Sarajo Frieden and Carol Sears at Launch LA
by Genie Davis
Closing February 25th
With two solo exhibitions by Los Angeles-based artists Sarajo Frieden and Carol Sears, Launch LA has once again created a vibrant pairing equally riveted by color and abstract form.
Sarajo Frieden’s Where the Light Gets In evokes the sensation of stained glass. A whisper of Mark Rothko’s color infuse her mosaic-like shapes. Colored lines pulsate like swirling fingerprints. Dots and rays of paint swoop above, across, and within intricately figurative abstractions. Study Frieden’s work to find complex ribbons, patterns that could be the whorls on a tree trunk, the definition of landscape on a geographic survey map. Her shapes hold within them a kind of linear reason, components in work that is as perfectly defined as it is abstract. Calling herself “an artist who plays with material,” Frieden is also very much an artist whose material is playful. She describes her work as being “influenced by the diverse communities of the California Pacific Rim,” and certainly her paintings here draw upon a wide range of visual cultures that seem almost tribal, creating images that channel both textiles and digital media. The woven quality of her work creates a tapestry of sorts, although the overall impression remains that of stained glass: infused with light, patterns both serene and compelling appear as leaves, petals, or rays that exude a kind of visual sound. The artist has said her work explores both spirit and complexity, and that it does, compelling viewers to look within each piece, to view its layers and references.
In Jigsaw, Carol Sears work is less linear and more visually and emotionally curved than Frieden’s. Here the abstract imagery references the artist’s Australian heritage fused with California cool in terms of color and form. Like pieces of color about to take a final form inside the prism of a kaleidoscope, Sears’ art both fits together and seems about to be reshaped. It references the symbolic figures of the Aboriginal and the refracted prisms of sunlit rainbows. The shapes themselves are curved, almost sensual. They fit together, but one can see them fitting in different patterns like a kind of artistic cellular life forming and re-forming. There is an innate movement within each of Sears’ works.
The pairing of these two artists’ solo exhibitions works beautifully. Sears’ interlocking forms and Frieden’s mosaic-like shapes share an overall impression of light and color, each artist revealing an inner glow, one that seems fused with the desire to create a new meaning, a new passion out of abstraction.
Where Frieden’s work could be woven, Sears’ paintings could be bits of colored glass, translucent puzzle pieces. The artists share a love of texture, of contrast, of almost sculptural form. Their very different approaches to abstraction are fascinating to see side by side, an illuminative look at color and light.
These powerful exhibitions close February 25th and are well worth a visit to Launch, located at 170 S. La Brea in mid-town.