Sunday, October 5th, 2014 3-5PM
Conversation with the Artists: 4PM
The paintings of Edem Elesh move quickly between color and form, memory and sensation, using his physical experiences to create snapshots of his state of being. They are like exhalations after taking in the air of an experience. The mystery of the breath is easily as old as art – the words spirit, inspiration, aspire and expire all relate to the Latin word for breath. His work dwells on the various aspects of the breath, in the sense of a boundary where the person living within their subjective reality sends their wind and moisture to greet the outer physical reality with every movement.
In this solo show, the artist moves on from geometric structures and shapes resembling mystical diagrams in illuminated manuscripts, chthonic images of structure seeking to illustrate a fundamental reality, and now digs into the earth of his experiences traveling, following his passions, celebrating sexuality, and preserving a sense of luck in life. One can see glimpses of Wayne Thiebaud’s color and Francis Bacon’s riding the waves of accidents. There is also a vanitas sentiment behind all his work, memories of joy presented together with reminders of the fleeting moments of life. The artist is interested in getting a reaction from the viewer, seeking a moment of discovery, where all the riches of his life can appear together with a shifting sense time, passion, and an encouraging indication of mortality.
This exhibit will be an opportunity to see several sides of an actively creative life, ranging from sharp drawings executed with speed and a photographic eye, to sparse, allegorical landscapes, paintings on framed aluminum, sculptural pieces and a performance on guitar.
Sunday, October 5th, 2014 1-3PM
Conversation with the Artist: 2PM
LA Artcore has the privilege of presenting a solo exhibit reviewing the career of artist Stephen Robert Johns. Retrospective – A Painting Survey 1972-2014, contains the evolution of an artist dedicated to the realms of shape and silhouette, edge and pattern.
His career opens with completing his degree during the changeover between Chouinard and Cal Arts, where the influence of Watson Cross, Hal Jepsen and Matsumi Kanemitsu influenced his trajectory. The young artist found himself filling large orders for his minimalist geometric paintings to satisfy a number of architects, which led to a period of being burned out on artmaking, and a new passion for serious, artistic landscape architecture. The fluidity and negotiable nature of working the land with living materials provided him with a creative outlet where he could avoid thinking of styles and what sells.
It was not long before the artist found himself refreshed by a new view of art. After learning David Hockney and Frank Gehry were teaching classes to youth at Barnsdall Park, he obtained a position teaching disabled youth. Together with experiences traveling across the states, to Japan and Costa Rica, provided the artist with a way to work in terms of what interests him in the now. Once he felt he had more to offer, his work moved into a range of paintings that deal both with stark contrasts and edges, fields of abstract pattern inspired by Bauhaus or 20th century modernists, and a range drawn directly from observation, many of them looking down from a great height. These merged with his work with plants and a love for Zen gardens to produce interlocked landscapes and river tributaries as abstract plays of sedate colors, like the verdant heat of yellow against green. Hundreds of preliminary sketches from airplane window seats, using the airsick bags in front of him, formed the underlayer of this approach to merging geometry, color and nature.