The windward side of the island is the dramatic side. It is the face that stares down the weather and is smashed by waves, the side that looks to the horizon and welcomes the challenges of the sea, bountiful waters and few touches of humankind. Its brother is the leeward side, protected by land, looking inwards to a calmer existence, to the palm trees and smokestacks. This body of work addresses the sanction of windward side, honoring the glory that is the Pacific Ocean and the mystery of an island just off the coast of Los Angeles.
Artist Cole Sternberg’s new body of work is the result of a visit to the windward side of Santa Catalina Island where the work of his studio practice merged with the waters of the western-facing length of the Island. In the works, the environment–chiefly the Pacific Ocean–becomes the true artist. They are by the sea and of the sea. Minimalist and patterned in nature, they are an extension of the artist’s ongoing visual commentary that deals with social issues, erasure, and subversion.
‘After traveling across the Pacific on a shipping vessel a couple of years ago, I wanted to readdress creating work within the context of that ocean, while changing the dynamics and environment in specific ways. These pieces touch on the mystery that is Catalina Island. What is this place? Why are people vaguely familiar with it without having ever experienced it? Where is Natalie Wood? And so forth... I also wanted to discuss the beautiful ocean-facing side, where there is no sign of humankind disturbing its purity. There are no roads, no cruise ships, nothing but a pure preserved environment, filled with sharks, whales, dolphins and sea bass and framed by the uninhabited mountainous preserve. I only presented these pieces to that world and it took them and ran,’ said Sternberg.
Cole Sternberg has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at The American University Museum (Washington, DC), El Segundo Museum of Art (El Segundo, CA), Hochhaus Hansa (a Ruhr.2010 Museum, Dortmund, Germany), Primary (Miami, FL), David B. Smith Gallery (Denver, CO), Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND, Los Angeles, CA), Paris Photo | LA (Los Angeles, CA), e105 Gallery (Berlin), LA><ART (Los Angeles, CA) and MAMA (Los Angeles, CA).
His works are held by major collections throughout the world and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Whitewall Magazine, Issue, Autre Magazine, Hercules, Denver Post, Miami New Times, LA Weekly, Art Ltd., Architectural Digest and Huffington Post.
MAMA has taken on the task of changing forms and becoming a malleable outlet for their artists. After retiring their original Downtown Los Angeles location, MAMA’s program has become a a space beyond the gallery walls, and continues to push boundaries and expectations of creative spaces. MAMA Berlin is the first of many satellite locations to come. The ongoing program of bringing art to the people will continue this summer as they set dates for pop-up exhibitions in NYC and Mexico City.
The first chapter of our journey is Berlin, where we will be presenting a new body of works by artist Cole Sternberg that continue to tread though international waters. His previous exhibition 'the nature of breathing in salt' in 2016, was a manual process of integrating paintings with Pacific waters from Hiroshima to Northern Oregon. MAMA Gallery is proud to present these artifacts of Sternberg’s strenuous meditation of nature and currents off of Catalina Island for the duration of the month of June, at Keithstraße 10 10787 Berlin, Germany.