Hermosa Beach, CA - "The ten artists assembled for this unique group exhibition work in vastly different media and are each concerned with very different ideas about personal expression, art theory and history, and styles of representation. The vectors of their practices do intersect at one crucial point at least: they all make art for more than just the eye. Whether through scale, motion, sound, or direct physical manipulation, each of them encourages no, requires - a deeper, more intimate experience with their work than is usually found in a gallery or museum setting. Some strike a jovial tone, some meditative, some are content to subvert expectations, but all of them have done away with the velvet rope and stanchion and command, invite and implore one to get a little closer."
Gallery Cs Executive Director and Touch Me Curator Nancy Silverman-Miles relished the idea of creating a show that pushed the rules of the traditional art world. The hands off policy of most art venues has been the status quo for ages and this is a great opportunity to be more interactive with the art instead of just standing back and taking it in. The tactile nature of the show allows guests to feel like they are part of the art and I hope they leave here either feeling inspired or at least that they had a good time, says Silverman.
Artists in the show include: Tilghman Branner, Moshe Elimelech, Brad Howe, Kingsley, Marion Lane, Keith Lord, Lilli Muller, Rebecca Niederlander, Ione Egg and Daniel Wheeler. Please refer to the attached list of artist bios for additional information.
Tilghman Branners mixed media paintings on fur are among the most tactile paintings imaginable. The thick synthetic shag of her canvases both absorbs and repels the paint, creating topographical and dynamic surfaces. The synaptic snap that occurs at the moment of recognition, the moment when the viewer gets the exchange of iconography Branner has set up, directly accesses the living spark of intellect in each of us.
Moshe Elimelechs cubic constructions are perhaps the most direct manifestation of the Touch Me idea. At first glance, the works appear to be straightforward, crisply executed abstract geometric compositions in the manner of a Pop Mondrian. However, each is made of several smaller pieces set into the frame; cubes painted on all six sides that can be removed, rotated and reinserted as well, creating a seemingly infinite number of variations within each piece.
Brad Howe is best known for his delicately biomorphic abstract metal and enamel sculptures. He is a wizard at creating kinetic works that remain harmonious and balanced throughout all their permutations. For Touch Me, Howe is creating a brand new walk-through sculpture in order to involve the entire body in the contemplation process, expertly translating the delicate industrial beauty of his style into an inversion of the expectations of scale.
Kingsleys eccentric and utterly original sculptural voice often draws formal and energetic inspiration from musical instruments and idioms. The piano wall construction he is executing for Touch Me reads like a black and white painting or perhaps a bas-relief, but in fact possesses certain functional elements of a working piano. In this way he achieves a kind of synesthesia between varieties of creative expression as well as experiential perception.
Marion Lane makes paintings that investigate not only the boundaries of the acrylic medium, but also the way painting generally, as a traditional and personally expressive creative field, interacts, influences and feeds off of new image technologies, created for mass audiences and often in commercial contexts. For Touch Me, she is creating a painting whose elements can be removed and reattached to the painted grounds, providing not only a literal compositional interactivity for the viewer, but thus proposing a representation of her own process of creating finished works.
Keith Lord will be exhibiting a few examples of his popular book pieces, works which contain touchable objects related to the titles of the Cornell-esque book boxes that contain them. However, for Touch Me he is also exhibiting several larger scale works; irregularly-shaped boxes perched on legs and built of wood with translucent Plexiglas tops. There is a viewing aperture in one of the sides of each box, situated so as to position the viewer in an awkward relationship to the horizontal perspective, so that, looking inside, the viewer sees an illusionistic deep space stretching into the far distance, under a dark, cloudy sky.
Lilli Mullers soft-form vinyl sculptures evoke emotional and spiritual states rather than the presence of physical mass, despite their large size and sensual surfaces. They depict anamorphous shapes, part human, part plant, that are reminiscent of abstracted limbs and body parts, and intestinal, sexual organs. They unfold across the floor with tension, volume and rhythm triggering narrative memories and feelings, accessing all the senses consciously and subconsciously.
Rebecca Niederlanders acclaimed installations draw on influences from microbiology to modern architecture. Conceiving of her exhibition spaces as conceptual gardens, Niederlander creates haunting external spaces with profound internal resonances, haunting, spectral and spectacular. Often with natural elements in unexpected juxtaposition to traditional art materials and even including soundtrack elements, her results are both familiar and alien, but always magical.
Ione Egg delights in creating seamless illusion. Her sound and light boxes often perform a strange dance as their small dimensions contain infinitely receding spaces that could equally likely be outer space or the inner reaches of human anatomy. For Touch Me, she is creating an installation based on the archetypal form of the bird cage. As with all her work, the piece requires the viewer to come within millimeters in order to experience the full perceptual content, but in expanding her experimental format she is including a kinetic scrolling image component that references the natural world while retaining its transparently technological origins.
Daniel Wheeler is among the most gifted conceptual artists of his generation. Creating a panoply of sculptural objects and multimedia site specific installations, he remains fascinated by something he refers to as the "basic form. This is not only an anthropocentric concept of structure, but something more like a kind of primogeniture of form that references the common foundation of all life including not only shapes in space but stretching its own definition to include conception, birth, self-awareness, personal history, death, and decay divorced from linear time.
Touch Me opens to the public with a reception at Gallery C on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view until May 21, 2005. Gallery C is located at 1225 Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach, CA. Public hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Public parking is available in the structure that is immediately to the north of the building. For further information, the public may visit <http://www.galleryc.com> or contact (310) 798-0102.