Masami Teraoka: The Cloisters Last Supper | A selection of new, monumentally scaled, narrative style triptych paintings from the artist's ongoing Cloisters Last Supper series.
Teraoka's graphically vibrant watercolor paintings fuse traditional Japanese iconography in the style of Edo period Ukiyo-e woodblock prints with contemporary icons from a distinctly American culture.
His 2009 exhibition, The Cloisters Confessions, made visual reference to countless grotesqueries committed in the name of 'faith,' where decrepit and celibate men howled impotently about abortion, and child abuse was used to sublimate the priestly fear of women.
In The Cloisters Last Supper, the narrative takes up "after the sins have been revealed." These new works deftly weave together exaggerated contemporary references -- including priests secretly gallivanting in thigh high stockings and pumps -- with an arcane and sinister iconography, emphasizing Teraoka's view of the Catholic Church at a critical crossroads, with any chances at true modernization most likely long-passed.
Tony Bevan: Recent Paintings | The exhibition focuses on Bevan's ongoing examination of the head through self-portraiture, and a new series of paintings that depict a solitary tree.
The tree, as a subject for Bevan, stems from his extensive travels to China in 2007 and 2008. In China, Bevan visited the cave paintings of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, and the great Buddah at Leshan, both of which influenced his subsequent work. However it was an ancient tree that he discovered in the courtyard of a temple in the district of Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, which has captivated Bevan's imagination for this new series. "What attracted me was the tree's contradictions and the endless forms that came from this -- a bit like looking at clouds changing -- I set out to explore its full nature, and the forms it held within."
Penelope Gottlieb: Gone | The artist explores the themes of ecological crisis and botanical extinction through highly detailed, and densely rendered, paint and ink based works on canvas, panel, and paper. Her recent practice continues an ongoing project of re-imagining lost species. She re-envisions, and ultimately re-invents, lost botanical plant life based on historical descriptions and accounts. In the absence of existing visual references for these perished species, Gottlieb engages extinction in a literal way by summoning its subjects back to life through a series of imagined reconstructions. Gottlieb's work, while charged with timely environmental anxieties, and conversant with our shared dread of ecological peril, is powerfully seductive and visually alluring. Deceivingly decorative and lush upon first glance, the paintings' aesthetic veneer is anything but superficial. Upon closer inspection, the work reveals an arresting network of imagery, complexity, and depth.
Bill Barminski: This Side Up | Barminski, an adjunct professor in new media, digital art and design at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, is preparing to pair large scale video installations with a series of elaborately crafted cardboard sculptures depicting some of popular culture's most subversive products: guns, spray-paint, and skateboards. The video sequences will feature footage taken from a recent group exhibition at POW Gallery in London, where Barminski filmed artists destroying their work using items from his cardboard arsenal.
Federico Solmi: Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth | A new epic animated film by 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and social provocateur, Federico Solmi. Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth is the next chapter in his ongoing narrative of a post-secular, materialistic contemporary society that examines the self-destructive nature of mankind through satirical commentary on repressive behavior and authoritarian power structures, as well as misguided ethical and moral values. Through a dystopian metaphor, this swarming animation articulates a fictitious portrayal of an imaginary 21st century Chinese leader, idolized by his crowd of subjects, whose desire is total world domination. Driven by ruthless ambition and a blood-thirsty appetite, he has brought Earth under his control with an iron fist. With America as the only obstacle standing in his way to victory, our beloved tyrant embarks on his final march toward immortal glory, culminating with an epic finale -- a military invasion and battle in Times Square and the annihilation of planet Earth.
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