Photo credit: Eric Minh Swenson
Opening Reception Saturday September 17, 2016 from 6-8pm
“Infinite Lines” runs September 17 through November 5
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.“
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.
“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…”
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.
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.
Next in our Artist Spotlight series is FP Contemporary artist Tom Lieber. This is a telling of the beginning of an outstanding art career, one that most artists can only dream of…
Tom, who is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, moved to Berkeley, California in 1975 after finishing his BFA and MFA at the University of Illinois. Tom’s career took off in 1982 when a woman named Diane Waldman traveled to California. At the time, Diane was the deputy director at the Guggenheim Museum NY (Tom said she was known as a “radical curator”). She was traveling the country in search of young artists she thought would be the next generation of talented emerging artists (see the link below to read the NY Times article about the exhibition). While at another artist’s studio, Diane saw a book featuring twenty young painters, including Tom, from the Bay Area. I think he said he was in the black and white section near the back of the book, but he was the only artist she found interesting. Tom said she quickly identified that his paintings were structurally sound and she “got” them. Diane’s search culminated with an exhibition at the Guggenheim featuring Tom and ten other artists in 1983. The Guggenheim purchased two of Tom’s paintings, one in 1983 and another in 1985.
John Berggruen was (and is) a very established art dealer in San Francisco. At the time, he only represented well known artists like Frank Stella and Helen Frankenthaler, but when he heard about the buzz around Tom, he went to Berkeley to visit Tom’s studio. He signed him and Tom became the first emerging artist John had ever represented. This launched Tom again. Next thing Tom knew, The Metropolitan Museum NY purchased a painting from the “Crocodile Period” from Berggruen and Tom was like “what the heck is going on?” Some artists fight their entire career to be “discovered” and never have a chance to grab that brass ring. Things began to really happen for him and his career. Marty Margulies, who is a huge collector based in Miami and collects the likes of Picasso, Rothko, etc., fell in love with Tom’s paintings and has seven of them in his collection. Marty eventually had to create a museum to house his works and it is located in the Wynwood art district in Miami (it is rumored that the collection is worth just shy of one billion dollars). Most of Tom’s paintings are in Marty’s private collection.
Over time, other collectors who owned and loved Tom’s paintings, but ran out of room in their own homes, began donating/bequeathing works to MOCA Los Angeles, SFMOMA, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Tate Modern in London, etc.
Attached is a link to the NY Times article written about Tom’s first Guggenheim exhibition:
A book is being written about Tom and his paintings, including this exciting period in Tom’s life when his career skyrocketed. Tom Lieber currently lives and paints between Los Angeles and Kauai. His recent paintings are heavily influenced by the environment in Hawaii.
From September through late October 2017, Tom will be showcasing his retrospective solo exhibition, “1977 Onward”, which showcases paintings from various points of his life, at FP Contemporary.
Holistic 138, 37 x 15 x 9 inches, welded steel, gold leaf and varnish
Artist Betty Gold’s shimmering sculpture “Holistic 138” is currently being featured in the Summer Group Exhibition at FP Contemporary. Gold is an internationally recognized geometric-abstract sculptor and painter widely known for her large, steel sculptures.
“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.
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.
While Betty Gold turned 81 in February 2016, her career has never lost momentum in the approximately 50 years she has worked as a professional sculptor and painter.
Summer Group Show
Opening June 25, 2016 from 3-6pm
“SHINE” runs June 25, 2016 through August 13, 2016
Summer is here and FP Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of “SHINE”, a group exhibition featuring work by gallery artists Lisa Bartleson, Christina Craemer, Dirk De Bruycker, Betty Gold, Michael Kalish, Sand T Kalloch, Tom Lieber, Claudia Meyer, Harry Moody, Julia Nee Chu, John Randall Nelson, Hunt Rettig and Mark Vinci. On view will be a variety of works, including paintings, sculptures, mixed media art and dimensional wall sculptures. Project gallery artists include D’lisa Creager, Raul De La Torre, Alberto Murillo, Eugenia Pardue and Carol Sears.
Lisa Bartleson is a Los Angeles-based mixed-media artist whose work is inspired by the Light and Space movement from the 1960’s and1970’s. The use of cast bio-resin, hi-gloss resin and pigments give her work a luminous quality, which interacts with the viewer’s perception of light and color. Bartleson’s work can be found 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.
Christina Craemer is a Los Angeles-based artist who travels the world photographing various scenery, especially waterfalls. She recently returned from trips to Iceland and South Africa. Craemer layers multiple images from the same photo shoot to create a final, powerful composition, with the intention to envelope the viewer into a complete and calming emotional experience. Recently, Craemer started painting, evoking the same powerful impact as her photography.
Dirk De Bruycker was born in Ghent, Belgium but lived and worked in Santa Fe, NM for the past 30 years until his passing in July 2015. De Bruycker took an intuitive, process-oriented approach to his work, which he described as “emotive and fluid”. His abstract color forms are composed of a palette he defined as “internal emotional” colors. De Bruycker was honored with the prestigious Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has paintings in the permanent collections of the New Mexico Art Museum, Flemish Community Government in the Province of East Flanders, Ministry of Visual Arts, Brussels, Belgium and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, MO.
Betty Gold is an internationally recognized geometric-abstract sculptor and painter. Her sculptures generally range from eight to twenty-eight feet in height. Gold lives and works in Venice, CA and Santa Fe, NM. She became associated with MADI, an international abstract art movement in the 1980’s. In 2005, Gold was honored with a major retrospective exhibition at the Casal Solleric Museum, a historic castle in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. Her work can be found in countless prominent public and private art collections and museums such as the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University in New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Palm Springs Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California and many more.
Michael Kalish is an internationally acclaimed mixed-media artist based in Los Angeles. His passion for metal started with vintage car parts and license plates and evolved to more refined laser cut aluminum and mirrored stainless steel sculptures with references to American culture, produced under Kalish Editions. His most well known large-scale public installation was the Muhammad Ali Monument exhibited in downtown Los Angeles in 2011.
Sand T Kalloch is an internationally acclaimed mixed-media artist originally from Malaysia currently residing outside of Boston, MA. Kalloch works primarily with resin and graphite on acrylic panels to create a harmonic and balanced visual experience. Currently, she is working on a 250-foot public art project that will consist of 80 panels of 3’x3’ paintings. The anticipated completion date is Summer 2016.
Tom Lieber is a Los Angeles-based abstract painter and printmaker. He is a recipient of the Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and his paintings are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Tate London, Martin Margulies Collection, among many others.
Claudia Meyer is a Swiss-born, mixed-media artist living in Paris, France. Her dimensional wall artwork is in prominent private and public collections around the globe. “Through a three-dimensional approach and numerous supports, transversality becomes my tool to re-define invisible boundaries of energy and flows. In other words, what I am trying to convey and accomplish is a sense of subliminal and uplifting dialog through colors, transparency and shapes.” Many of her works are backlit with LED to add depth and intrigue.
Harry Moody is a Los Angeles-based abstract painter. He received his formal art training at the Frankfurt Stadel Fine Art Academy in Germany. Moody was a student of the German visual artist Gerhard Richter, who became a great influence on Moody’s own artistic direction. Throughout his professional life, Moody has pursued a dialogue concerning art ideals and the necessity to express oneself artistically.
Julia Nee Chu is an internationally acclaimed abstract painter born in Shanghai, China and currently living in Los Angeles. Her paintings call upon nature, movement and calligraphy. Chu received her BA from UCLA in 1978 and her MFA from UCLA in 1981. “My act of painting is a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious and the orientation of myself to the world.” Her work is held in museums as well as public and private collections around the world.
John Randall Nelson is an Arizona-based painter and sculptor. Nelson’s works are layered with his own personal language consisting of patterns, symbols, and archetypes that may not make any literal sense but play on subconscious associations. His paintings are thick with poured pigment, saturated washes and worked with layers of drawing and collage. His work can be found in the permanent collections of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe AZ among other prominent public and private collections.
Hunt Rettig is a mixed-media artist based in Aspen, Colorado. His three-dimensional wall sculptures often consist of polyester film, thermoplastic rubber and acrylics that he molds to create organic shapes full of light and dimension placed under frosted plexiglass to instill a soft glow. “Within my terrain I see cross sections of cross sections, unnatural confluences, un-navigable borders, unrestricted constriction and breath-like expansion. Especially with plantlike forms I see what I can best describe as the invisibly visible…landscapes unnatural yet natural at the same time.”
Mark Vinci is a Phoenix-based mixed media artist and a recipient of the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. He studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York for a few years before achieving his BFA from Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA. Vinci uses paint, billboard paper and various imagery to construct abstract collages documenting what he feels is the collective experience of the high-speed, dynamic nature of modern city life.
JULIA NEE CHU
“Near and Afar”
Opening reception April 9, 2016 6-8pm
“Near and Afar” runs April 9 through June 11, 2016
FP Contemporary is pleased to present Julia Nee Chu’s solo exhibition “Near and Afar”. This is Nee Chu’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in over 20 years.
“The purpose of my paintings, large or small, has always been to take the viewer along with me on a shared journey of experience and feeling that allows them to observe the multiple changes of plane and intensity of colors and paints. This is especially true in my recent small scale Portraiture-Like works.
The focus of my painting has always had to do with nature or rather, the processes or movements of nature. One cannot copy nature, but through the process of painting one can experience the transformation of nature.
What is nature to me? The Chinese philosophy of nature is to find universal orientation. The elements of nature are earth, wind, water and sun. From the processes of nature or the physics of nature come matter, motion, space and mechanics and then the human elements. Human beings are just one small element of nature’s processes. Therefore, we are an integral part of nature and through the positive/negative, Yin and Yang, we arrive to become part of the unifying whole.
In China, the purest form of art is calligraphy. The spirit of the brushstroke, also called touch, is spontaneity and finality. Spontaneity is a reflection that comes directly from the mind. Finality is when ink touches paper. It cannot be erased.
The process of touching the paintbrush to the surface of the paper is called time. Time spent cannot be returned, so the process is precious. Therefore, the act of writing becomes a sacred act. This is why Chinese consider writing a way to exorcise evil. I drop paint on the surface of paper or canvas and leave marks to build up the density of time. This creates a universal space.
The brush (touch) movement is an important element of my painting. Movement is the force of transformation in nature. So my act of painting is not only about recreating a feeling of nature, but nature itself.
My act of painting is a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious and the orientation of myself to the world” – Julia Nee Chu
Julia Nee Chu was born in Shanghai, China and currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California.
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, California, 1978
M.F.A., University of California, Los Angeles, California, 1981
Art Studies, CHOUINARD Art Institute (Cal Arts Valencia, CA), 1960
“Nature and human made elements are my unlimited sources of inspiration. More than often, I deliberately proceed to establish a harmonious dialog in between them. I then extract, suggest and eventually emphasize an actual or underlying element, and re-associate it within a different perspective through a three-dimensional approach and numerous supports. Transversality becomes my tool to re-defining invisibles boundaries of energy and flows. In other words, what I am trying to convey and accomplish is a sense of subliminal and uplifting dialog through colors, transparency and shapes.” – Claudia Meyer
The essence of Meyer’s creations consists of flows and energy and her creative inspiration draws upon all materials, including those produced by nature, and those invented by man. This expresses a great sense of freedom, as Meyer hand fashions cubes, rectangles, walls and installations, which are illuminated by the material and revealed by light. In this newest body of work, Meyer explores the nature of water and aquatic elements.
“I deliberately decided to emphasize the abstract shapes and richness of water, adding artificial light and playing with natural reflections and materials used. Indeed, water’s mirroring effects, its transparency, its flow and streams and the visual sensations it provides when looked at very thoroughly have always fascinated me. Most of the work that will be exhibited at FP Contemporary will incarnate the expressions of these observations.” – Claudia Meyer
Claudia Meyer is an independent artist and creator. She trained as a graphic designer at Hochschule für Gestaltung and Kunst in Luzern and spent a year in Stuttgart, Germany where she worked as a graphic artist and made the acquaintance of Anton Stankowski, the grand master of German design, in whose studio she was able to work. Later on, she moved to New York and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, where she worked intensively on the possibilities of fabric design and modern technologies. She has since been focusing full time on creating art using modern technologies and nature as her main sources of inspiration.
1978 College of Art & Design, Graphic Design Diploma, Switzerland
1982 Worked with Anton Stankowski
1983 Graphic Design & Advertising, Germany & Switzerland
1986 School of Visual Art, Computer Graphic NYC, USA
1987 Fashion Institute of Technology, Screen Printing, NYC, USA
The West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board will host a reception for the artists of the Out & About Art Exhibition, a month-long art exhibit featuring noted women artists and curated by Brooke Mason, presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month in collaboration with the community initiative Women Manifest.
Curated by photographer Brooke Mason, the art show features works by Lee Bowers, Bibi Davison, Betty Gold, Julienne Johnson, Camella Da Eun Kim, Nicole Landau, Brooke Mason, and Joanne Chase Mattillo.
Of the women showing at the Out & About Exhibition is FP Contemporary artist Betty Gold, an internationally recognized geometric-abstract sculptor and painter whose work can be found globally in countless museums and prominent public and private art collections.
Betty 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.
Gold creates paper and cardboard models at her studio in Venice, CA and while she travels. Here, she describes her process in creating a maquette sculpture, Mallorca II, which will be on display at WeHo City Hall:
“Mallorca II is part of a series created in my Palma de Mallorca studio. I start with a sheet of rectangle paper where I draw a geometric design. I then create a paper model, folding, cutting and playing with the parts until a sculpture is formed. Once I finalize the design, I take it to my factory in Los Angeles to cut and weld the steel after which it is powder coated. The color is chosen by the way I feel at that time.
I’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of using steel, which is considered to be a masculine material, to create sculptures that resemble the delicate art of origami that range between eight and twenty-eight feet tall. I feel this particular sculpture, Mallorca II, has a figurative sensibility, like a posed woman.”
Betty Gold is a great representative for National Women’s History Month and has consistently proven herself to be a pioneer for women in art, especially in the realm of sculpture. She turned the male-dominated sculpture world “on its head” by winning countless public art commissions starting 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.
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.