Drawing Lines: The Only Way Out Is In at Citrus College Art Gallery
Written by Jacqueline Bell Johnson
In The Only Way Out Is In, line becomes something more than a mere tool, a basic art element. Line is composition, line is form, line is process. The exhibition makes line physical, its materiality articulates the surface of each artwork. These works display vivid pathways that cross the surface: cutting, connecting, outlining, flowing. Line acts as a tour guide for the eye, to navigate across the surface plane.
Mela M.’s wall mounted works feel more sculptural than painterly, in part due to their unusual shape and in part due to the depth of the surface. Collaged tiers of acrylic, and even beeswax, create this effect. The works feel coded, a futuristic cuneiform of intersecting lines and islands of texture.
Nzuji De Magalhaes’ bright colors and graphic imagery catch your eye from across the room, but grow more stunning upon approach. Using Yarn, metallic beads, paint, and glitter, these works morph from painting to textile, summoning the artists own history and heritage. The viewer becomes hyper-aware of the stark contrast between the soft surface and the white wall of the gallery space.
Julia Schwartz’s Trapeze is a painting of hazy colors and fuzzy brushstrokes. The work is reminiscent of faded aerial maps where the information has been wiped away over time. This loss of information is now foggy fields of color, more apparent by the sharp black brushstrokes placed on top. Her Lavender Drought Conditions is an extension of that treatment of color, this time through the build-up of thick heavy paint as a means to obscure.
Viewing Marion Lane’s three paintings on panel one envisions the artist pouring paint onto the surface, allowing the paint itself to slither and ooze. Sometimes settling into marbled pools, sometimes wandering aimlessly until it dries into solid matter. The lines here are borders and edges, forming relationships between one color and another and yet maintaining a visual separation.
Coleen Sterritt’s Honey Pile sculpture has curved wood pieces that look like handles, acting as an invitation to interact with the object. The chartreuse color turns the work into an item of play. The viewer then imagines this sculpture in motion, an awkward wheelbarrow or shopping cart making a game of transporting things from here to there. Vixen feels very toy-like too, a lopsided top about to topple over.
Julia Couzens’ hanging sculptures consist of lengths of various materials being woven into linear patterns overtop of a grid form. Yarn, plastic, bungee cords, rope, and wire create embroidered layers serving less as functional coverage and more as decorative connections. You might think of soft sculpture, but in fact, these are hard, stiff objects more reminiscent of rocks than pillows, adding conceptual grit to such domestic material. The works are hung from the ceiling, not so much to be chandeliers as to offer views of all sides, very much like the view Couzens’ had when she made the sculptures.
Curated by Rochelle Botello, the exhibition is described as artists exploring “place.” Diving into the personal to relate to the shared experience. Making their experiences known to others became a way to connect and ground each artist to the world at large, drawing lines between the art, the artist, and the viewer.
The Only Way Out Is In is open through May 12th at Citrus College Art Gallery.
The Only Way Out Is In
Curated by: Rochelle Botello
Artists: Julia Couzens, Nzuji De Magalhaes, Mela M., Marion Lane, Julia Schwartz, Coleen Sterritt
Citrus College Art Gallery
Visual Arts Building 120
1000 West Foothill Boulevard
Glendora, CA 91741
Hours: Monday through Friday 8am-4pm
Exhibit is open through May 12th 2017