Lisa Bartleson | “Where I Live” Solo Exhibition

Lisa Bartleson, Volume No. 2 Yellow / Magenta / Grey, 60 x 50 x 2 inches, cast bio-resin and natural pigments

Lisa Bartleson, Volume No. 2 Yellow / Magenta / Grey, 60 x 50 x 2 inches, cast bio-resin and natural pigments

FP Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening reception for “Where I Live”, a solo exhibition featuring new work by Los Angeles-based artist Lisa Bartleson.

Jill Moniz PhD writes:

Where I Live is Lisa Bartleson’s most recent investigation into the liminal space between conception and construction. Her large format cast paintings explore the convergence of materiality and aesthetic intention. The work is self referential as object, blurring the lines between painting and sculpture, minimalism and abstract expressionism.

Bartleson creates work wrapped in experience and meaning, focusing on the evidences of the power of memory and history, as well as the objective value of a fixed aesthetic piece. In this compelling terrain, the necessity of compositional significance neither negates nor limits the potency of the reductive practice to reveal some elemental essentialism. Like Agnes Martin’s subtle provocative style, Bartleson unearths beautiful flaws contained in the canvas as it conveys its own sense of memory and loss.

A self-taught artist, Bartleson approaches her practice as an exercise in discovery. Her interest and point of engagement is the canvas itself, as the beginning of an authentic art experience. Beneath the erotically smooth surface of seamless resin and precisely suspended color reveals a composition of its own making. Here, the layered interruptions of texture expose the true nature of the material and extend the concept of minimalism to the weight of the unedited history underneath. The fabrication and resulting rich color field triumph from both the economy of means and the emphasis on the historicity of the material; from raw to transformed, from gritty actualities to pristine finishes.

“I am interested in revealing the traces of labor and history within the canvas. These artifacts become integral pieces of the work and invite the viewer to step into this vulnerable space of rawness, where looking beneath the surface asks the question, what is perfection?”, says Bartleson.

Lisa Bartleson, Artifact No. 1 Violet (Night), 84 x 64 x 2 inches, bio-resin with acrylic and natural pigments on canvas

Lisa Bartleson, Artifact No. 1 Violet (Night), 84 x 64 x 2 inches, bio-resin with acrylic and natural pigments on canvas

Bartleson successfully navigates a male dominated genre, like forerunner of minimalist sculpture, Eva Hesse, building a practice that validates her desire to unpack meaning while exploring relationships that affirm her ongoing reductive discoveries. She confidently employs this provocation, strengthening her praxis through collaborations with artists such as Jack Brogan and Eric Johnson. Where I Live exercises a similar methodology. Bartleson engages used canvas backdrops from her studio, covers them with resin, then reduces it again and again to reveal age and process, recontextualizing both the material and its history. The result is not clever or overbearing, but elegant and profound.

Fixing her intentions on the canvas allows Bartleson opportunity to explore the history of art in concert with unpacking its materiality. Inspired by the work of Doris Salcedo, whose understated sculptural explorations concentrate on remembrance and reconstituting narratives, Bartleson locates Where I Live in a similar phenomenology, linking the sensory quality of memory to the skeletal composition of the painting. Her own history as an artist reveals layers of time, memory and language that bridge her professional past as a chemist with the discovery of a powerful aesthetic that sheds light on those overlapping mechanisms of form and meaning, creating a project that reflects the liminality of her intentions as much as that of the material.

As the artist/maker, Bartleson peals back the skin of resin to reveal the canvas, the framework that supports the composition and also reminds the viewer of the textural weight of history. Bartleson identifies this space as an area that signifies the complex humanity underlying the creative process and reconnects the empirical with the conceptual. The resulting configuration exhibits a textural representation of life that is flawed, and fallible. “That’s where I live,” she says, “and the truth there is beautiful.”

Born in 1968 in Seattle, WA, Bartleson currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She received a B.A. in Biology at the University of Northern Colorado in Greely, Colorado. 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. Currently Bartleson has an installation on exhibition at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA through March 17, 2015. Bartleson completed an artist residency at Art 1307 in Naples, Italy in 2013.


Paul Dahmen


FP Contemporary

5835 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232


Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm

Artist Talk with Betty Gold


Please join us Saturday, February 7th from 2-4pm at FP Contemporary for our artist talk with world-renowned sculptor and painter, Betty Gold.  Gold will be sharing photographs and speaking about her life and work throughout the years, including her solo exhibition, Reconstructed., which is currently on show at FP Contemporary until February 21st.  During the event, director J. McMerty will show a 5-minute preview of his full-length documentary about Gold’s colorful life entitled “A Year With Betty Gold”, which is currently in production and is soon to be released.


Betty Gold, “Mallorca II”, 28 x 24 x 22 inches, powder coated steel sculpture

While Betty Gold turns 80 in February 2015, her career has never lost momentum in the approximately 50 years she has worked as a professional sculptor and painter.  She is still as vital as ever, as is made evident through “Reconstructed.”, which showcases many of her most recent works.

Gold is an internationally recognized geometric-abstract sculptor and painter whose work can be found globally in countless museums and prominent public and private art collections.  Gold is widely known for her steel sculptures but she has also always been a prolific painter.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 9.01.10 PM

Betty Gold, “Felix III”, 22 x 15 x 1.5 inches, acrylic on paper

“I’ve been asked many times to explain my art, but don’t think that there is an explanation, as such.  I can say, however, that I began with the human figure and ended up with geometry, which I love.  It’s not an easily understood transition, or even one that I fully comprehend.  Suffice to say that I don’t think it will shed more light going beyond Picasso’s simple but profound reflection that ‘It’s the leap of the imagination.’

With the exception of some photographic work, everything I have done for the major part of my career has been based on a geometric concept.  It never becomes tiresome and I continue to find new ways in which to express its truth and universality.  Every new project is like the first: challenging, fulfilling and exciting.”

Gold was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas.  She attended the University of Texas with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Art History.  After completing her studies, she entered the tutelage and apprenticeship of sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas, Texas in the late 1950’s.  Since then, she has traveled the world extensively, studying and lecturing.  Inspired by the cultures she has observed throughout her years of travel, her geometric sculptures resemble paper origami despite their steel construction.  Although her large-scale outdoor sculptures appear to have come into existence effortlessly, they can weigh in the range of thousands of pounds to seven tons.

Betty Gold, "Kaikoo VIII", 21' x 13.5' x 12', ppainted steel sculpture

Betty Gold, “Kaikoo VIII”, 21′ x 13.5′ x 12′, painted steel sculpture

Gold creates paper and cardboard models at her studio in Venice, CA and while she travels.  Once a model is commissioned to be created in large scale, she begins each sculpture with rectangular sheets of steel, which she deconstructs into geometric shapes and then reconstructs by welding the pieces together with intention.  The thickness of the steel depends on the height of each sculpture.  The sculptures represent duality and contrast.  Gold feels that she is feminine, while the geometric nature of her creations is more masculine.  “It could be male-female, but it doesn’t have to have that connotation.  It could be yin-yang, or positive-negative.  It is two sides and two points of view to any situation.  It’s a balanced feeling within yourself”, says Gold.


Gold turned the male-dominated sculpture world “on its head” by winning countless public arts commissions beginning in the early 1970’s.  She became associated with MADI, an international abstract art movement, which she claims opened many doors for her.  In 2005, Gold was honored with a major retrospective exhibition at the Casal Solleric Museum, a historic castle in Palma, Spain on the island of Mallorca.  Exhibitions featuring the work of Columbian artist Fernando Botero and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo graced the same castle following Gold’s retrospective exhibition.

Gold’s sculptures are placed both outdoors in year-round environments as well as interior environments.  Whether large scale or on a smaller scale, her sculptures have a timeless sensibility and a resounding impact.  Gold loves to create site-specific commissions for each client’s individual needs.  These commissioned sculptures range from four to twenty eight feet in height and are painted in various colors or sometimes remain unpainted for a more organic expression.

In 2014, Gold was presented with the prestigious XAM award.  She is the 13th recipient of the Premi Xam d’Arts Plàstiques (Xam Award of Plastic Arts), an award created as homage to the memory of Mallorcan artist Pedro Quetglas Ferrer “Xam” who passed away in 2001.