Cathy Breslaw's Installation

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

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

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