Artweek Review 2003--New Works - Andrewshire Gallery LA

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Once voted one of Los Angeles top ten galleries by an austere, though notable ( and unnamed) bi monthly art magazine, Andrewshire gallery was formerly the exclusive domain of established Korean artists, with healthy sales fuelled by local Koreatown patronage.

At risk to its sustainable formula, Andrewshire has since reinvented itself. Group Show, an eclectic eleven person exhibition of paintings, drawings, and two and three dimensional sculpture served as a fitting transition for the gallery, testament to its broadened geographic stance and to the act of risk taking as something potentially fortuitous for the space and its artists.

Nicola Lamb’s Aurora series was a highlight of Andrewshire’s Group Show. Lamb is an artist who likes to take risks, a minimalist who enjoys experimentation She confides a preoccupation with color, texture and the notion of “personal history.

Lamb describes herself primarily as a colorist that stylistically recalls the likes of Rothko or Roland Reiss. A prior series of field paintings constructed using similar technique and materials aimed to recreate various retro era colors including a monochrome salmon piece inspired by a fifties era car owned by her sister.

Lamb uses a paint additive, conventionally used to thicken acrylic paints to emphasize color and achieve dense layers and texture. Rather than using a paintbrush, she uses a metal spatula to apply a sparse coat of acrylic based gel over white painted canvases.

The four piece Aurora series capture colors synonymous with springtime. Strokes and layers of color tinted with chemically treated lacquer veneer signify moments of personal history, recollections of vacations, seasons and moods. Chromium green pieces invoke recollections of blossoming trees and budding plants, Dawn reconstructs a dazzling morning sky and its rich mist, while the deep aqua hue of Pool conjures visions of an inviting swimming pool on a balmy afternoon. Aiming to explore:”what others won’t reveal”. Lamb’s four piece series of 48”x24” works effortlessly fulfill her technical objective.

According to Angeles sculptor Lee Pratt, “my experience is that today, most perceptions of art, particularly sculpture is not a spontaneous and intuitive experience, but a safe, predictable dependence on what is preconceived, deliberate and expected. Pratt endeavors to circumvent the predictable and undermine the obsession of what is perceived to be traditional sculpture.

Pratt’s unconventional twist on sculpture is based on the premise of impermanence, he has consciously reduced the number of tangible materials in his work and emphasized more “transitory components”. Single translucent fiberglass shapes were strung from stretched cables via machined aluminum elements. Shadows, light and shape in turn combine to create an ephemeral sculptural composition.

Thematically inspired by recollections of the landscape near his Palm Springs home, abstract painter Tom Savage explores the close relationship between drawing and painting in his work. Using acrylics on paper for his untitled piece, Savage starts with a formal structure then improvises in a reactionary and visceral way, expressing this intuitive flow through the organizational structure of the piece.

Utilizing sparse use of paint and the recurring prominence of white space. Savage creates rhythmic nuances via an exploration of color, form and their relationship coaxing a gut reaction from the viewer.

Providing gripping insights into the detritus of the artists psyche, Lorel Cornman’s seven piece Entering The Circle series is a personal and revealing journey that hopes to reflect her artistic mantra, “suspend judgment, sustain curiosity, trust in knowing and believe in feeling,” she did manage to realize some of these lofty goals in the collection of her work at Andrewshire Seemingly non-objective, Entering The Circle eschews poetic qualities. Random and desolate. Ornate and apocalyptic, Cornmen’s work sees lines and colors as not all representational. The works are strong, succeeding one another as separate but yet overlapping amongst a potpourri of color and shape.

A veteran of Villa Medici, with over 11 one man exhibitions to his credit, French multi media artist Michael Gouery offered a series of hybrid like ceramic sculptures.

A mix of body parts, abstract shapes and monosyllabilic inscriptions, these chaotic though admittedly detailed works sat like donated organs on a nearby table. One signature piece saw a melding of human teeth, a hive of worm like creatures, a human heart with mounted anus and the words courtesy emblazoned mid center. Idiosyncratic and mysterious, Gouery’s works are jarring juxtapositions.

Removed from any distinct thematic stance, Group Show was at times, stark and chaotic, yet the show sought redemption from its random nature through the sheer richness and diversity of the work. Ultimately Group Show offered an astonishing array of unique and distinctive pieces by strong local and international talent.



Written by Craig Stephens

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