Walter Maciel Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibit of two and three-dimensional artworks by mostly Southern and Northern California artists. The show includes works by Ray Beldner, Lavialle Campbell, Carolyn Castaño, Bryan Ida, Cynthia Ona Innis, Brendan Lott, Robb Putnam, Vojislav Radovanoviċ, Lezley Saar, Sonja Schenk, Annie Seaton, Lisa Solomon and Jil Weinstock.
In 2011, Ray Beldner, Brendan Lott, Sonja Schenk and Annie Seaton produced an art exhibition entitled Misappropriation. In reflection of this show over ten years later, Seaton revisits this theme to include more diversity with each artist’s richly layered personal backgrounds woven into his/her/their art. The theme of our show is patchwork as noted in the title, Future Patchwork. Like a quilt, we present a mix of contemporary artists whose individual artworks mirror the relationships and patterns within each equally unique and highly crafted piece.
Collectively, the work of the thirteen artists looks forward to the future—post Covid—with positivity, joy and whimsy while retaining connections between their unique histories. Considering what we have all mutually experienced as a country during the unprecedented pandemic, the works chosen for the exhibition were all produced during the last couple of years in a time of isolation, self-reflection and confrontation of the ongoing injustice of systemic racism and political upheaval that led to the Insurrection on January 6, 2021. The materials each artist uses form a patchwork of hand-made objects that are sewn, woven, collaged and/or quilted together. Artworks by Lavialle Campbell, Cynthia Ona Innis and Annie Seaton are the most literal interpretations of the title, Future Patchwork using story-telling and personal experience to incorporate fabric, sewing and materials into different interpretations of quilts. Working within the traditional art form of quilting, Campbell sews together colorful forms of fabric to create her skillful patterns with an inherit comparison within the visual field. Innis creates her abstract paintings using selected materials such as satin, canvas and fabric to create visual patterns and techniques that are interpretations of her experience in specific landscapes. Seaton explores color, shape and form in her abstracted landscapes using photographic process, shibori dyeing and embellishments that are sewn together in quilt-like patterns to depict modern stories.
Lezley Saar, Brian Ida, Carolyn Castaño and Lisa Solomon have built art practices that celebrate their cultural identity and personal experience. Saar’s mixed-media artwork includes collaged photographs within her painted portraits drawing on issues of race, gender, colorism and her ancestral history. Ida explores both his family history and endangered species with themes of hope and despair. He honors his grandfather’s experience imprisoned in the internment camp at Manzanar using the actual text from the US government’s order as the line of his incredibly detailed drawing. Castano’s mixed media works are opulent with the inclusion of glitter, rhinestones and appliques while commenting on her Colombian family heritage and feminist ideals. Solomon delves into her own personal history as a mixed raced artist from Japanese and Jewish backgrounds to create her multi-media works. Her passion for color theory is evident in her wall installations that include a comparison of subjects made from painting, drawing and hand-made objects.
The remaining artists work within genres of materiality, found objects and environment. Both Ray Beldner’s two and three-dimensional artworks and Brendan Lott’s colorful module paintings redefine collage using paint or digital media to break away from traditional forms with an obvious intention of curiosity and playfulness in their new presence. Sonja Schenk is a multidisciplinary artist whose paintings and installations examine her immediate future world, both real and imagined in comparison to Vojislav Radovanoviċ who confronts the environment from a literal perspective with his investigation of global climate change in his mixed media paintings often incorporating recycled materials. Robb Putnam’s sculptures depict lifelike versions of forest animals, and he also uses recycled and discarded materials such as fabrics, thread and wire to create his forms with a specific pathos and whimsical demeanor. Jil Weinstock uses organic plant life with synthetic thread to explore the relationship between the natural and artificial worlds often incorporating pours of rubber, her signature medium. The threads become an extension of the plant life with areas of embroidered leaves and flowers that demand a closer look to discern what is made and what is found.
Each individual artist has honed their craft with a command for their materials and a strong, unique voice. But at this one moment in time, experienced together, they are the Future Patchwork.