UAM showcases art from world class artists in new exhibits
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 17:09
The University Art Museum (UAM) kicks off the year with a trifecta of exhibitions: “Swimming in Paint” by Linda Day, “Pull” by Patrick Wilson and “From the Vault” — a selection of pieces from the university’s Hampton Collection. These exhibitions will run until Dec. 9.
“The UAM has built a reputation for experimental audiovisual works,” Amanda Fruta, spokesperson for the art museum, said. “But in these three exhibitions, we take up ‘abstract painting’ as a theme.“
The museum’s first exhibition, “Swimming in Paint,” is a series of paintings, collages and drawings made by Day, a Cal State Long Beach assistant professor.
From the exhibit, visitors of the gallery get a sense of a person who saw the artistic potential in everything around her. There are a wide variety of pieces here, made of everything from acrylic paint to scotch tape and cigarette burns.
Some of the more abstract pieces, such as “Pulse” and “Corona #5,” are reminiscent of optical illusions and when seen in person, seem to vibrate across the canvas. “Pulse” in particular creates a striking illusion of both depth and movement. From the right distance, the flat canvas appears to actually be composed of a line of red ribbons, curling ever so slightly in the air.
Other pieces play heavily with symbolism, such as “Diplomacy.” Here, Day uses abstract circles to represent “subhuman heads,” smoke and flame-like stains to represent “data” and squares to represent the constant barrage of television and computer images on our senses.
Still, others are constructions of painted pieces of cardboard from Rajasthan, with tiny Indic writing still visible running along its edges.
Los Angeles artist Patrick Wilson creates a series of geometric abstract pieces in “Pull.” These pieces are made by using the simple tools of acrylic paint, masking tape, drywall blades and rollers. From these, he constructs a series of overlapping squares of varying transparencies, making up the composition as he goes as responds to each color and shape.
According to Wilson, painting is all about pleasure. It should be “nourishment for the eyes” that each viewer must experience for themselves, rather than something that “tries to tell you what to think.”
“It’s open ended, like music,” Wilson said. “Music doesn’t tell you how to listen to it.”
The material of the paint, and the real-life depth created by the layering of the acrylic squares on top of each other cause the paintings to “flicker” in the viewer’s eyes, adding a chaotic, distorted movement to the canvas. This flickering has to be seen in person, it is lost in digital reproductions of the pieces.
Also on display are selected pieces from the university’s permanent collection, The Hampton Collection. The collection includes 85 works by 42 artists, including Stuart Davis, Michael Goldberg, Adolph Gottlieb, Nancy Graves, Al Held, Lee Krashner, Milton Resnick and Andy Warhol. The works on display are a diverse assortment of abstract expressionist works.
“A lot people don’t realize that we have world class artists in our collection,” said Brian Trimble, curator of education.
The UAM is reaching out to the various College of the Arts students throughout campus, informing them of the services the UAM provides to the student population.
“We’re actually one of the few on campus art museums that showcases student work, alongside professional artists,” Fruta said.
The University Art Museum is located on campus and is free to all CSULB students. It hosts exhibitions, workshops, lectures and various other events. For more information, including a full calendar of events, visit http://www.csulb.edu/org/uam/.