For Summer Mixer, Wayne White presents new word paintings. Over the last nineteen years, the Los Angeles based artist has painted anachronistic text and phrases onto offset vintage lithographs, playfully incorporating the lettering into bucolic landscapes and seascapes. For this new set of word paintings, White paints both text and image. These works continue to reflect the artist’s sardonic wit, while simultaneously revealing his vulnerable side. White’s conscious decision to adorn his hand-painted backgrounds of sunsets with text that reads “Fomo” and “Finally Got There Wasn’t So Great” adds a particularly somber tone to these works.
Terri Loewenthal is an Oakland based photographer who explores the intersection of landscape and psyche. Loewenthal uses a Mamiya 645 camera and colored filters to capture kaleidoscopic visions of the American West, where the sky, mountains, and rugged terrain converge in a single image. As the artist explains, “Each image is a single exposure. All of the layering and color shifting happens in-camera. I like to think of these images as in-camera collages. There are a number of aspects I tweak as I’m compositing: the position, saturation and palette of each layer, along with all the traditional photographic controls like focus and shutter speed. I can make an environment feel soft or hard, depending on how muted or bright it is.”
Equally as colorful, Jen Stark’s vibrant works balances optical seduction and perceptual engagement. Imbued with kinetic, undulating effects, Stark’s work resembles organic, molecular, or cloud-like structures. The fields of math, science, and physics heavily influence Stark, most notably, concepts such as, optical illusions, The Fibonacci Sequence, fractals, and Riemannian geometry that explores the theory of curved space in the flat universe. As the artist explains, “I think a lot about fractals–one small shape that is identical to the next and keeps on going infinitely.” Suspended from the ceiling, 30 Cubed, is a cube fashioned from thirty uniformly spaced aluminum sheets. From the front, a spiral fractal manifests from inside of the cube, moving outward, while organic shapes emerge from the back.
Mark Wagner and Arno Beck employ unconventional materials to create intricate work. Cutting up bills into rudimentary elements, Wagner uses the shapes, figures, and textures found on United States banknotes to create complex compositions. The Lancaster, PA based artist tends to “stick to subject matters that are close to the currency,” addressing themes relating to the division of wealth and American identity. Wagner’s montages encourage the viewer to reconsider the aesthetic and symbolic value of the dollar bill. Through an accumulation of strategic keystrokes on a typewriter, Beck depicts landscapes that feature motifs from low resolution computer programs and video games, such as Super Mario World. Typing line by line on Japanese paper using an old-fashioned manual typewriter, the Bonn, Germany based artist utilizes different letters and symbols to achieve a variety of differing brightness values. This series is “rooted in the search for an analog translation of digital imagery into pictorial space,” resembling pixelated binary code to emphasize the connection between the imagery and the digital world.
Moving back to traditional painting, Stephen Ormandy and Kathryn Macnaughton examine the effect that contrasting colors and forms have on the foreground and background of a painting. Melbourne, Australia based artist, Ormandy is inspired by the rhythms of shape, space, and color, and design. Born of the subconscious mind, Ormandy’s hard-edge paintings evoke abstracted figures and landscapes comprised of puzzle piece-like forms sinuously connect together in harmonious compositions. Ormandy states, “I’m looking for vibration and rhythm, the play of line creating positive and negative space, searching for tonal balance through contrast or harmony, while developing chroma relationships that hug or repel.” Similarly, Toronto based artist, Macnaughton explores the push and pull between positive and negative space in her practice. Merging two distinct techniques, the artist first applies underlying washes of color to the canvas, moving the paint around with water to achieve fluid shapes, abstract masses, and lyrical gestures. Next, Macnaughton paints flat, angular forms over the washes, building up the surface with paint medium. The three-dimensional quality of the solid forms makes the washes appear to recede further into the background, heightening the push and pull effect.