“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could dream together?”: a group show of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and works on paper by eight contemporary artists who draw the viewer into alternate worlds. The title of the show is inspired by a memoir written by Bill Hayes, about his life with his lover, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could dream together?” describes a yearning for shared experience, a non-Separate, transpersonal communion that transcends consciousness, such as the power of an artist to draw the viewer into his dream.
Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.) was born in Venezuela and now lives and works in Florida. “An Unlikely Messenger #2,” (2015), is an intricately composed collage work on paper that melds shamanistic materials such as feathers, porcupine quills, and crystals, with traditional watercolor, acrylic paint, and handmade papers. Los Angeles artist Charles Fine will show selected sculptures, including “Furnace Flowers” – a triad of bronzes which have a subliminal kinship with the exotic forms of Karl Blossfeldt’s 1932 “Wundergarden der Natur (The Magic Garden of Nature).”
Irish painter Damien Flood is exhibiting in Los Angeles for the first time. The lyrical but elusive compositions in his oil paintings glimpse a universe riddled with phantoms and poetic epiphanies, caught between figure and abstraction. Daniel Gibson, a painter who was born in Yuma, Arizona (now lives and works in Los Angeles), presents a suite inspired by Max Ernst’s “Capricorn” (1948), a bronze created in Sedona, Arizona, after Ernst’s marriage to Dorothea Tanning.
Iranian-born Yassi Mazandi lives and works in Los Angeles, where she created the porcelain eggs and bronze orchids that populate her “botanica phantasmagoria”. Dan Miller, who lives in Oakland, creates paintings on paper that are an amalgamation of his thoughts and auto-biographical experiences, often centered on the elusive nature of tangible experience. The artist, who is on the autism spectrum, is part of the Creative Growth Art Center. Next month, he will be included in “Viva Arte Viva (curated by Christine Macel)” at the 57th Venice Biennale.
Shiri Mordechay, who was born in Israel and raised in Nigeria, now lives and works in Brooklyn. She works primarily with ink, acrylic, and paper and creates lush and intensely figurative tableaus. She will present a mural that depicts Hermaphroditus astride a stallion, emerging from an autumnal bower. Her work invites the viewer to step into a lucid mindstate punctuated by fantasy, fear and flight.
Joe Ray moved to Los Angeles from Louisiana, in 1963; and after serving in Viet Nam, he attended to Cal Arts. He was, “in his words, “into the mystical aspects of making art, the alchemy.” He will show an exploding nimbus painting created in 1993, in the aftermath of the LA Riots, when he was looking “into outer space and inner space.” Joe Ray will have a retrospective at the gallery this summer.
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“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could dream together?” is on view April 27 – June 10, 2017