Art Review: Alterations at Brandt-Roberts Gallery
Alterations, an exhibition currently on view at Brandt-Roberts Galleries, affords viewers the opportunity to explore the themes of modification, fragmentation and transformation through the works of three talented artists. While this trio have decidedly different approaches, the overall presentation is cohesive in its vision and successful in its execution.
Katie Kirk is a Los Angeles artist with the California palette to prove it. Her paint and print abstractions hum with the same pastel hues that enticed Diebenkorn, Wonner, and Hockney. Using the velvety, matte finish of Flashe paints, Kirk doles out colors and shapes to great effect. The figure/ground interplay is dynamic, the edges and points of intersection intense. And while the heroic gestures of Abstract Expressionism may come to mind first, the artist makes clear that these works are more in tune with Conceptual Art, being less about raw emotion and more about the artist’s deliberations and decisions.
Winnie Sidharta Ambron’s collages take fragmentation even further, assembling disparate pieces of vaguely recognizable objects into singular yet unrecognizable forms. They’re works that approach what aestheticians call the uncanny valley, that point at which a nearly human depiction begins to unnerve. There’s something austere about Ambron’s works as well, a sense that only that which is essential should remain. It’s a minimalist approach in its way, and one that invites comparisons to the choppy and objectifying depictions of the human form found Dada collages.
Christine D’Epiro Abbott shows us fragments of her personal life through her own altered interpretation of the domestic interior. It’s a task she tackles with humor, wit, and a first-rate command of color and composition. Using a variety of techniques (collage, mixed media, printmaking) Abbott shares her personal spaces in works that are as arresting as they are honest. Bold colors and patterns are employed to illustrate frozen familial moments; laundry piled high on a couch, a cup of tea left unattended, a recently vacated chair. Far from the serene, romanticized interiors of Vermeer or Hammershoi, Abbott presents viewers with personal spaces in all their cluttered, unkempt glory.
The domestic interior has a rich history in western art, including iconic works by Vermeer, Van Gogh, Bonnard and Emin. It’s a compelling subject to be sure, and one that affords such a wide variety of interpretations in large part because it is so individual, so personal. Abbott’s exploration of this theme presents a similarly singular perspective, and one that is refreshing in its candor.
Taken in total, these three artists, using methods that alter and reconstruct, present a chance to reflect on how perceptions can be shaped and reshaped. Ours is not a static world. In fact, it is one open to a wide range of alterations. We’re lucky to have talented and visionary artists who can remind us of that.
Alterations is on view at Brandt-Roberts Galleries through May 1st.
For more information, visit www.brandtrobertsgalleries.com.
Christine D’Eprio Abbott
Friday Afternoon 1/6
Mixed media collage and print on panel
21.5″ x 27″
Christine D’Eprio Abbott
Mixed media collage on panel
13″ x 21″
Winnie Sidharta Ambron
Prints mounted on paper
36″ x 18″
Flashe and ink on paper
21″ x 17″