Jan 222013
 
 January 22, 2013

Wir Drei

Figurative Painting
January 30 – March 1, 2013
Please join us for the opening reception on Friday February 1st,  2013, 6-9pm
with musical entertainment by No Vex - Lisa Madonna & Michael Dopp

Yesim Akdeniz
David Bell
Charles Garabedian
Roger Herman
Dietmar Lutz
Andre Niebur
Laura Owens
Suzanne Wright

 

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University is pleased to present Wir Drei, a selection of contemporary figurative painting from Istanbul, Los Angeles and Düsseldorf. Nested symbolic systems, personal mythologies and psychological approaches are at the core of this exhibition. Coming from different backgrounds and generations, the eight artists in the exhibition employ a wide variety of figurative painting concepts.

The title, Wir Drei (We Three), is taken from a Yesim Akdeniz painting, which, in turn, is an homage to Phillip Otto Runge’s original work of the same title. Runge’s Wir Drei was painted in 1804 and destroyed by a fire in 1931 while in an exhibition at the Glaspalast in Munich. Typical for a romantic painting, it is full of symbolism and metaphor, filled with codes, hard to decipher today and leaves us wondering about what hidden desires and relationships are underneath the surface as the following quotes illustrate:

„The painting (depicting the artist with his wife and his brother) could be seen to exemplify the symbiotic romantic love relationship that is at the same time open to others. (…) it suggests a fusion of erotic love, which remains open to intimate friendship with others, (…)“—Encyclopedia of the Romantic Aera

“Philipp Otto Runge’s We Three is a “friendship picture”, a common genre in the Romantic age. (…) In the relationship between its three figures, you have the same sense of hidden depths that is characteristically found in the mono self-portrait (…) these depths are transmitted by faces (…) that both reveal and conceal the heart’s plots. We Three: you’ll never know.”—Tom Lubbock, The Independent

Akdeniz’s version of the picture alludes to this symbolism and enigma. The roles are reversed, though. Keeping the original composition for the most part, Akdeniz assumes the pose of the woman, (the wife in the original), who now has a man on each side. Is it a joke? Or rather the opposite: a postulate of female power? Maybe both. The two men look like twins. Are they brothers, or two aspects of the same personality? Or do they represent the dichotomist, possibly schizophrenic relationship of the author to one person? We won’t get a definite answer. What we get is a pictorial space that clears for possible answers, a space that clears for interpretation.

The exhibition embraces this space, which opens up somewhere between image and psychogram, between genre and confession. It is a possibility of painting, that slides in and out of popularity, but always remains at the heart of the craft: The complex relations between the painter, the painted and the viewer. We Three. - Marcus Herse

Yesim Akdeniz

Yesim Akdeniz’s stunning paintings have been shown at international contemporary art institutions such as MAK Museum, Vienna,Bonn Kunstverein, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum de Paviljoens Almere, PAK Kunstverein Hamburg, Kunstverein Frankfurt and Saatchi Gallery London. The artist has graduated from the Art Academy Duesseldorf in 2002,  and then participated in residency programs of de Atelier’s, Amsterdam and Platform Istanbul. She lives and works in Istanbul and is represented by Dirimart Gallery.

Akdeniz reveals power structures and the visible and invisible control mechanisms on individuals and their unconscious. She draws her inspiration and her artistic language from the very environment that she lives in and she represents her very surroundings with a critical touch. Akdeniz transmits anything she sees, reads, listens to and experiences in her own artistic style through her paintings.

“By associating various cultural vocabularies within a cinematographic dramaturgy, Akdeniz grasps the transformative and tangible state of many current belief systems and worldviews, their clashes and possible downfalls…” Andrea Wiarda in Flash Art, 2005

 

David Bell

David Luc was Bell was raised on an ecological nature preserve in Murrieta, California.  He spent three years with the United States Forest Service fighting fires across Southern California and later worked as a Park Ranger in Central Florida until he decided to shift his focus to the arts. Bell then traveled overseas and attended Santa Reparata International School of Art & Design in Florence, Italy, where he studied architectural drawing and cartography. After finishing his B.A. in fine arts at UCLA, he attended Metafora School of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain. Bell’s work aims to problematize human relationships with support structures that can be both physically and mentally obtrusive, often times reflecting on personal social experiences as a way to metonymically represent society as a whole. He currently operates a transient art space that aims to show conceptual work in non-traditional spaces, branded early on as Dave Gallery.

 

Charles Garabedian

was born in Detroit in 1923, and moved to California at age nine. During World War II, he was a gunner on the B24 Bomber in the US Army Air Force stationed in England. Following the war, Garabedian studied literature and philosophy at UC Santa Barbara on the GI Bill. He went on to study history at the University of Southern California, and earned his BA in 1950. Thereafter, Garabedian pursued several occupations that included working for Union Pacific Railroad. Encouraged by his friend Ed Moses, he studied painting with Howard Warshaw, and at age 34 entered the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1961, he graduated from UCLA with an MA in art.

Garabedian’s work has been seen internationally, with his inclusion in important group museum exhibitions including the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, 1975 and 1985; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, 1976; the Venice Biennale, 1976 (also 1982, ’84 and ’85); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1984; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, 1989; the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 1991; and the Corcoran Biennial, 1993.

Garabedian has been honored with several solo museum exhibitions: The La Jolla Museum of Contemporary, 1981; the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Massachusetts, 1983; and the Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles (traveled to the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah), 2003/2004. In 2011, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art held a retrospective of his work.

He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1977, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1979, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in 2000. Garabedian lives and works in Los Angeles, and continues to paint. He is represented by L.A. Louver in Venice, CA.

 

Roger Herman

Was born in Saarbruecken, Germany in 1947.
He earned and MFA at the Akademie der Kuenste in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Roger Herman is a long-respected figure in the Los Angeles art world as an artist and professor (UCLA since 1976), who has been primarily known for the past 30 years for his large-scale paintings and woodcuts exploring abstraction and figuration.

He  has shown widely in the United States and Europe. Solo exhibitions include those held at Larry Gagosian, Los Angeles; Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles and New York; Froment Putman Galerie, Paris; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; Museo del Arte Contemporana, Mexico City; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Herman’s many group exhibitions include The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; P.S. 1, New York; Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Museum Ludwig, Saarlouis, Germany; and Art Museum of São Paulo, Brazil. Herman has been on faculty for the department of painting and drawing at UCLA since 1990. He was also the co-founder of the legendary Black Dragon Society in Los Angeles from 1998 – 2008. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

 

Dietmar Lutz

was born in 1968 in Ellwangen and lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

He studied at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Fine Arts) Düsseldorf, and graduated in 1997. In the mid-1990ies he co-founded the Düsseldorf-London-based artist collective hobbypopMUSEUM.

His paintings have been shown internationally in galleries and art institutions such as Emily Tsingou Gallery London, Karyn Lovegrove Gallery Los Angeles, Center Berlin, Arquebuse Geneva, Alberto Peola Gallery Turin, Kerstin Engholm Gallery Vienna, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Seattle Art Museum, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Bloomberg Space London.

Exhibitions and projects of hobbypopMUSEUM include:

Raving Gardens at Eastside Projects Birmingham, Taking the Air at Right Window San Francisco (both 2010), Gamma Gamma at the Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv (2007), Mystica at Deitch Projects New York, Echo at Deste Foundation Athens (both 2005),

Melody of Destiny at Tate Britain (2003), London Onion Development at Anthony D’Offay Gallery London, After Show Party at Kunstverein Düsseldorf (both 2001)

In 2012 he spent 6 months in Bombay (India) with hobbypopMUSEUM as artist-in-residence of Kunststiftung NRW and Goethe-Institut Mumbai.

 

Andre Niebur

was born in 1973 in Rhede and currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Since 1998 he is a member of  the Düsseldorf-London-based artist collective hobbypopMUSEUM.

André Niebur exhibited in various galleries and art institutions such as Gowen Contemporary and Arquebuse Geneva, Eastside Projects Birmingham, Mother´s Tankstation Dublin, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Center Berlin, Eva Winkeler Frankfurt,  Adeline Morlon art directions Düsseldorf and Murray Guy New York.

Exhibitions and projects of hobbypopMUSEUM include:

Raving Gardens at Eastside Projects Birmingham, Taking the Air at Right Window San Francisco (both 2010), Gamma Gamma at the Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv (2007), Mystica at Deitch Projects New York, Echo at Deste Foundation Athens (both 2005),

Melody of Destiny at Tate Britain (2003), London Onion Development at Anthony D’Offay Gallery London, After Show Party at Kunstverein Düsseldorf (both 2001)

In 2012 he spent 6 months in Bombay (India) with hobbypopMUSEUM as artist-in-residence of Kunststiftung NRW and Goethe-Institut Mumbai.

 

Laura Owens

Laura Owens is among a select group of artists credited with the rebirth of painting in the 1990’s.  Since her first exhibitions in the mid 90’s, Owens has developed a style all her own, moving from landscape to abstraction with energetic thick brushstrokes, fanciful childlike doodles, or sophisticated fine line drawings.  At once seductive and disconcerting, her work makes painting a cognitive adventure for the viewer, fusing the traditions of art history with those of applied art, themes of abstraction with representation, and artistic-conceptual stringency with lightness and visual fascination.  Her recent work continues to expand the domain of her medium and has included large scale paintings, an ongoing clock series, as well handmade artists books.

Laura Owens was born in Euclid, Ohio, 1970.  Receiving her B.F.A. at the Rhode Island School of Design, RI, in 1992, Owens went on to study at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1994, and the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, California, where she earned an M.F.A. in 1994. A solo show of her work is currently on view at the newly opened Mission Road space in Los Angeles, California.  Previously, her work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at international venues such as the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2011), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2007: cat.); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich (2006 and tour: cat.); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2003 and tour: cat.).   Her work is included in many of the world’s leading public collections, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY;  the Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Whitney Museum, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA; the Los Angeles County Museum, LA; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; among many others.  Owens lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

 

Suzanne Wright

Suzanne Wright was born in New London, Connecticut. She earned her BFA at Cooper Union, her MFA at the University of California San Diego and she also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Most recently she had a solo show with Commonwealth and council called “Exiting the deathstar”. In 2011 she had two person exhibitions at Commonwealth & Council and ACP (Artist Curated Projects), and was included in Object-Orientation: Bodies and/as Things at Cerritos Gallery, and Somatic SENSOR at Highways, all in Los Angeles.

Wright has had solo exhibitions at Dechira/Stewart Gallery, Stefan Stux, and Monya Rowe, all in New York, and has been included in group exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and at Wizenhausen, Amsterdam. Recent group exhibitions include Récits des trois perverses: femmes seulement, Jancar Gallery & Tilt shift LA, Luis De Jesus, in Los Angeles CA, Empire of This at Claire Oliver Gallery and Sexy Times at Morgen/lehman Gallery, both in New York and I-podism in Galway, Ireland. In March 2010, she was a Darin Klein & Friends artist-in-residence at Amy Adler’s Echo Park Studio in Los Angeles, which resulted in a series of exhibitions of her own work as well as weekly public programs. Suzanne Wright’s work can be seen in many publications including, Feminist Landscapes, Strange Attractors,Armpit of the Mole and Into the Abyss (Adam Putnam, editor) and Art and Queer Culture (Phaidon, 2011). She is presently teaching painting at Chapman University in California and sculpture at University of California Los Angeles. In 2006 she Co-founded Future 86, a bi-annual art event showcasing the work of contemporary artists at her home in the Catskills in New York. She is in the process of creating a summer exhibition space.

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