Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art at MCASB

Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art , Installation view at SITElab, SITE Santa Fe, NM, October 7, 2017 - January 10, 2018, Photo: Eric Swanson.

Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art , Installation view at SITElab, SITE Santa Fe, NM, October 7, 2017 – January 10, 2018, Photo: Eric Swanson.

The new exhibit opening this weekend at Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), “Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art,” is a series of light-boxes and video animations by Oakland-based artist Kota Ezawa that chronicles some of the most infamous and high-profile museum heists in history. At the heart of this exhibition is a series of images paying homage to the 13 artworks—including those by Degas, Manet, Rembrandt and Vermeer— stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art , Installation view at SITElab, SITE Santa Fe, NM, October 7, 2017 - January 10, 2018, Photo: Eric Swanson.

Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art , Installation view at SITElab, SITE Santa Fe, NM, October 7, 2017 – January 10, 2018, Photo: Eric Swanson.

Ezawa’s digital interpretations of the stolen masterpieces are presented to scale and illuminated in light-boxes that serve as modern apparitions of the centuries-old works. According to MCASB, “These technological vestiges are at once copies of the originals, while also carrying the mark of Ezawa’s animated hand. Reduced to flat planes of color, the original paintings take on new life as Ezawa plays with ideas of appropriation and originality.”

Kota Ezawa, Still from Exquisite Corpse , 2017, Single-channel color video, Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Kota Ezawa, Still from Exquisite Corpse , 2017, Single-channel color video, Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Also on display with the light boxes are video works, including a black and white reproduction of the security footage of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

“My prior drawings exclusively used photographs as source material. This series for the first time draws upon painting only to recognize that painters before 1850, like Rembrandt and Vermeer, were essentially the photographers of their time. In the absence of photographs, their paintings take on the task of recording reality with the scrutiny and minuteness that we now expect from cameras,” says Ezawa. “In this way, the new series extends my project ‘The History of Photography Remix’ into the pre-photography age of images. In addition, I feel compelled to produce an exhibition dealing with ‘stolen artworks’ because my own process could be regarded as a form of image theft. One could say I’m hoping to steal these images back and give them a new life.”

Kota Ezawa, Still from Exquisite Corpse , 2017, Single-channel color video, Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Kota Ezawa, Still from Exquisite Corpse , 2017, Single-channel color video,
Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery,
San Francisco.

“In the absence of the original works, viewers must rely solely on reproductions of the lost Stewart Gardner paintings. Whether printed in a textbook, projected in a lecture hall, or gathered from Google image search results, artwork reproductions are ubiquitous. In this way, Ezawa asks: what does it mean to be original?” say the Organizers.

Kota Ezawa, Empty Frame , 2015, Duratrans transparency and LED lightbox, 24 x 33 in., Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Kota Ezawa, Empty Frame , 2015, Duratrans transparency and LED lightbox,
24 x 33 in., Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Ezawa’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at SITE Santa Fe (2017), Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2013), Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite (2012) and Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2007), as well as in recent group

Kota Ezawa, Munch Theft , 2017, Duratrans transparency and LED lightbox, 40 x 50 in., Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Kota Ezawa, Munch Theft , 2017, Duratrans transparency and LED lightbox, 40 x 50 in., Courtesy the Artist; Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; and Haines
Gallery, San Francisco.

exhibitions at Hamburger Kunsthalle (2018); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (2017); and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016). Ezawa’s work has earned a number of awards, including the SECA Art Award of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), a Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation (2010), and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award (2003). His work is included in renowned collections such as: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Kunsthalle Bremen, among others.

Kota Ezawa: The Crime of Art  was curated by Irene Hofmann and organized by SITE Santa Fe with the Mead Art Museum.

The opening reception is Saturday, November 10, from 6 – 8 p.m., with a special discussion session, “In Conversation: Kota Ezawa with Curator Irene Hofmann,” that evening from 5-6 p.m.  The show will remain on view through February 3, 2019 at MCASB, 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabarbara.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 9, 2018.

Paths of Gold: Japanese Landscape and Narrative Paintings from the Collection

Views of Itsukushima and Wakanoura (detail), Japanese, Edo period, mid-17th century. Ink, color, and gold leaf on paper; pair of six-panel folding screens. SBMA, Museum Purchase, Peggy and John Maximus Fund.

Views of Itsukushima and Wakanoura (detail), Japanese, Edo period, mid-17th century. Ink, color, and gold leaf on paper; pair of six-panel folding screens. SBMA, Museum Purchase, Peggy and John Maximus Fund.

Choice selections from Santa Barbara Museum of Art‘s extensive Japanese painting collection are on view beginning Saturday, November 10, in the new exhibit Paths of Gold: Japanese Landscape and Narrative Paintings from the Collection.

Traditional Japanese houses were constructed of wood with paper windows and doors, and rice-straw matting (tatami mats) covering the floors. Each room—separated by sliding door panels—was like a virtual blank slate that could be repurposed and redecorated to suit each purpose, and, for certain occasions, could be outfitted with glistening screens and objects of color and gold.

Screens were changed seasonally or commissioned specifically for a celebration, a gathering of like minded friends, or a political assembly. A gilded screen enhanced the ambient light in a room, and at the same time, impressed, or even humbled visitors as it reflected the wealth or status of the patron.

Crows in Early Winter (detail), Kishi Chikudō, Japanese, 1826-1897. Ink and color on gold ground; pair of six-panel folding screens. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree, Priscilla Giesen, and special funds.

Crows in Early Winter (detail), Kishi Chikudō, Japanese, 1826-1897. Ink and color on gold ground; pair of six-panel folding screens. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree, Priscilla Giesen, and special funds.

This exhibition examines the aesthetics of Japanese art within both private and public interiors by showcasing nine folding screens, two scroll paintings, and examples of lacquerware selected from the permanent collection, supplemented by two local loans. Paths of Gold features screens dating from the 16th through the 19th centuries, at the end of which Japan opened to European and American trade.

Among the treasures in the exhibition is a lavishly decorated 17th-century set of three handscrolls, attributed to Tosa Mitsuoki (1617–1691). Painted with exquisite mineral pigments and gold, The Tale of Bunshō narrates a story about the rise of the merchant class and the struggles of women. On display as well are a hanging scroll and screen paintings from the Meiji era (1868–1912), a time when formats and subjects were introduced for the newly-conceived public exhibition hall. Also on display are examples of lacquerware from the collection, decorated with various gold techniques, adding to the multi-faceted painterly splendor in the Japanese interior.

This exhibition is co-curated by Hollis Goodall, Curator of Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Susan Tai, Elizabeth Atkins Curator of Asian Art at SBMA. It is on view November 10, 2018 – February 10, 2019. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is located at 1130 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara. It is open Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Free Thursday Evenings from 5 – 8 p.m. For more information, call 805/963-4364, or visit www.sbma.net.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 9, 2018.

Pianos Jazz Up State Street

Pianos on State, photo by Art Fisher.

Pianos on State, photo by Art Fisher.

State Street’s got some rhythm in its soul this month with the annual Pianos on State interactive musical exhibit on display throughout October.

In its 9th year, the exhibition will extend from October 2-24,  and feature pianos painted by Santa Barbara-based artists—all of which are available for community exploration, impromptu play and group performances.

This year’s panel received a record number of submissions, according to organizers from Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture. The selected artists include Aviel Hyman, Mahina Martinson, Ariana Meyers, Jack Mohr, Amanda Phillips, Melody Rose, Sheryl Schroeder, Lanny Sherwin and Richard Stokes. Additional community partners working with local students and artists to design pianos include Art From Scrap, the Santa Barbara Public Library Central Branch, The Arts Fund and Youth Interactive.

Pianos on State, photo by Art Fisher.

Pianos on State, photo by Art Fisher.

Helmed by the Santa Barbara Bowl, this program represents a unique collaboration that aims to provide arts exposure for residents and visitors of all ages. “The pianos are a beloved tradition that enhances the cultural vibrancy of Santa Barbara and the downtown corridor. It is a way to engage the community by inviting participants of all ages and backgrounds to experience performing arts in a public space,” says Kai Tepper, Santa Barbara Bowl Education Outreach Program Manager. Additional producing partners include the City of Santa Barbara, Office of Arts and Culture, The Arts Fund, Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, Downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and New Noise SB. Many local sponsors and businesses also help sponsor and underwrite costs.

Isaac Hernandez. Untitled. Acrylic paint on piano. Exhibited outside the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. November 7, 2010. ©2010 Isaac Hernandez/IsaacArt.com.

Isaac Hernandez. Untitled. Acrylic paint on piano. Exhibited outside the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. November 7, 2010. ©2010 Isaac Hernandez/IsaacArt.com.

An opening celebration takes place on 1st Thursday, October 4, from 5-8 p.m. as artists traverse the pianos and the Piano Boys perform at the Library’s piano at the intersection of State and Anapamu Streets.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 3, 2018.

Nell Campbell: Portrait of Cuba

Fisherman on the Malecon, Havana 2002, 40 x 40 archival pigment print, by Nell Campbell.

Fisherman on the Malecon, Havana 2002, 40 x 40 archival pigment print, by Nell Campbell.

Don’t miss Nell Campbell‘s collection of photographs from her travels to Cuba. The exhibition, Nell Campbell: Portrait of Cuba, is on view at wall space at the Waterline Shops (120 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara) through August 31.

There will be an artist’s reception on Wednesday, August 22, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. wall space at the Waterline Shops is open Sunday-Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on August 21, 2018.

“Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head”

L-R: Andy Coolquitt, CAA CAA, 2017, Bathmat on canvas, 55 x 66 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber. Andy Coolquitt, Modern Hotel Abstraction #1, 2017, Fabric on canvas, 96 x 32 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber.

L-R: Andy Coolquitt, CAA CAA, 2017, Bathmat on canvas, 55 x 66 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber. Andy Coolquitt, Modern Hotel Abstraction #1, 2017, Fabric on canvas, 96 x 32 in., Courtesy the Artist, Photo: Adam Schreiber.

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, in partnership with Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, presents Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head, an exhibition featuring a major commission of new works by Andy Coolquitt.

Based in Austin, TX, the artist has generated a body of work that includes paintings, sculptures and video, which he uses to form connections between some of the juxtapositional aspects of a place that is simultaneously private and public, homelike and commercial, an exhibition venue and a hotel.

According to the artist statement, Coolquitt uses the language of geometric abstraction to riff off of Hotel Indigo’s architectural and design elements, incorporating, for example, site-specific hard edge or gestural painting as a tactic to reimagine the lounge, stairwell, or skylight. Other works in the show consist of familiar domiciliary items such as bathmats, chairs, light bulbs, and nylon stockings. The artist elevates the significance of various undervalued ubiquitous objects that enhance our visceral response to interior environments, prompting viewers to consider the dimensions of our attraction to these basic yet undeniably essential things.

The public is invited to an Artist Talk on Wednesday, May 9, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Santa Barbara City College, Administration Building Room A211, 721 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara.

Andy Coolquitt: …i need a hole in my head is on view at MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara from May 18 through March 7, 2021. The Hotel Indigo is located at 121 State St., Santa Barbara. For more information about the exhibition, visit mcasantabarbara.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on May 8, 2018.

Reflections, A Solo Show by Andrew Roy

Andrew Roy, "Dusk to Dawn." Courtesy photo.

Andrew Roy, “Dusk to Dawn.” Courtesy photo.

Local artist, Andrew Roy displays 26 stunning works in a solo show, Reflections, at the Faulkner Gallery West in May. Opening night is Thursday May 3 between 5 and 8:30 p.m.

A member of both the Abstract Art Collective and the Santa Barbara Art Association, Roy’s works are in private collections throughout the United States. Born and raised in Alaska, he made Santa Barbara his home in 2012. Working with oil pastels on paper and also with acrylics on large canvases, Roy’s art is vibrant, powerful, unique and compelling.

Andrew Roy, "Reflecting." Courtesy photo.

Andrew Roy, “Reflecting.” Courtesy photo.

“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure, a sense of nothing having been done before, of complete freedom to experiment,” says Roy. His award winning art has been shown in numerous galleries and shows in Santa Barbara and elsewhere, including Sullivan Goss, Gallery 113, CASA, the Santa Barbara Tennis Club and ArtSEE/JCC.

Faulkner Gallery West is located at 40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. The show is on view May 3-31.

Andrew Roy, "From Ashes." Courtesy photo.

Andrew Roy, “From Ashes.” Courtesy photo.

For more information about Andrew Roy, visit www.andrewroyart.com and http://abstractartcollective.com/andrew-roy/.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on May 2, 2018.

 

Sherri Belassen at Elizabeth Gordon Gallery

Painting by Sherri Belassen, on view at Elizabeth Gordon Gallery.

Painting by Sherri Belassen, on view at Elizabeth Gordon Gallery.

A new solo show for artist Sherri Belassen opens on Saturday, April 28 at Elizabeth Gordon Gallery, with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m.  The show remains on view through May 28. 

Taking inspiration form her heroes—Henri Matisse, Milton Avery, Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler— Belassen explores and celebrates color, form and line. The artist allows her instinctual harmony to guide her work. Her latest works were generated from deep within her subconscious. After completing her large scale abstractions of geometric grids the paintings unleashed a memory of the artist’s childhood: “I used to fly a lot with my dad in his private plane when I was a little girl,” Belassen says. “I grew up in the Midwest, and I’d see blocks of color and shapes below. It would get bumpy in the little four-seater so my dad would say, ‘Look at the horizon- it will balance you.’ ”

Elizabeth Gordon Gallery is located at 15 W. Gutierrez St. in Santa Barbara. For more information, call 805/963-1157, or visit elizabethgordongallery.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 25, 2018.

Visions of the Gaviota Coast

Beach Shack by Kevin Gleason. Image courtesy SCAPE.

Beach Shack by Kevin Gleason. Image courtesy SCAPE.

Enjoy beautiful art and support a good cause at “Visions of the Gaviota Coast,” the Sixth Annual SCAPE Art Benefit for Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Naples Coalition. Held at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort and Spa (8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta), the art sale goes from Friday, March 30 at 2 p.m. through Saturday, March 31 at 5 p.m. The two-day exhibit features a reception on Friday (5-8 p.m.) with live music, silent auction, appetizers and wine with donation.

More than 150 Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (SCAPE) artists and fine art photographer Reeve Woolpert will participate in this benefit art exhibition showcasing the stunning Gaviota Coast. Painter and exhibit juror Richard Schloss has many years of collaboration with the renowned Oak Group artists. The funds raised will assist Gaviota Coast Conservancy and the Naples Coalition in continuing their successful efforts to protect this majestic 72 miles of open coastline, providing a pristine habitat for over 1,400 species, including the endangered snowy plover. Forty percent of all art sales will benefit the two nonprofit organizations.

Gaviota Coast Conservancy and Naples Coalition have recently achieved big victories towards the protection and preservation of the Gaviota Coast. Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort and Spa is hosting the event, and donating an overnight stay and spa treatment for the raffle (no need to be present to win). “We consider it an honor to call the Gaviota Coast our home,” says Shashi Poudyal, general manager. “Bacara will continue to partner with the Gaviota Coast Conservancy to be a great steward of this land.”

Free parking is provided (follow the signs), or you can valet park.

To donate directly to the Gaviota Coast Conservancy: http://gaviotacoastconservancy.org/donate

To donate to Naples Coalition: http://www.savenaples.org/donate

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 28, 2018.

Delineations at MichaelKate Interiors & Art Gallery

Charlie Patton, “The Woman and The Veil,” oil on canvas.

Charlie Patton, “The Woman and The Veil,” oil on canvas.

Opening March 16, DELINEATIONS at MichaelKate Interiors & Art Gallery (132 Santa Barbara St.) features four Santa Barbara based artists: Jo Merit, Douglas Dafoe, Katarzyna Kociomyk and Charlie Patton and is curated by Jan Ziegler. 

“The delineated characteristics of Jo Merit’s paintings and the fine craftmanship of Douglas Dafoe’s geometric wood wall sculptures drive the title of the show,” writes Ziegler. “Complementing their precise line work, we have Katarzyna Kociomyk’s lush boats at rest on the water and Charlie Patton’s large and small expressive paintings.”

Join the artists for the reception on Friday, March 16, from 5-8 p.m. The artists will speak about their work at 6 p.m.

The show remains on view through May 13. 

—Leslie Dinaberg

Charlie Patton, “Misty Copeland Two Slippers,” oil on canvas.

Charlie Patton, “Misty Copeland Two Slippers,” oil on canvas.

Jo Merit, “At The Dark End Of The Street,” acrylic on canvas.

Jo Merit, “At The Dark End Of The Street,” acrylic on canvas.

Katarzyna Kociomyk, “Cast In Bronze,” oil on canvas.

Katarzyna Kociomyk, “Cast In Bronze,” oil on canvas.

Douglas Dafoe, “untitled,” wood with copper paint.

Douglas Dafoe, “untitled,” wood with copper paint.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 16, 2018.

Marian Crostic: Sea Change

Tidal Impressions #2 by Marian Crostic.

Tidal Impressions #2 by Marian Crostic.

Come to The Waterline in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone (120 Santa Barbara St.) on Friday night to check out Sea Change by Marian Crostic, a special event hosted by wall space creative for the Funk Zone Art Walk.

“We are a world in flux. In this consistent state of change, finding a path to calm is almost impossible. It takes effort to keeping ourselves upright and moving forward, while this drift and unknowingness takes all our energy. We all feel now as if in constant motion both physically and emotionally. For Marian Crostic, finding that peace comes at the waters edge,” states event organizer Crista Dix.

Tidal Impressions #1 by Marian Crostic.

Tidal Impressions #1 by Marian Crostic.

Crostic’s series is an abstract vision of the waters edge, the organic connection between liquid and solid. This high contrast work belies its softness, with striking emphasis on the graphic and non-linear patterns in nature.

Marian Crostic made the career change from the fashion world to photography over a decade ago. Turning her creativity from fabrics towards imagery, this group of photographs fundamentally started taking shape and vision on her morning walks along Venice Beach. Meditative in nature the series is about importance of seeing ones own environment with a present, reflective and introspective eye.

Come from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday March 16 for an informal talk with Crostic about this beautiful work.

For more information about Sea Change, wall space creative and Marian Crostic or to see a portfolio of works please contact wall space gallery at 805/232-5428 or gallery@wallspacecreative.com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 14, 2018.