Verdant Loop at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Los Angeles
On view through August 27th
by Genie Davis
Through August 27th at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Verdant Loop, an exhibition featuring the works of Devon Tsuno, Hung Viet Nguyen, and Erin Harmon, is a beautiful, rich, and deeply fertile look into stunning landscapes.
Each artist has a unique vision of a highly personal, deeply heartfelt world. Here, nature is alive with all the fertility of imagination; sweeping in grandeur, a wonderful and sensual distillation of place and passion. Beyond the beauty of each work’s subject, the artists create a unique landscape of process as well.
Enter the world of Devon Tsuno, where flora and fauna wear shades of the LA sunset; a woven interplay of colors that resemble collage. Tsuno’s techique of layering images creates a depth that seems to shimmer, as if each plant, each leaf were dappled in sunlight or reflected on water. The artist is documenting and observing plant life both native and non-native to Southern California, and the works are so alive they remind the viewer of the rich cultural mix of human inhabitants as well as the environment in which they dwell. Tsuno works with stencils, spray paint, and masking, creating works that are both clearly defined yet mystical; recognizable yet magical.
Magic is indeed at play in Hung Viet Nguyen’s work. Here, thick, perfectly formed layers of oil paint are as much sculpted and carved as they are painted. Moonlight on water, flowing hills and waterfalls, the opalescent quality of the translucent glazes Nguyen uses, all these elements combine to create both a delightful landscape – one in which the viewer could imagine fairies, elves, and angels at play – and a deeper, spiritual resonance. As the human soul shines through the eyes of the body, the soul of Nguyen’s paintings hums just out of sight behind a delicate glow of stars, or within the deep green grasses of a cliff top. Painted on wood panel, these works from the artist’s third Sacred Landscapes series, form a dreamscape that intimately marries the external world to that within.
Erin Harmon’s delicate and almost ethereal work is less visceral than Nguyen’s but nonetheless stunning. Some of the works here use a mesmerizing mix of patterns to pull viewers into dimensional works that are fascinating in their use of color and decorative, woven qualities. Take her perfect gouache on tyvek and paper mache piece, “Lattice Supertemporal,” a captivating look at something the viewer’s eye, at first glance, may think he or she imagined. More delicate and traditional, her lovely “Hanging Garden” is gouache on paper collage on hand painted paper.
This is a terrific exhibit that is well worth a drive to the Bendix Building; the combination of the varied landscapes of artistic technique with the creation of actual landscapes made from them is fascinating. While each quite different, the three artists’ worlds come together like a string of jeweled planets, revolving in the universe of an art gallery in DTLA. Like the crew of the Starship Enterprise, hurry down to “explore strange new worlds…where no one has gone before.”