An exhibition curated by Constance Mallinson featuring works by Coleen Sterritt, Jonathon Hornedo, Doug Harvey, Marie Thibeault, Yvette Gellis, Nikko Mueller, Nancy Evans, and Constance Mallinson
May 11 - July 12, 2013
Reception for the Artists, Saturday May 11 6-9 P.M.
Curator's Talk: 5 P.M. May 11
Fellows of Contemporary Art is pleased to present the exhibition Decomposition as the second in their Curator's Lab series for 2013. Curated by Los Angeles painter and critic Constance Mallinson, the exhibition includes the work of 8 contemporary Los Angeles artists and explores images and concepts of ruination and decay. Their work is part of a long artistic engagement with ruination and entropy stretching from the Enlightenment through Romanticism and Postmodernism. Los Angeles' ongoing relationship to natural, cultural, and economic destruction as described by writers such as Mike Davis in his City of Quartz, has created a climate particularly ripe for investigating the models on which we base social, environmental and economic decisions. The five painters and three sculptors use destabilizing forms and techniques to challenge compositional norms and as a means for a different kind of encounter, dialogue or resistance to conventional aesthetic orderings. Like all ruins, they contest and critique the power and authority of ordered space and embedded ideas, and as such are deconstructive but not nihilistic in their aims. Offsetting any negative associations with ruin and decay, they offer ways of seeing that consider dynamic relationships rather than binary oppositions and heterogeneous perspectives in place of single minded narratives, and an unexpected beauty. For these artists, ruination is thoroughly embodied as a creative force that can reveal entrenched behavioral and thought patterns and help re-imagine a vision that considers the complicated existence of the present.
Enlisting actual processes of decay and disintegration and darkly humorous, Doug Harvey will show “Dream House,” an imploded, found and altered architectural model continuously subjected to mold and weathering. Sculptor Coleen Sterritt's “Over and Over,” constructed from repurposed building materials, combines the commonplace, industrial and handcrafted to investigate the tensions between the personal and manufactured, and states of emergence. With her “Farm Animals” Nancy Evans casts strange figures from dried and decaying plant materials, nostalgically recalling the powerful myths that have shaped our connections to nature. Painters Yvette Gellis, Marie Thibeault, and Nikko Mueller all work on the borders of representation and abstraction. Gellis' broad muscular gestures impart a primal experiential quality, but simultaneously suggest collapsing buildings and the dynamic flux and terror of the urban environment in her three paintings on view. By integrating direct sensory experience with dramatic appropriated imagery from locations impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, tsunamis, as well as e-waste in California harbors, Thibeault expands on notions of the sublime and painting's unique ability to portray emotional responses to eco destruction in two small works. Working from found internet images of deteriorating modern structures , Mueller scrapes and mars his painting surfaces as in his “Greenhouse” on view, to create dystopian symbols of systemic and environmental failure. Painters Jonathon Hornedo in “Column,” “Beer Bottle,” and “Plaster Stretcher Bars,” and Constance Mallinson with “Stumped” embrace more traditional still life approaches with an emphasis on found objects and detritus. Their imagery evokes the anxious states between balance and collapse in nature and culture.
There will be a catalogue available with essays on the artists by Mallinson.