SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is pleased to present XX, a group exhibition featuring work by eight Los Angeles based artists: Christina Hendershaw, Melissa Huddleston, Natalia Margulis, Erin Morrison, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Angeline Rivas, Christine Wang, and Suzanne Wright.
A variety of media, subject matter, and inspirations are presented, exploring the range of young talent active in the burgeoning LA art scene. Each artist retains a unique aesthetic, establishing a strong, individual presence in the gallery while still contributing to the collective aspect of a group show. This, in essence, is a reflection of the current art climate that has taken Los Angeles by storm and that is fueling a welcome and varied influx of talent, business, and growth.
Hendershaw uses powdered graphite and stencils to shape her abstracted representations of urban landscapes and architectural renderings. After creating the base image with a fabricated stencil, she wipes away particular areas, draws freehand over sections, and finally layers powdered graphite and baby powder to add more pigment, some transparency, and depth to the final image. In doing so, she stresses the materiality of the medium as well as the vulnerability of constructed forms (physical and mental) to the forces of time, decay, and human presence.
Huddleston's paintings and drawings explore notions of personal and group identity across real and imagined communities. For XX, she created a salon wall addressing the California summer and the passage of time. Watercolor self-portraits and paintings of leaping anthropomorphic frog-like figures hang beside sketches of Los Angeles landmarks and playful charcoal drawings of dinosaurs. A sculpture of a decaying wooden board, draped with a bikini made of painter's canvas and patterned with oil paint sits below her wall works. The ensemble juxtaposes her personal experiences with the historic (and the pre-historic), creating a rich yet ambiguous narrative that captures moments in her surroundings.
Margulis’s paintings provide a dynamic ‘play on narrative’ with their biomorphic, geometric, and partially recognizable imagery. She combines a soft ‘feminine’ color palette with confident ‘masculine’ brushstrokes common in the large-scale compositions of abstract expressionism. She utilizes elements of the decorative arts⎯such as stenciled damask shapes and faux finishes⎯in her backgrounds, layering over them so they recede from the surface. This ultimately functions as a visual and metaphorical narrative where the feminine and decorative disappear behind the bold and masculine abstraction dominating the canvas, and perhaps the art world at large.
Morrison’s recent ink and wax reliefs on hydrocal are an experiment in and a testament to texture, material, color, and form. Her images depict interior scenes and still life settings with a tangible and balanced color palette that stems from a trained eye and a matured familiarity with the medium. Her reliefs are made by first arranging found objects to create a composition. She pours plaster on the arrangement and the objects are then removed. What remains is a relief, which serves as the background for the oil, ink, and graphite scene she paints on the surface.
Through both realism and trompe l'oeil, Papademetropoulos explores the use of illusion in the history of painting. She starts with a picture of an interior setting or of a patterned material, alters it using physical filters such as water, a body, or chiffon, and paints the result. The original image is still visible but the veil or distortion that has been applied exposes physical, and sometimes psychological, undercurrents relating to domesticity.
Rivas’ large scale ball point drawings on airbrushed backgrounds are reminiscent of an M.C. Escher drawing with no beginning or end, set against the backdrop of a colorful no man’s land. The excessiveness of the fine pen markings result in a marbled, textured surface that visually translates as both flat and dimensional. Occasionally a word cuts through the surface, leading the viewer down a more narrated path, but often her images sit in space, floating within the colored backdrop, arrested in motion.
Wang’s series of paintings depicting the phrase Oil Painters Don’t Need Water humorously critique a hot topic that is close to home: the California drought. Her work often touches on the complacency of modern society and the innocence that many of us claim. We are participating parties in the issues that Wang touches on, pandering to the lack of responsibility that is sold to us and accustomed to the idea that indirect contribution to the state of things is excusable.
Wright has always been captivated by giant, physical structures and their immense, complex presence. In her early drawings, buildings represented symbols of male power and she depicted them in opposition to the female body, ultimately forcing their way through, around and on top of those bodies. In more recent work, such as Particle Accelerator, she stepped away from using relatable structures as metaphors and now focuses on man’s understanding (or lack thereof) of abstract, subatomic architecture. For Wright, humanity’s persistent presence in shaping and mapping our environment, on both small and large scales, is reflective of mankind’s duality. On one hand is an innate, playful curiosity and innocent desire to learn and create. On the other is mankind’s darker desire to control, manipulate, conquer, and at times destroy.
The opening reception at SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS will take place on Thursday, August 27 from 7 to 10 pm. All artists will be in attendance and an RSVP is required to firstname.lastname@example.org. The show will be on view through September 26.
Christina Hendershaw (b. San Diego, CA) received a BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Hendershaw has earned several awards including the Jeunes Talents Photography Fellowship and The Gail and Stuart Buchalter Award. She recently showed in solo exhibitions at ICE Gallery (San Diego) and at The Proxy Gallery (Culver City). In addition to her studio practice, Hendershaw teaches painting and drawing at the Windward School.
Melissa Huddleston (b. Elm Springs, AR) studied painting at Western Washington University with Ed Bereal. She is a board member at Monte Vista Projects and currently works as a Conservation Assistant at the Getty Research Institute.
Natalia Margulis (b. Moscow, Russia) moved to New York when she was 12, escaping the tumultuous era of post-Perestroyka in Russia. From there she moved to Los Angeles, where she graduated with an MFA from UCLA in 2015.
Erin Morrison (b. Little Rock, AR) received a BFA from Memphis College of Art and an MFA from UCLA in 2014. She has recently been included in exhibitions at The Pit (Los Angeles), James Harris Gallery (Seattle), Samuel Freeman Gallery (Los Angeles), Hammock Gallery (Los Angeles), L’Art Projects (Los Angeles) and the Torrance Art Museum. She currently works as a drawing instructor at Santa Monica College and at the Summer Art Institute, UCLA. She is represented by Samuel Freeman Gallery.
Ariana Papademetropoulos (b. Los Angeles, CA) received her BFA at CalArts with a minor in Cultural Studies in 2012 and also studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York City, New Orleans, Mexico City, and Berlin.
Angeline Rivas (b. Kansas City, MO) received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. She has recently exhibited at the Underground Museum (Los Angeles), The Hole (NYC), Half Gallery (NYC), Seeline Gallery (Los Angeles) and Vice Gallery (Mexico City).
Christine Wang (b. Washington, DC) received her MFA from UCLA in 2013, her BFA from Cooper Union in 2008, and studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Wang completed residencies at Studio LLC Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and Chashama North in 2010, as well as Skowhegan in 2007. She has recently shown at Night Gallery (Los Angeles), Alter Space (San Francisco), and will show at Galerie Nagel Draxler (Cologne) in 2016. She is represented by Night Gallery.
Suzanne Wright (b. New London, CT) earned her BFA at Cooper Union and MFA at the University of California, San Diego. She has exhibited at Stephen Friedman Gallery (London), Stefan Stux (New York), Claire Oliver Gallery (New York), Monya Rowe (New York), Luis De Jesus Gallery (Los Angeles), and Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles). She was awarded the Kraus visiting professorship in drawing at Carnegie Mellon and her work can be seen in publications including: Feminist Landscapes, Strange Attractors, Armpit of the Mole and Art and Queer Culture. She is currently adjunct professor at UCLA.
SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is a multifunctional gallery space promoting diverse forms of art while providing a forum for contemporary dialogue. It was established by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin in 1995 and played an integral part in introducing skateboarding culture and design to the art world. Now located in the historic neighborhood of Echo Park, SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS continues to offer a platform for artistic exploration and innovation. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm.