Jeff Iorillo, Brian Putnam, and Kunimi Terada at LA Artcore

Jeff Iorillo. LA Artcore at the Brewery. Photo credit: Kristine Schomaker.

LA Artcore at the Brewery: Textured Time Passing

By Genie Davis

Just closed at LA Artcore at the Brewery, the group show featured artists Jeff Iorillo, Brian Putnam, and Kunimi Terada offered a study of texture and time.

Dealing with abstract ideas and works, the show looked through a long and lovely visual lens at ideas such as the passage of time, decay, movement, and materials.

Iorillo’s work was lush and deeply textured. The LA-based painter, sculptor and experimental artist presented works that reminded the viewer of tree bark and plants, emblematic of the life-cycle, rich and contemplative. As a mixed media artist, his materials absolutely mattered here, but the overall impression of his work was of sculptural forms that were transcendent and organic, images that seemed imbued with the life of the earth, and as vulnerable and wondrous as nature. Whether working in cardboard, bamboo ash, beeswax, or steel, the artist uses earth-made materials to create something mysterious and both emotionally and physically textured.

With “Relic,” the overall impression is of an aged tree, a large bark fragment that he has created with archival cardboard and paper, clay, ink, and beeswax, shaped to convey age in a solemn homage to the eternal passage of time. “Shaman’s Cloak,” a large work that evokes feathers and flight as well as the concept of a healer or magician’s garment, is shaped from linen and beeswax, and bamboo ash. The process of creating the bamboo ash – a laborious one – adds even more gravitas to the rich, smoky browns and blacks of the piece. A series of four “Ash Glow” paintings line one wall, and indeed they do glow, as if infused with a hidden light. Here again, the bamboo ash adds a depth that seems almost touchable, with primarily long, thin birch panels that also utilize fluorescent acrylic and beeswax. Overall, Iorillo’s work exhibits a mix of natural materials and an inward magic; it is as if he has caught Mother Earth and Father Time shifting and dancing.

Based in Japan, Kunimi Terada’s work is also emotionally and visually layered as if there are no divisions between colors and meaning, as if the colors were overlapping, merging, and morphing. Her paintings here are graceful and fluid, geometric and patterned. One can almost read a history in the work, layers of understanding waiting to be uncovered. Dominant shapes are almost like tiles or puzzles; colors are muted, lines and drawings buried beneath or in the paint shimmer, like motion captured and fossilized in multi-colored semi-opaque glass. Terada has said that her work is indeed fluid, “There is always the mysterious and inevitable unfolding of a secret music…a visual music composed of colors, lines and shapes…”

Brian Putnam’s work is an abstract vision of carefully delineated shapes that feel elliptical, an economy of images whose very specificness – small triangles with a dimensional essence, dark bars floating through and above and within a matted square – move viewers to study them, to comprehend meaning. Like Terada and Iorillo, Putnam is an artist who creates terrific textures and defining shapes.

The three artists are quite different yet inexorably linked. Iorillo takes us into a dense, earthly, forested world; Terada into a more man-made, subtle and shifting land of overlapping colors; Putnam into a contemplation of shape and form, of what could be the abstract building-blocks of visual life.

Each of the artists gave viewers insight into a robust world of form and transformation in a strong show that was tactile and edgy, an exploration of what lies beneath and within.

LA Artcore Brewery Annex
650a South Avenue 21 Los Angeles, CA


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