Cathy Breslaw's Installation

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Artist Adolph Rosenblatt Captures Essence of Everyday People in Remarkable Clay Sculptures

Moments and Markers: An Adolph Rosenblatt Retrospective
Jewish Museum Milwaukee, WI
June 16 – August 27th

Article by Cathy Breslaw
Adolph Rosenblatt    (in front of )   My Balcony   terra cotta clay, acrylic paint, wood      1997

The works of artist Adolph Rosenblatt will be featured in a retrospective at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee in Wisconsin where he resided since 1966.  Recently passed away at 83 years of age, Rosenblatt’s exhibition will include paintings, drawings, bronze cast works, ceramic works, sculptural tableaus and large-scale installations. Rosenblatt is best known for his expressionistic painted ceramic figures portrayed in daily life – at a lunch counter, in the bleachers of a baseball stadium, a movie theater, a Chinese restaurant, the Port Authority, an elementary school as well as around a swimming pool in Florida where the artist and his family spent vacations. Having studied under the famous color theorist Josef Albers at Yale, Rosenblatt began his art career as a painter in New York City before becoming a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Rosenblatt’s flat expressionistic paintings became three-dimensional sculpture when his layers of paint gradually became thicker and thicker until naturally moving the work into the 3-D realm.  He once commented:

“My work excites me..I keep my eyes clear and look a lot, I’m always seeing and making associations…. When we accept things as being ‘everyday’, we avoid them, we no longer see them…My point is to make myself conscious of them, and to help others become conscious of them.”

In order to create his work, Rosenblatt had the ‘subjects’ for his work either come to the studio where they sat for him for several hours at a time, or he went to where they were and sculpted them.  He had a very direct and personal approach, sculpting in clay as his subjects sat, using simple tools, documenting his response to them in ‘real time’. Rosenblatt’s interpretations of his subjects resulted in densely rich and intimate gestural and sometimes humorous portraits with his signature mark-making evident in all these hand-shaped models in clay. Having begun his sculpture-making in wax casting and bronzes,
he switched to terra cotta clay because of the high costs of creating bronzes.  The ubiquitous accessibility of clay fit nicely with Rosenblatt’s style of working and subject matter.  He wanted to capture moments in time of everyday people in their own environments. The results included distortions in the figures, resulting in a mix of reality and fantasy. One of his most prominent works  The Lunch Counter(1987) was inspired by a visit to the tomb of Chin Qin in China in 1985. The tomb had a sculpture of ceramic foot soldiers and mounted horsemen guarding the emperor.  Rosenblatt’s The Lunch Counter included fifty figures in a sculpture thirty feet long. Having taken one year to complete, Rosenblatt used the site of his daily visit for meals at the Oriental Pharmacy/Lunch Counter near his studio in Milwaukee.  His ‘subjects’ included waitresses and cooks, as well as regular patrons – artists, business people, folks from all walks of life who came together to eat, socialize and relax. They each sat for him as he sculpted their unique poses and gave them life through his energetic hands, as if channeling his life into their clay images.

He talked about the creation of his work:
 “I bring color to my work like a painter brings color. I like bright colors, the kinds of colors not normally what people put on sculptures. They’re not supposed to be pretty. The colors are the aura I experience…I don’t do look-alike sculptures. I do feel-alike sculptures. With color, I tried to create the sensation I felt and experienced with each person.” (comments made by Rosenblatt on sculptures of children, Milwaukee’s Anderson Arts Center)1995

Whether he was making paintings on-site in the woods, or creating figurative sculptures in communications with subjects as they sat, Rosenblatt’s works emanate an energy and dynamism that came from his heart and soul. Rosenblatt’s work can be found in private and public collections including the Library of Congress, Lester Avnet Collection, Vincent Price Collection, Williamstown Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum. He was the recipient of the Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award in 2013.
  Video about Oriental Pharmacy/Lunch Counter 1987

Oriental Pharmacy/Lunch Counter (detail)    1987

Oriental Pharmacy/Lunch Counter (detail)    1987

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Oceanside Museum Highlights Military Veterans Healing Through Art

Oceanside Museum of Art, 
Oceanside, California

Ted Meyer: Scarred For Life
Through September 17th
Meaning in Bronze
Through October 8th

Article by Cathy Breslaw

Suzanne Lemasters   VetArt Participant   bronze       2017
"The granite base on my bronze signifies the rock-solid base of integrity
and strength that developed as I grew into adulthood in the Navy."

 The Oceanside Museum of Art shares its location in Oceanside, California with Camp Pendleton, the major west coast base of the United States Marine Corp, and a significantly sized community of military families and veterans. The current exhibitions Healing Journey: Veterans and Artists Unite is the result of a natural connection and provides the broader San Diego communities with an awareness and understanding of the physical, psychological and emotional experiences that being in the military brings to its active duty and veterans. Through the restorative powers of creating art, the exhibition Meaning in Bronze, gives audiences glimpses into the thoughts and feelings of our verterans as they travel along life’s journeys. In collaboration with The Veterans Art Projects’ workshops, veterans were taught the multi-stage process of bronze casting, gained skills in art-making and had an opportunity to share their life stories. Most of the bronze sculptural works presented are direct images of each of the veterans using casts are of their faces, heads and in some cases, their hands. This personal and direct choice of bronze casting as artistic expression gives viewers powerful and intimate portraits and insights into the hearts and minds of these art-makers.  There is a long historical tradition of bronze casting over centuries and cultures across the globe. Going back to Greek and Roman times, these bronzes were created to memorialize soldiers in battle.

Another concurrent exhibition is Ted Meyer: Scarred For Life, which documents the traumas and healing journeys of people facing disease as well as veterans injured on deployments overseas. Artist Ted Meyer who had his own debilitating disease, makes block prints of human scars by applying ink to these scars and the skin around them and then gently presses paper to the skin to create direct contact images. As part of his own contribution to this process, he highlights areas of these prints with paint and pencil. Using the bodies of friends, acquaintances as well as military veterans, these enhanced monoprints are accompanied by photographic portraits taken by Meyer along with a written story by his subjects. Each tells a unique and personal story of resilience and healing.  A highlight of the exhibition is a fascinating video featuring several of the people Meyer has created prints with, including both veterans and people who have faced disease or accidents.  They each spoke of their scars, and the ways the injuries effected their lives.  In contrast to those who had accidents, disabilities or diseases who are ‘victims’ of circumstance,  veterans chose to put themselves in harms way with the knowledge that they are risking injury or death during their military service. It is interesting to note that though their paths are very different, each emphasized how their ‘disability’ gives strength and courage and a sense of pride in facing life’s challenges.

Mark Rush   VetArt Participant    bronze     2017
"I think Art itself is a means of expressing oneself and has a beneficial
therapeutic aspect to it.  Not only that, but since its free to Vets, it's kind of a
privilege and pat on the back for years of service."

Friday, June 2, 2017

Orange County Museum of Art's Pacific Triennial Merges Art and Architecture

Building As Ever: 2017 California – Pacific Triennial
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Through September 3rd

Article by Cathy Breslaw

The Lakota Porch: A Time Traveler    Beatriz Cortez   welded steel, sheet metal    2017

Building As Ever: 2017 California – Pacific Triennial features 25 artists – 10 from Los Angeles, and the rest from Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, China and South Korea. The work of these artists  respond to the notion of ‘permanence’ relative to the built environment and artists’ particular cultural and personal connections to architecture. Renee Lotenero’s  Stucco Vs. Stone (2017) site specific installation greets visitors outside the front door of the museum setting the stage for the show to unfold. Comprised of photographs, wood, metal and rubble, this provocative piece depicts a group of buildings in severe decay or perhaps destroyed by an earthquake. It points to the inevitability of  debilitation of architectural structures over time, and our human challenge and desperate drive to maintain historical preservation projects to fight the decaying process. Canadian artist Cedric Bomford’s two story scaffolding installation The Embassy or Under a Flag of Convenience (2017) attached to the outside front of the museum asks us to question ‘Is this art or a building in the renovation process?’. In contrast, Columbian artist Leyla Cardenas’s works OCMA Stratigraphy, 2017 examines in a more intimate way, the underlying construction of the museum by peeling paint from the walls, using steel, dirt from under the museum and mxarine deposits (Pleistocene).  Her work carefully exposes the underside of walls and is about the deconstructing and unraveling of the geology of place, asking viewers to think about time and temporality. Chinese artist Wang Wei’s Slipping Mural (2017) is a huge flat mosaic work comprised of hundreds of small tiles partially hanging from the wall and laying on the floor. Based on a mural at a zoo enclosure in Beijing. this site specific work plays with human perception of architectural space and construction of materials.  The collaborative team of Seattle artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalo, of Lead Pencil Studio, exhibit a series of works. Three large charcoal, graphite, ink and paint on paper works reflect their interest in architectural space, the urban environment and influences on human behavior. Their series of  12 illuminated Crystals in steel cases and plexiglass (Void Promise: Last Track A, B 2017) represent images captured with a 3-D scanner of areas in Orange County undergoing rapid architectural transformations. These images are then applied to crystals using a  laser-etching process.  Vietnamese artist Trong Gia Nguyen exhibits a series of mixed media works using oil pastel paintings on canvas mounted within inkjet prints. His works draw upon images of the home, photographs of houses and loosely painted members of  families that inhabit them, calling attention to the contemporary life of the family. Nguyen also presents a series of  oil and acrylic wooden “gates” which mimic the iron gates used in Vietnamese homes, however, as suspended works, there is a certain beauty within their patterned forms as viewers see through them into his mixed media wall works. These and several more artists are represented in this visit-worthy exhibition that joins architecture and visual art as one interwoven entity commenting on the ephemerality of both humans and the buildings they create. Buildings hold stories and memories, proof of our past, markers that we have lived, that we have touched the earth.
Lead Pencil Studio  Void Promise: Last Tract A, B,   2017  Crystals, steel cases, and plexiglas
courtesy of the artists and Rena Bransten gallery, San Francisco
photo: Chirs Bliss Photography

Stucco Vs Stone    Renee  Lotenero   photographs, wood, metal and rubble    2017

Enid, West Oak    Trong Gia Nguyen   oil pastel on canvas, mounted on inkjet print    2015

The Embassy or Under a Flag of Convenience   Cedric Bomford   steel and wood construction,
reclaimed materials, scaffolding  2017

Wonderspaces Launches In San Diego

7960 Civita Blvd, San Diego
Through July 30th
For more information:

Article by Cathy Breslaw

Daydream v2   Noemi Schipfer, Takami Nakamoto

Wonderspaces founders Patrick Charles and Jason Shin describe their exciting new visual arts venture as a pop up museum of extraordinary experiences.  Their journey began a year ago as these former Marines, who met while serving their country discussed their mutual dream of creating short-term entertainment venues that would be awe-inspiring immersive experiences. Their dream materialized at the launch of their pop-up event in San Diego which continues through July 30th. Charles and Shin found land in San Diego and leased a 20,000 square foot tent to house room-sized interactive art installations, virtual reality films including art, design, food and beverages enjoyed at the world’s biggest festivals and fairs.  After its San Diego debut, Wonderspaces will take to the road to Austin, Phoenix, Denver and back to San Diego in 2018.

The interior of the immense tent has been custom constructed and shaped to the needs of the 17 artists included in this event. Artists from around the globe include some whose works previously enjoyed at Burning Man, Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW. The works are as diverse as Not Myself Today ®, from Partners for Mental Health, a Canadian charity that’s catalyzing a social movement to transform the way we think about, act towards and support mental health to 16 foot Pulse Portal created by artist Davis McCarty, made from futuristic dichroic acrylic which, like a dragonfly’s wings, simultaneously transmits multiple colors. This arch welcomed visitors to Burning Man in 2016.  On a Human Scale by Matthew Matthew realizes the artist’s an ongoing mission to create a fully playable instrument of 'humanity'. This global collaborative experiment began by filming a vast cross section of everyday New Yorkers singing. Their individual notes are woven into a fully interactive video installation that the public is invited to play, using a piano. Daydream v2, a collaboration between the illustrator Noemi Schipfer and architect musician Takami Nakamoto is an audiovisual installation that generates space distortions and plays with the relationship between space and time, accelerations, contractions, shifts and metamorphosis.  It has been shown in festivals around the world including Insanitus Festival, Stereolux, Biela Noc Slovakia, Lumina Festival, Lux Festival, Licht Festival, POP Austin, and the Istanbul Light Festival. Transition by Joost Jordan and Mike Von Rotz is a virtual reality experience based on the music of Kettel & Secede. Transition takes you on a journey from one world into the next and was featured in the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival.  Local artist Adam Bell’s works self-described as reliquaries, present in the entrance, contain ‘pieces’ of light. Sunlight is translated into two different light phenomena in the reliquaries using batteries charged by solar panels. In the first, Cloudbreak, a light shines through condensation changing daily depending on temperature and air pressure. The second, Light Rays, contains individual rays of light.  

These and more fascinating and intriguing works and films are waiting to be experienced at Wonderspaces. Tickets are available online. See for further information.
Ada - Analog Interactive Installation   Karina Smigla-Bobinski

On A Human Scale    Matthew-Matthew 

 Sweet Spot    Shawn Causey, Mark Daniell

Pulse Portal    Davis McCarty