Guggenheim Gallery
Catalogue List  

Stray Edge

September 28- November 6, 2015
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monique van Genderen, Shila Khatami, Lisa Williamson, Ulrich Wulff

With essay by: Ed Schad

Abstraction finally crystalized into the picture plane in high modernism when the German Bauhaus school and Dutch artist group De Stijl, and individuals auch as Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malewitsch and Sophie Tauber-Arp, developed distinct styles using destilled geometric shapes in their compositions and designs.  In architecture of the time, a sobering developent took place, eliminating ornament, and with it, perhaps, some of its memory and history, from buildings, interior designs and furnishings. Painting discovered its materiality and began to see its surface as the actual drama, as if the viewer were to slowly zoom out of what was once the window into a different world onto its earthly, woven reality.

These reductive maneuvers, counteracting the logic of perspecitive and the mimicry of visual reality, were meant to highten awareness, sharpen the intuition, and express a universal truth and beauty. But it wasn’t long before capitalism deveoured and homogenized these honorable ideals, and led them ad absurdum. Today everybody can purchase a piece of that high modernist action or rather its broken limbs, the remains of a once vital utopianism by purchasing a ‚fjälkinge’ –shelf or a ‚stolmen’-storage system at their local Ikea.

What can abstract painting do to reclaim the philosophical vigor inherent in its modernist components? Does it even have to? Or have the goals of the abstract painter changed altogether?

Stray Edge brings together four artists that work with abstraction through painting and sculpture who are investigating the possibilities of the painted surrface in order to set in motion a play of perception and meaning. The pictures and three-dimensional works are equally open to figurative as well as conceptual or literal readings and set in motion a negotiation between arbitrariness and intentionality. Rather than seeking absolutes in truth and beauty, they are undogmatically propositioning the significance of the painted surface.


Paths and Edges: Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of the Escalette Collection

July 20- September 18, 2015
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, September 13, 2015

John Baldessari, Edith Baumann, Mary Corse, Sam Francis, Frank Gehry, Betty Gold, Anne Hamilton, Al Held, Roger Herman, William Kentridge, Soo Kim, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Michael Reafsnyder, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra

The Guggenheim Gallery in conjunction with Chapman University’s Escalatte Collection is pleased to announce Paths and Edges: Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of the Escalette Collection. Please join us for the reception and catalog release on Sunday, September 13, 2015 from 4PM-6PM.

The Escalette Permanent Collection of Art was officially dedicated on May 4, 2010.  Thanks to the vision and generosity of Ross and Phyllis Escalette, Chapman University’s growing collection of contemporary and modern art was endowed with funds to grow, exhibit, and care for this prized resource on campus. This exhibition features a selection of key works their endowment has supported, and celebrates the Escalette’s dedication to supporting emerging artists as well as established figures in the contemporary art world.

XX REDUX- Revisiting a Feminist Art Collective

Double X, a feminist art collective that flourished from 1975-1985, was committed to expanding the visibility of art made by women—not just work by their own members, but by other women, both established and emerging. In their founding statement, XX declared: “We are committed to expanding the notion of what is considered art . . . .We recognize a pluralistic art that is both stylistically diverse and expressive of a variety of points of view in a framework such that although different modes may conflict with one another, they do not negate one another.” More perspectives now considered the foundation of the feminist art movement were espoused by Double X—although until now, the group has been left out of history. However, XX contributed to the making of this narrative; one of the first projects of the collective was the publication of Faith Wilding’s By Our Own Hands: The Women Artist’s Movement in Southern California, 1971-76. This exhibition offers an opportunity to update the record—not necessarily with historic work, but current pieces.

In this spirit, in addition to art made by former XX members, XX Redux includes performance, photography and painting by younger colleagues Audrey Chan and Micol Hebron, who continue to celebrate feminisms.

Recent works featured in the exhibition include sculpture (Nancy Youdelman), drawing and painting (Merion Estes, Micol Hebron, Connie Jenkins, Carol Kaufman, Rachel Rosenthal, Nancy Buchanan, and Faith Wilding), collage (Jan Lester Martin, Nancy Webber), video (Marsia Alexander-Clarke, Vanalyne Green), photography and digital prints (Diane Calder, Audrey Chan, Mayde Herberg, Rachel Youdelman).

An upstairs space displays books by Faith Wilding and Vaughan Rachel, and feminist ephemera from the past, in an installation designed and realized by Gallery Assistants Tayler Bonfert, Gina Kouyoumdjian and Elizabeth Plumb. In addition, Double X Redux will display posters from the Gallery Tally project organized by Micol Hebron, which continues to illustrate the disparity between male and female artists shown in professional art galleries. These chilling statistics reinforce the importance of recognizing the legacy of Double X.

Life Transmissions

October 6- November 2, 2014
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, November 2, 2014

Bas Jan Ader, Sarah Bostwick, Joshua Callaghan, Megan Daalder, Karl Haendel, Mary Kelly, John Mills, Jed Ochmanek, Gina Osterloh, Robert Rauschenberg, Peter Wu

With essays by: Liatris Hethcoat and Olivia Love

Art never expresses anything but itself. – Oscar Wilde

I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it. – Kanye West

The question of what is at the beginning of things – paralleling the metaphor of the chicken and the egg – is negotiated in this exhibition. Is it life that inspires our creative production, or is it precisely art and our creations that enable us to recognize and maneuver the world? The exhibition looks at interdependencies and correlations between these views, and presents a line up of positions that mine this interstice via indexical, mimetic, linguistic, and semiotic tactics.

An old ideal of art and its beauty is that of the perfect illusion. The legendary competition between the ancient Greek painters Zeuxis and Parrhasios illustrates this: Here Zeuxis’s skills with the brush create such a remarkable copy of reality that a flock of doves is trying to pick the painted grapes. Zeuxis however, inspecting his opponent’s work and attempting to remove the curtain that obstructs Parrhasios’s painting, finds out that the joke is on him, as the curtain is in fact part of the work, so masterfully executed that even the great Zeuxis does not recognize it as an illusion.

On the other hand of the spectrum is a view, which the age of enlightenment first introduced, that left a lasting mark on art ever since the project of modernity came into full swing: Art does not mimic the natural world. This view, once a liberation from old doctrines, proposed l’art pour l’art, the autonomous artwork, freed art from the burden of illustration, narration and where possible all other relationality.

So far so good, but in a non-centrical art universe, neither one of these views can be said to dominate our ideas of what art is supposed to be and do. In view of a reality of life that itself has become abstracted, in which the list has replaced the picture, where can a distinction be made between a given, non-negotiable ‘reality’ and the realities we create? How close can art get to life before it disappears into the same?

Sniff The Space Flat On Your Face

August 25- September 25, 2014
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, September 21, 2014

Brian Bress, Cameron, Marc Chagall, Animal Charm, Salvador Dali, India Lawrence, Max Maslansky, Juliana Paciulli, Dani Tull, Jeffrey Vallance, Matt Wardell

With essays by: Travis Diehl and David Lucas Bell & Kaitlyn A. Kramer

The fundamental phenomena in art are cyclical, and there is a recurring tendency that often marks a period of transition. It appears between the exhaustion of one era and the vitality of another. It is an aggressive, yet greatly refined spirit, that surfaces in periods such as Surrealism, or Psychedelic Art, and owes its heritage to such disparate movements as Hellenism, Mannerism, Rococo and Romanticism, In it lies a suspicion towards the real as the current knowledge of an epoch defines it and its zeitgeist perceives it, and the general notion that the rational models of art and thought are fragments ‘imposed by the limitations of man’s consciousness upon the unlimited variations of his internal and external world.’*

‘Sniff the Space Flat on your Face’ brings together historical and contemporary positions working with allegiance to this tradition. The artists in the exhibit summon the irrational, the otherworldly, the dramatic and grotesque. They celebrate the poetry of morphing images, uncovering the beautiful spasms, and marvelous states of excitement, which penetrate into our world from underneath the skin of reality.

*Stanley Krippner, ‘Die hypnotische Trance, die psychedelische Erfahrung und der kreative Akt’


January 27- February 28, 2014
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, February 23

Chris Burden, Molly Corey, Cayetano Ferrer, Dan Graham, Lia Halloran, Olga Koumoundouros, Aaron Garber Maikovska, Alex McDowell, Isaac Resnikoff, Geoff Tuck

With essays by: Jan Tumlir, Marcus Herse, and Amy Howden Chapman

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University is pleased to present Your Shell is made of Air. The guiding focus of this survey is the shifting idea of how urban space is perceived. Spanning the period from the late 1960’s until today, these conceptions range from political and utopian approaches, to performative interventions and visions of imagined cities.

City space is a manifestation of human life, like a cast that forms in response to human behavior and desire. The shapes of the city, the buildings, streets, squares, shopping malls and residential areas, are the habitat within which we perform our moves, physically and intellectually.

When every environment is only as rich as the actions it allows for, it is a matter of investigating these places for possibilities and applications that are not originally inherent to them. It is the search for these air pockets that brings the artists in the show together. Deviating from this commonality, the searches touch upon ideas of the city as a playground, a sociopolitical laboratory, a psychological dérive, and the exploration of future urban systems in sci-fi cinema.

An artist reception will be held on Sunday February 23, 2014 from 4-8pm, coinciding with the release of the exhibition catalog designed by U&I Design, and featuring essays by Jan Tumlir, Amy Howden Chapman and Marcus Herse.



September 23- October 25, 2013
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kaucyila Brooke, Kelly Cline, Veronique d’Entremont, Danielle Dean, Lecia Dole-Recio, Patricia Fernández, Margaret Honda, Alice Könitz, Bessie Kunath, Young Joon Kwak, Gina Osterloh, Gala Porras-Kim, Jen Smith, Ariane Vielmetter, Brenna Youngblood

With essays by: Doris Chon, Catherine Wagley, and Chương-Đài Võ

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University is pleased to present Demolition Woman, an exhibition curated by Commonwealth & Council, September 23 to October 25, 2013. The exhibition assembles an intergenerational sisterhood of artists whose projects re-envision our shared habitat through inflections of difference.

Utilizing a symbolic stratagem that undergoes both physical and contextual transformations, Demolition Woman dismantles shoddy infrastructures of knowledge and social order by regenerating an open system for grafted realities and truths. Adopting various epistemologies of material process, Kaucyila Brooke, Kelly Cline, Veronique d’Entremont, Danielle Dean, Lecia Dole-Recio, Patricia Fernández, Margaret Honda, Alice Könitz, Bessie Kunath, Young Joon Kwak, Gina Osterloh, Gala Porras-Kim, Jen Smith, Ariane Vielmetter, and Brenna Youngblood synthesize permutations of language, history, and memory toward divergent forms and meanings.

An artist reception will be held on Sunday, October 20, 1PM—4PM, coinciding with the release of the exhibition catalogue designed by New Byzantium and featuring an Eknæs font/cover design by Nicolau Vergueiro and essays by Doris Chon, Chương-Đài Võ, and Catherine Wagley. Printed in an edition of 196, each copy of the catalogue contains a unique print that functions as a 1:1 scale segment of the walls, floor, or ceiling of the bathroom from Margaret Honda’s 4366 Ohio Street, an ongoing, full-scale reconstruction in paper of the artist’s childhood home.

Special thanks to: Sue Ann Robinson and Candice Reichardt at Long Beach Museum of Art; Nadja Quante and Anja Casser at Badischer Kunstverein; Karisa Morante, Tyler Park, and Francois Ghebaly Gallery; Honor Fraser Gallery; Marcus Herse and Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University; Blake Besharian/New Byzantium; Nicolau Vergueiro; Doris Chon; Chương-Đài Võ; Catherine Wagley; and the artists.


Syrop & Chang

June 30- September 14- 2013
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Opening Reception June 30, 2013
Artist Reception September 11, 2013

Mitchell Syrop and York Chang

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University in conjunction with the 2013 California Pacific Triennial is pleased to present Syrop & Chang. York Chang’s and Mitchell Syrop’s exhibition explores the artists’ interest in the fabrication of narratives and supposed truths through the authority of text and context.

Mitchell Syrop has been investigating the written word in previous bodies of work, hereby drawing connections between text and its qualities as an image. His maniacally written abstracts, blow-ups of scribbled notes are concerned with ambiguities of language, the visual properties of its presentation, identity, and interchangeability. The physio-psychological aspects of the work and its self-deprecating content are disrupted by the technical sophistication and confidence of the final image, evidence of performative actions, presented in a distanced manner.

York Chang’s interest in text lies with its possibility to create history. Via the construction of a fictitious historical art movement, the “visceral realists” and the re-enactment of actions attributed to the group, he challenges the notion of the grand historical narrative, which contemporary art is committed to. He exposes it as similarly arbitrary, playing with its function as creating meaning, and makes us aware of a society drawing conclusions based on truths, which are always created one-sidedly, as is mostly the case, by the ones in power. The notion of the type of political and actionist artist that the visceral realists promote is an option that although it never existed, indeed had its moment in time. Chang poses questions of identity and authorship in creating these heroes, which are not a romantic fantasy, but rather a poetic improvisation on art history’s keyboard. This in turn is utterly contemporary.

Where Syrop is direct, expressive and sometimes goes blue, Chang answers in his deadpan, sly and calculated style. The pairing of their different methods of investigation provides commonalities, and exciting new constellations and timbres of their respective work, while showing the continuation of conceptual approaches in L.A.’s most recent art history.


May 20- June 15, 2013
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
May 25, 2013

Heather Brown, Tony Delap, Michael Dopp, Roy Dowell, Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses, Michael Rey, Brian Sharp, Jay Sagen, Patrick Wilson, Bobbi Woods

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University in conjunction with Chapman University’s Escalatte Collection is pleased to presentCalifornia Visual Music – Three Generations of Abstraction. The exhibition brings together work from L.A.’s vital art scene with selected pieces from the Escalate Collection that exemplify key innovations in abstract art.

Abstraction’s debut on the California stage was initiated by pioneering gallerist Felix Landau and the legendary Ferus Gallery in the 1950’s. The 1960s and 70s brought Finish Fetish and Light and Space, distilled from op art, minimalism and geometric abstraction, which are identified with the American West and are tied to a unique period in which many California artists investigated the picture plane beyond the concerns of the canvas and representation. Craig Kaufman, Tony Delap and Ed Moses, whose works are highlights of California Visual Music, developed a discourse with regional specificity in company with artists such as Robert Irwin and James Turell.

Most recently, the broad field of what abstraction could mean is being re approached by a new generation of L.A. artists. Some of the most vivid of these new positions are featured in California Visual Music alongside their predecessors. The exhibition examines the heritage and influence of classical abstraction while presenting a survey of strategies that continues to bring new insights, from the serendipitous experiments of light and space to the manias for new materials and properties of color.

Co-curated by Marcus Herse and David Michael Lee


Wir Drei

January 30- March 1, 2013
Artist Reception and Catalog Release:
Friday, February 1, 2013

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



October 1- October 29, 2012
Artists Reception and Catalog Release:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Krysten Cunningham, Adam Feldmeth, Tobias Hantmann,Christian Jendreiko, Analia Saban, Monika Stricker

There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark. *

Let’s start off with some seemingly obvious remarks, whilst it’s funny that we seem to so obviously know what it is that we don’t know. With dark we commonly describe for lack of better knowledge what we can’t see or recognize. But dark is also what we are not supposed to see or don’t want to see. The term herein describes, on the one hand, a field of possibilities and a threat on the other. We have to make a decision as to what to do with the dark.

Less than 5% of all the mass and energy in the universe presents itself to us. My guess is that the percentage of certainty in our lives (if via some formula, it were calculable) is about the same ratio, maybe less. Everything can change at any given moment. To be able to live with the all-determining dark you need to trust. But in what? God? Science? The romans invented the answer: Securitas, the goddess of security. Her likeness decorated Roman money and she guaranteed the safety of the borders, security of the empire and fittingly, financial stability.

This 2,000-year-young concept seems like new. Yet, it is precisely the idea of a guaranteed risk free life as the ideal of our time, which causes a constrictive understanding of how we move within the world and how we act towards one another. It is bizarre that we believe that safety and security could be products, which exemplifies that our true faith lies in monetary exchange. But security is not a product. It is always only a temporary state of the absence of danger. You can pay for it, but you won’t own it.

So, do we see dark as the imponderability of life, which we have to be armed and protected against? Or, is dark the cubbyhole of our fantasies?

Dark is indeed our true home. Dark is ultimately where everything arises, where we come from, the stream of potential which only in our intrepid consciousness unfolds as world into what we envision, what we are and who we want to be.

It’s the dark that matters.

The exhibition brings together 6 positions from Düsseldorf and Los Angeles that deal with those matters. The visualization of hidden structures by means of actions, temporary interventions and minimal gestures are techniques employed by the participating artists.

A contentual arc is traced from Krysten Cunningham’s video, a theatrical meditation on speculative physics and multidimensional models, reflections on systems of communication by Christian Jendreiko, over to Adam Feldmeth’s often times not physically materialized investigations of the internal discursiveness of the artistic process, as well as psychologically dark material in Monika Stricker’s Sweat Piece. Analia Saban’s and Tobias Hantmann’s work re-illuminates the possibilities of representation through painting.

Especially in Düsseldorf and the surrounding Rhineland (unlike as for example in Berlin), there is a long regional history tracing back to the 1960s in which minimal and conceptual tendencies have been located. Herein lies the connection to the American West as a cradle of conceptual art, and both here and there, the background radiation of minimal and conceptual art produces contemporary approaches which extend and exceed these models.

*Pink Floyd

Lick it into Shape- Friending the Ephemeral

August 20- September 20, 2012
Artists Reception and Catalog Release:
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brandon Andrew, Young Chung, Public Fiction, Samara Golden, Alex Jasch, Cyril Kuhn, Davida Nemeroff, Paul Pescador

Lick It into Shape is about shifting concepts on how ideas manifest. About the question as to how presentation shapes the presented. An impulse that finds a realization in many forms. The work that is open ended to the extent that it seems unfinished.  “We are wanderers between the worlds and all we create are in-between stadiums”°. It’s about the tension that arises between the possibilities of a situation and the need to put it into shape. The moment when a piece that was completed lives again and demands a new manifestation. Memory, archive and aspiration.*

We are time-bound beings. Because everything flows and withdraws from our grasp, we create images that are supposed to last, to carry us through time and anchor us. But the image and the artwork as a stationary, fixed manifestation have conceptually served their time more than half a century ago. The ephemeral in art has been explored since the 1960s and today we deal with the background radiation of the radical work of Dieter Roth, Bas Jan Ader, Felix Gonzales Torres and the like.

The exhibition gathers a group of artists (all but one) living and working in Los Angeles, whose endeavors present a broad spectrum on the notions of the fleeting and the elapsing. The focus is put on this aspect of their production in a selection of works, some of which are  created specifically for the show. While feeling obliged to the idea of radicalism and pushing the boundaries of their work, today there is no need to strike a blow for the elusive. The inclusion of ephemeral concepts by the artists in Lick it into Shape is casual, part of the repertoire, and applied distinctively in each approach.



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