Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Friday, September 9, 2016

Homage/Sublime - Exhibition of Artists Jeff Irwin and Rex Yuasa at R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA

Jeff Irwin and Rex Yuasa
R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, CA

Article by Cathy Breslaw

Jeff Irwin’s sculptures are in stark contrast to Rex Yuasa’s paintings, yet viewing their works together provide some intriguing contrasts. Irwin’s clay material feels humble and natural while Yuasa’s paintings use more man-made materials – acrylic, oils and alkyd on canvas. The surfaces of Irwin’s sculptures are roughly hewn, his simulated nubby wood surfaces emphasize some textured sawed off “imperfect” areas while Yuasa’s surfaces are slick and shiny with resin. Irwin’s color palette is white and off-white while Yuasa’s color palette is all-over-the-place. The palette used in his paintings represent seemingly all ‘colors of the rainbow’ in richly bright and bold, sometimes neon and intense colors that almost make you want to look away. Irwin’s sculptures have a humble, quiet, meditative and focused quality while Yuasa’s paintings are barely hanging on to a sense of order and composition with their repetitive use of the ‘circle’ symbol.  The subject matter of Irwin’s sculptures are based in the animal world and nature, commenting on the connections between the two. His 96” x 108” circular installation of many small extinct animals made of earthenware and glaze, form Irwin’s featured work in his portion of the exhibition.  Yuasa’s works range in size from 18.4” x 12” up to 48” x 48”, not especially large, but surprisingly have the feeling of inhabiting way more physical space in the gallery due to their visual explosions of color and loosely organized arrangements of objects.  Yuasa’s abstract paintings appear to be investigating space. Using similar-sized multiples of three-dimensional circles in a repetitive manner, Yuasa provide viewers with visual stimulation and a variety of sensations. The work of Jeff Irwin and Rex Yuasa are a strong counterpoint to one another, providing viewers with a lot to talk about.

Jeff Irwin    40 Extinct Trophies  earthenware, glaze sculptures  96" x 108" x 8"

Rex Yuasa, SMR. Renn. 8, acrylic, oil, alkyd on canvas over wood panel, 23 1/2" round

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