum of Thaddeus Gesek’s Hello & El Jefe, is a terrific piece, full of motion, instantly iconic images, figures that look ready to spring into life.

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With so many other fine pieces too numerous to mention, an encompassing layout throughout the gallery and onto the patio space, and a mix of mediums as varied as the subjects portrayed, this is an exhibit that will resonate long after viewing.

Go on, get out, go see. Gimme 5 will get you at least a million’s worth of artistic pleasure and passion.

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Muzeumm is located at 4811 W Adams Blvd., Los Angeles

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Genie Davis

Yes, Curate This 2, Too

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Always a treat, the group shows at The Gabba Gallery seem to pulse with more excitement every time. Curate This Part Deaux is no exception, with art -works created by some of Los Angeles’ top curators. Featuring something for virtually every artistic taste, the show takes viewers through a panopoly of vibrant, quintessentially LA art. There was a look and feel to the show that could absolutely only happen in SoCal, and only at Gabba, and only if including the work of artists whose taste aesthetics have been sharply honed as curators.

Below, book designer, collage and mixed-media artist David Brady pulls viewers into an astonishing visual quilt with his “Esperanza.”

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Highly detailed, frieze-like sculptural paintings by Nathan Cartwright tell detailed, fantastical stories. Cartwright is an LA-based mixed media artist and founder/curator of The Hive Gallery and Studios in DTLA. Feel the buzz.

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Dicapria’s glowing mixed media mandala’s are crafted from gummy bears and resin in a light box. Her back story: she travels the U.S. in a 1971 bus.

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Mitchelito Orquiola was born in the Philipines, and resides in LA. His self-taught works create a mosaic of color and line.F23C8702

So what could be more a part of the City of Angeles than Kristine Schomaker’s beautiful little convertible? The Ideal Sex (The Little Pink Corvette) drives us into the SoCal sunset on a road dotted with the sign posts of gender roles, power, and the healing community of art itself. Schomaker also runs Shoebox PR, promoting art and artists throughout the Southland.F23C8703

Baby, you can drive Schomaker’s other cool ride, too.

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Photographer Osceola Refetoff’s ethereal, sun-drenched desert and urban visions haunt and inspire. The artist takes viewers down a road not just less traveled, but one most people have never experienced before.

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Below, the delicate, precise images photographed by Shana Nys Dambrot reflect an intimate thoughtfulness. Dambrot recently curated the stellar Painting by Scott Trimble, Photography by Osceola Refetoff show at Chungking Studios in Chinatown.

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Ted Meyer’s beautiful acryllic “Woman Napping with Cat,” holds all the golden light, curves, and angles, of a Hollywood summer, kissed with expressionist flavor. Meyer is currently curating Scar Stories at Muzeumm.

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Performance and installation artist Dani Dodge creates compelling, often autobiographical and catharctic works. As a former journalist and war correspondent, she tells stories that vibrate with humanity. Collage, assemblage, and video are components of her works, below.

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Up close, these layered fragments of wallpaper compel viewers to look beneath the surface layers of life itself.

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Phil Santos co-curates Gabba Gallery with Jason Ostro. His beautifully detailed watercolor pencil rendering of Pasadena City Hall transports the image to something that could exist in Venice or Paris. Santos is currently at work on a triptych mural for Angel City Brewery. F23C8718

Gabba Gallery owner, director, and co-curator Jason Ostro contributed this brilliantly blue, intrinsically floral, and kaleidoscopic piece to the exhibition.

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Below, Juri Koll’s mixed media paper on board evoke water, light, and an unheard aural component in their patterns and colors. Koll is founder, director, and often curator at The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, and the producer of the Fine Arts Film Festival.F23C8724

Venice artist Mark Satterlee is a self-taught traditional and digital artist working primarily in fiberglass and pigmented resin. His work below uses an assemblage of Poloroid portraits.F23C8725

Skye Amber Sweet’s pink fish float off the canvas. Love, kindness, and self-expression are the driving forces of her emotional and emotive art.

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Daniel Rolnik curated at the self-owned Daniel Rolnik Gallery, and recently hosted one of the most enjoyable booths at the LA Art Fair,  the “Kilduff’s Bakery” art installation.  Below, some of Rolnik’s cheerful, fun, and vibrant work. F23C8732

Even at the end of the night, Gabba drew appreciative viewers.

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Below, another piece by Gabba’s co-curator Phil Santos. His classic dog portraits are much sought after by collectors. F23C8742

Artist Radhika Hersey creates stunning art fantasies  based on meditation, dreams, and folklore. Her spiritually magical paintings are closely aligned with her curatorial works at Temple of Visions and the Do Art Foundation,among other venues.F23C8747

Ever versatile, Phil Santos dishes up a plate of mixed media zombie spaghetti.

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Curate This 2 runs until February 28th. The Gabba Gallery is located at 3126 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.

F23C8751Genie Davis; all photos by Jack Burke

Gypsy Trails Gallery – Museum on Wheels

 

Osceola Refetoff, Uri Koll, Hayley Colston at Gypsy Trails Gallery outside Torrance Museum of Art - all photos - Jack Burke
Osceola Refetoff, Uri Koll, Hayley Colston at Gypsy Trails Gallery outside Torrance Museum of Art – all photos – Jack Burke

A collaboration of Hayley Colston and Juri Koll, the Gypsy Trails Gallery is rolling up to museums throughout the Southland, featuring different, “museum grade” artists at each stop. “Each artist is chosen specifically to be a part of a museum, to best fit each museum’s atmosphere,” Colston says.  With eleven different artists and eleven different museum stops running through March of 2016, Gypsy trails is, Colston says, “more accepted now that other museums have worked with us.  It’s a concept that takes leg work, but the result is creating a travelnig gallery that offers the same treatment for its artists as a museum. We think it will steam roll from here.”

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Koll, the director of the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art is working to promote the idea of a museum in Venice, while honoring other museums, and recognizing their importance within their respective communities.

Saturday night, the gallery displayed the work of photographer Osceola Refetoff in a solo show outside the Torrance Museum of Art. Refetoff’s work reveals the harsh and beautiful spirit of the desert, and casts a spell of awe for the landscape and the people who have lived in it. His evocative photos are mysterious and magical – decay as transformation; loss and loneliness baked in the sun and suffused with love  – these are his subjects.

To see where Gypsy Trails is headed next, go to www.gypsytrailsgallery.com to download their schedule.

  • Genie Davis, all photos by Jack Burke