“It’s Sunny Anyway”

Check out our 2017 Winter Group Exhibition, “It’s Sunny Anyway”.  Show runs through January 27.  Please note that the gallery will be closed Thursday 11/23 – Monday 11/27 for the holiday weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!itssunnyanywaySM

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Tom Lieber Retrospective – Ending Soon!

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Double Heart, 2017. Oil on canvas

Don’t forget to swing by the gallery to check out Tom Lieber’s retrospective, “1977 Onward” – it closes on October 28th! Lieber’s career skyrocketed in the early 80s when he was discovered by the Guggenheim’s “radical curator”, Diane Waldman. His beautifully-detailed abstract paintings are in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, the Met, and the Tate, among many other public and private collections.

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The paintings truly need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated – so what are you waiting for? FP Contemporary is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 6pm, or by appointment.

Hunt Rettig’s “I’m Twelve Push-ups Away from a Perfect Body”

“I’m Twelve Push-ups Away from a Perfect Body”

Solo Exhibition

Hunt Rettig

May 13-June 17, 2017 @ FP Contemporary

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Hunt Rettig, “Ground Sounds”, 47 x 56 inches, mixed media on panel

Hunt Rettig is known for this three-dimensional assemblages that produce the illusion of 2D digital images. Self-taught, Rettig’s process-based discipline is a continual quest to transform quotidian material into the sublime. In Rettig’s hands, moldable synthetics and reflective acrylics become encapsulated sculptures implying kinetic movement if not actuating it. He has been drawn to the works of Jesus Soto since childhood.

Hunt Rettig’s three-dimensional wall sculptures contain organic shapes full of light and dimension that shift depending on the vantage point of the viewer. How they are created generally perplexes the viewer. Their reflective nature makes them appear to be lit from behind. Even upon close inspection, the perfection of these shapes behind the glassy surface is not compromised and their construction remains mysterious.

An explorer of both geographic and psychological terrain, Rettig is most at home on a dirt path or body of water observing “familiar patterns that connect us as one, like source code”. Biomorphic shapes seen in Rettig’s work suggest sensual elements omnipresent in nature. “If it didn’t exist, if it didn’t resonate, we wouldn’t be here”. Hunt Rettig was raised in El Paso, Texas and received his B.S. from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He now lives and works in Aspen, Colorado.

 

 

Find out more about Hunt himself, as well as his mysterious and magical works of art, in this wonderful Huffington Post article, “An Artist’s Perspective on Perfection”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/an-artists-perspective-on-perfection_us_5912540ee4b0e3bb894d5ba0

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Hunt Rettig, “Reposit”, 47 x 90 inches, mixed media on panel

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Hunt Rettig, “Untitled 1817”, 23 x 25 inches, mixed media on panel

John Randall Nelson’s “Weird, Weird West”

“Weird, Weird West”

Solo Exhibition

John Randall Nelson

March 18 – April 29 @ FP Contemporary

“Weird, Weird West references the iconic theme of the Wild West, where regional icons Jackrabbits, raindrops, Peyote buttons and Narco hip-hop are the obvious subject matter. The Western frontier was once viewed as the borderland between the known and the unknown, the lucid and the obscure… cue the Sun, but not in a good way. In a region where the landscape resembles a parched wasteland that stretches from horizon to horizon, it is shade that is sacred. The summer sun appears to fill the entire sky, on its own, and we keep marching forward moaning, ‘water, water…’ ”

– John Randall Nelson

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John Randall Nelson, “Keep Trying To”, mixed media on panel, 94 x 94 inches

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John Randall Nelson, “Time Travel”, mixed media on panel, 36 x 48 inches

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John Randall Nelson, “Oh Lawdy”, 23 x 19 inches, mixed media on panel

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John Randall Nelson, “When Willie Went West”, 72 x 96 x 2 inches, mixed media on panel

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John Randall Nelson, “Rosa Babylon”, 41 x 60 inches, mixed media on panel

The Art of Finding Love

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Michael Kalish, “The Art of Finding Love – Monumental”, 72 x 240 x 72 inches, mixed media with chrome and painted panels

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Michael Kalish, “The Art of Finding Love – Red”, 21 x 69 x 21 inches, welded aluminum and automotive paint

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Michael Kalish, “Candy Roses”, 32 x 32 x 7 inches each, custom paint on layered laser cut aluminum

Michael Kalish, “For You!”, 30 x 24 x 0.5 inches, steel sculpture

“The Art of Finding Love”, a solo exhibition featuring works by internationally acclaimed artist Michael Kalish, follows the debut of his large-scale 20-foot interactive public art sculpture, The Art of Finding Love, which was at The Grove in Los Angeles for Valentine’s Day weekend. This 20-foot red and chrome sculpture was at the gallery for the opening reception on February 18th. In addition to this sculpture, his recent body of work contains multi-dimensional wall sculptures and standing sculptures consisting of layered laser cut aluminum, a material that contrasts the delicate subject of the works in this exhibition – all things relating to love.

“Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken”

– William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 116” may be the purest yet perplexing analysis of love ever put to words, but no matter how one interprets it, its power remains steadfast. Throughout time, it is the one emotion that gives us hope. No politics, no country, no race, no religion is so strong as to keep people from seeking true love, despite the obstacles in their way.

Perhaps no modern artist has spent more time contemplating this notion than Michael Kalish. In his most daring and bold expression of the force of nature known as love, the renowned sculptor unveiled his own artistic sonnet in sculpture form – “THE ART OF FINDING LOVE”, a 20 foot x 6 foot x 6 foot interactive sculpture.  Kalish has designed the contemporary piece so that the viewer must find the exact vantage point where the sculpture is no longer abstract and “Love” literally comes into focus. A series of these large-scale public monuments will travel across the United States starting in February 2017. A smaller 6-foot cherry red version with an automotive finish is currently at the gallery.

Michael Kalish grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He pursued his passion in both baseball and art, noting that some days he would sneak away from baseball practice to take figure-drawing classes or make art. During this time, Kalish had the opportunity to try out for major league teams such as the Atlanta Braves and the Yankees. He was a very talented player, though a serious back injury kept him from furthering an athletic career.

Michael Kalish was fascinated with license plates and perhaps it was his upbringing in the Deep South that culled his interest in Americana. He began cutting and welding the license plates into maps, flags and large scale sculptures. Kalish gained recognition for his transformation of ordinary, everyday objects into meaningful works of art that reference a broad spectrum of American culture from political issues to cultural icons. Kalish’s passion for metal has recently evolved from salvaged parts to more refined laser cut aluminum and mirrored stainless steel sculptures with references to American culture, produced under Kalish Editions.

Michael Kalish has completed several large-scale public installations for which he is well known, including “reALIze”, a large-scale multi-dimensional Muhammad Ali sculpture in downtown Los Angeles. The monument is larger than life, as is Ali’s legacy: an appropriate testament to the essence for the legend the world has come to know, simply, as “The Greatest.” The breath-taking effect is an enormous, 360-degree, two-story structure composed of five miles of stainless steel cables, two miles of aluminum tubing, and 1,300 boxing speed bags.

His most recent monumental sculpture, Raise The Caliber™, is a tribute to all victims of illegal gun violence in America. This three-story sculpture was created from 2,000 pounds of illegal gun parts bought off the streets through gun buyback programs. It was unveiled in Hartford, CT on September 3, 2014 with plans for the monument to travel to other cities including Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Kalish has been the featured in the NY Times, The ARTnews Review, Wired Magazine, Time Magazine, The LA Times Magazine, People Magazine, Hollywood Life Magazine, US Weekly, American Way Magazine, Elle Magazine, Art in America and USA Today. He has also made TV appearances on CBS Sunday Morning and CNN’s “Route to the Top”. Most recently, he was the host of Discovery Channel’s “Final Offer”. His work is in countless prominent art collections around the world.

FP Artist Spotlight – John Randall Nelson

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John Randall Nelson, “Cycoplasm”, mixed media on panel, 36 x 48 inches

“Working in the relative isolation of Arizona for the last ten years, John Nelson has synthesized his illustrative and sculptural experience into a unique body of work that combines painting, drawing, and text with narrative content.

Left to right: John Randall Nelson, “Dope”, 48 x 36 x 2 inches, mixed media on panel
John Randall Nelson, “Delicately”, 48 x 36 x 2 inches, mixed media on panel

“Nelson embraces the concept of artist as story teller, a chronicler of contemporary culture. His symbolic amalgamations, which often consist of a central image superimposed over a collage of symbols and text (anything from art criticism to nursery rhymes), make intuitive sense of the inundation that we experience in what Nelson sees as our “over-communicated, how-to world.” Bits and pieces from daily life are placed, layered, painted, sanded and repainted; in this persistent, almost obsessive editing and rearrangement we find the grammar of Nelson’s private language. And because the constant reworking of the surface and the rearranging of form describe the process of discovery and creation, the paintings end up being narrative in two ways: they ask us to invent our own stories based on the images and messages that Nelson uses, but they also present the “story” of their own creation and invite us to share the restless, somewhat anxious journey of the art-making process.

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“The strength of the work lies in the terrain between the narrative and the abstract, between what is immediately accessible to the viewer and what remains obscure. Masked in Nelson’s faux-naive style is a complex formalism designed to both present and obscure meaning. “Ambiguity and metaphor are central to my work,” says Nelson, “I think the ambiguous is more interesting, more engaging. Because there is always something more to discover it reveals itself more slowly and it has greater longevity.”

Deborah Hilary Susser

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Polka Dots and Tear Drops series at FP Contemporary. 15 x 13 x 2 inches each, mixed media on panel floated in an aluminum frame

FP Artist Spotlight – Harry Moody

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Harry Moody, “Abstract Blue Grey White #23”, 72 x 60 x 1.5 inches, oil on canvas

Harry Moody received his formal training as an artist at the Frankfurt Stadel Fine Art Academy in Frankfurt, Germany. Karl Otto Götz, one of his earliest mentors and one of the most important members of the German Art Informel movement, encouraged Moody to enter the school. He majored in Free Painting under the Professors Johannes Schreiter, Thomas Bayrle and Josef Beuys. In 1985, also at the Stadel Academy, he was introduced to the works and philosophies of the then residing Guest Professor Gerhard Richter who eventually profoundly influenced the artistic direction that Moody was to embark on. During this period he engaged with internationally renowned artists who would come to be known as key figures in New European Painting movement among other notable contributions.

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At an interlude of his artistic career Moody gravitated toward the discerning and esteemed positions in the art world as Fine Arts Dealer, Gallery Owner, Membership in CINOA, Appraiser, Conserver/Restorer, participant in numerous Art Fairs in Maastricht, Koln, Munchen, Frankfurt, author and art critic for Art-i-fact, freelance curator for the Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle, Ukai Museum, Tokyo and for privately owned collections, and was on the Board of Trustees at the Seattle Fine Art Academy.

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Harry Moody, “Abstract with Depth #232”, 72 x 60 x 1.5 inches, oil on canvas

He has pursued a dialogue concerning art ideals through out his aforementioned responsibilities in the art world and eventually returned to the necessity to express himself artistically. Included in his artistic achievements to date are numerous exhibitions and recognitions which bring to the forefront the legacy of his schooling among leading German artists who have left their mark in art history. He is a member of the Pasadena Society of Artists, Pasadena, CA and the Abstract Artist Gallery USA.

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Harry Moody, “Abstract Greyblue #233”, 72 x 60 x 1.5 inches, oil on canvas

Artist Spotlight – Christina Craemer

Christina Craemer

Infinite Lines

Solo Exhibition

Opening Reception Saturday September 17, 2016 from 6-8pm

“Infinite Lines” runs September 17 through November 5

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Christina Craemer, “The Rise and Fall”, 57 x 84 inches, oil and mixed media on canvas

Christina Craemer is a Los Angeles-based artist whose objective is to have the viewer immersed in her personal realizations of organic forms found in nature.  While Craemer’s artistic career emerged from a love of photography, recently she incorporated painting as a way to relive, reimagine and recreate her experiences on canvas.  “Infinite Lines” highlights Christina Craemer’s most recent series of oil paintings alongside large-scale archival photographic compositions.

“Infinite Lines” consists of images of waterfalls from Craemer’s travels around the world, including Hawaii, Iceland, South Africa, Yosemite and the Dominican Republic.  In the days or weeks following a photographic journey, visions from her experience begin to build and drive the editing process resulting in a single, unique composition.  Craemer layers multiple images, as many as 50, to create a final, powerful image, which she then prints on canvas or paper. On a selection of images, Craemer incorporates oil paint.  Craemer states that she “fell in love with the texture and smell of oil paint and the way it rolls and moves down the canvas, much like the waterfalls themselves.“

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The large scale of many of these works amplifies the emotional experience, offering the viewer an unexpected refuge, while evoking a calm and meditative resonance.  “The process of painting brought me back to my experiences of traveling to waterfalls in other-worldly locations and watching them endlessly unfold before me, exploding and imploding at a rapid pace, providing a sense of wonder.”  The resulting work from each natural wonder represents to her the essence of her experience, whether it was the intensity of a 500-foot, madly driven fall in Africa or a fine, shallow fall in Maui.  To her, each is divine and vastly unique.

Born in Connecticut and raised on the East Coast, Christina Craemer obtained degrees in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering from Drexel University as well as an Interior Design degree from UCLA.  During her 20+ years in the design industry, Craemer spent much time looking to nature for inspiration in her work.  She began traveling on photographic journeys to capture the wonder of the nature with which she was so inspired.  In all of her work, her goal has been to seek ways to incorporate the calming effects she observes in nature into her architectural and interior designs, as well as embracing these natural forms and expressing them as fine art.

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Christina Craemer, “Black Lines”, 108 x 60 inches, oil and mixed media on canvas

“My first photographic series was inspired by the calmness of water lilies resting on a serene lake in Minnesota.  Their ability to transport me into a relaxing emotional experience was what initially captivated me, though it took several years and many seasons to finally capture the feeling I had been so inspired by on those first trips to the summer lake house.  I began to envision how the effect could be further enhanced by layering multiple images, as many as 50, upon one another resulting in a complex composition entitled Brite Lite.

While returning home from a photographic adventure in Carmel, CA several years ago, a sign on the roadside caught my attention.  After driving several miles past the sign, I began to wonder how my digital painting techniques would work with a waterfall.  I decided to turn around and take the short hike to a small waterfall on the majestic California coast. The effects were breathtaking.  I was hooked…and thus began my latest series.”

The theme and goal in all of Christina Craemer’s work is to create a sanctuary for meditation.  Her unique ability to engulf and transport the viewer by creating powerful images of peace and refuge is nothing less than magical and inspirational. Christina Craemer continues to explore the natural wonder of every fall, the excitement of the journey to discover the magic and power of each drop of water and the distinct energy and emotion that each environment naturally creates.  She strives to bring the beauty and majesty of these phenomenal natural wonders to life through various mediums.  “I love both the photographic medium and the gestural process of painting.  I feel each has a quality that represents the actual experience, but in different ways.  One is more literal while the other is more transformative.  Each represents for me the emotion of the experience of my journey on the planet and through this artistic process.”

“I have started on a new series of works called Disappearing Trees, which was discovered in much the same way as the waterfalls, but this time in Yosemite while traveling from waterfall to waterfall.  And so my journey continues…”

“SHINE” Artist Spotlight – Lisa Bartleson

Born in 1968 in Seattle, WA, Lisa Bartleson is a mixed-media artist who currently lives and works in both Los Angeles and Northern California.  Her work is inspired by the Light and Space movement from the 1960s and 1970s, which originated in Southern California. Bartleson received a B.A. in Biology at the University of Northern Colorado and was a scientist with a pharmaceutical company as she pursued her artistic path.  This is evident in her incredible ability to create nearly seamless gradations of color in each piece.

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detail of “Sphere 0915.48.10” by Lisa Bartleson, 48 x 48 x 2 inches, mixed media on panel

For her ongoing Sphere series, Bartleson paints many strips of Mylar (a clear plastic) starting with thinner pieces (used near the center of each sphere) and getting wider towards the outer layers on each piece.  These strips are taped vertically to her studio walls as she paints them.  Picture a paint bucket with a neutral colored paint.  She slowly adds pigment to the bucket as she paints each strip of Mylar on the wall.  To begin the sphere, she cuts small squares from each strip and glues them down in a circular motion starting at the center.  These cut squares slowly go from light to dark as she knows just when to move the next strip of Mylar, which is painted with a darker pigment.  She continues cutting these squares and gluing them over the layers beneath in a repetitive circular movement.  The further out she goes from the center, the darker the color gets.  For the final step Lisa pours a liquid resin over the surface to seal all of the pieces of painted Mylar.  The surface is smooth like glass after the resin.

Utilizing pigments that interact with the viewer’s perception of light and color, Bartleson attains work that shifts and reveals itself as the person observing moves to investigate. This forces a kinetic relationship between the viewer and the painting. In her spheres, she focuses on a center point of luminescence that is intended to capture the viewer and perhaps move them to a place of contemplation and meditation.

 “When I’m constructing the pieces, it’s a lot of hand-made repetitive motions that over time are very meditative. Sometimes the process has the potential to be so pristine, yet elements are introduced that contradict the process and throw it off. As you paint hundreds of individual strips there is always an element of slight imperfection because of the fact that it is handcrafted.”

Bartleson’s work is in many prominent public and private collections around the world, including the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA and Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, Italy. Bartleson completed an artist residency at Art 1307 in Naples, Italy in 2013.