5.26.2019

Ulrike Arnold's Earth paintings at the Yucca Valley Arts Center

Ulrike Arnold: Cosmovisions
at 
Yucca Valley Visual and Performing Arts Center
May 4 - July 28, 2019

Ulrike Arnold from Düsseldorf, Germany has created paintings made from soils, mud and clay, from all five continents over more than thirty years. This series from 2017 is the first time she has made paintings with soils from the Yucatán. Arnold feels it was a way for her to discover the genuine colors of the peninsular region, and what it means to put oneself in a deep relation with the Earth, a region that the Mayas’ have known and tilled for thousands of years. Arnold combines a diversity of the chromatic shades of the mud and clay, as well as meteorite dust, a material that has traveled millions of miles through space, to create her pictures that are the place. 

Approximately 65 million years ago a gigantic sidereal rock with a diameter of 10 kilometers, consisting of minerals and metals, was passing through space at an incredible speed. This meteorite called Chicxulub hit the earth near Merida, Mexico, presently known as the Yucatán. The meteorite left a crater with a diameter of 200 kilometers and reduced everything that came in its way to rubble and ashes. What once was a vast place full of life now became a wasteland of destruction. The air was full of harmful gases and contaminating space debris. Giant sea waves devastated the coasts, and millions hectares of forest were lost. These extreme phenomena ultimately erased 75 percent of the flora and fauna of that time. 

The word “COSMOVISIONS,” means a VIEW OF THE WORLD that a person or a society displays in order to interpret the place where it resides—to make the place accessible or to become familiar with it—anchored in a specific time and at a certain place. The word can also be traced back to the German expression “WELTANSCHAUUNG,” which refers to a range of perceptions, ideas and concepts that a human being has with respect to the world’s existence, reality or constitution. 

Curated by Patricia Watts


     From left to right: Monica Lynne Mahoney, Patricia Watts, and Kate Temple.

5.06.2019

Black Light Talk and Tour of Bowman exhibition on April 20th





On April 20th at The Landing gallery in Culver City, Patricia Watts invited astronomy curator Jay Belloli and physicist Dennis Harp to give a black light talk and tour of Richard Bowman's fluorescent paintings of scientific imagery. The selection of twenty works were primarily from the 1970s when the artist was making his Dynamorph series. It was revealed by a family member during the talk that Bowman had indeed held a black light party of several paintings with his students in Palo Alto in the 1970s. This aspect of the work seems intriguing today, however, as a serious student from the Institute of Art in Chicago, and a Bay Area abstract painter, black lighting his work was only experienced on the down low. Many critics got that Bowman was a good painter and this his use of fluorescent pigments was not simply a gimmick, but a provocation of the deeper concepts he was exploring with regard to nuclear physics. It was a great turn out and the audience had lots of questions for Jay and Dennis as they got to know his work through the lens of science rather than art for art sake. Some people felt that they did not like looking at the paintings for very long under the black light, and that it was a relief to enjoy the paintings as they are in daylight, which also changes hues as the light changes throughout the day. Bowman felt that the fluorescent pigments emitted an actual energy, which was confirmed by Harp as fact, if only on a very low frequency. Bowman's work is about making the invisible visible, what artists today are doing to illustrate climate science in aesthetic terms. The artist was definitely ahead of his time, and offers artists today a pioneering take on exploring the sciences through painting.



2.11.2019

Richard Bowman: Radiant Abstractions


Richard Bowman: Radiant Abstractions opened February 2nd at The Landing gallery in Culver City (Los Angeles), curated by Patricia Watts. Watts has been working with artists estates in the Bay Area since 2014 and has published a monograph on Bowman (1918-2001), a pioneering artist who decided in the early 1940s, while on a trip to Mexico, that he wanted to paint the elemental relationship between the earth and the cosmos. His first series, called Rock and Sun, was painted in a style inspired by Surrealist painters who resided in Mexico at the time, including Gordon Onslow Ford. He continued this series until 1950 when he became enthralled with early scientific imagery being published, such as cloud chamber photography visualizing the passage of ionizing radiation. He then chose to combine abstract expressionism with scientific exploration. In 1973, Bowman published an article in the MIT peer-reviewed academic journal Leonardo, describing his twenty-three years of "Painting with fluorescent pigments of the Microcosm and Macrocosm." He continued painting these works through the 1990s, for at total of fifty years. Series titles included: Kinetograph, Macromicrocosmos, Kinetogenics, Environs, Dynamorph, and Synthesis. Radiant Abstractions will conclude on April 27, 2019.

 Dynamorph 25, 1968,  acrylic and fluorescent acrylic on canvas,  51x 64 inches, Richard Bowman Estate

1.23.2019

Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land review in Artillery magazine

Read a review of  
Moving Off the Land
a performance by Joan Jonas 
at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture
on January 19th
by ecoartspace founder, 
Patricia Watts,  
HERE.