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Synthesis: Some Abstraction in Los Angeles

Synthesis: Some Abstraction in Los Angeles
Curated by Mario D. Vasquez

Featuring works by Nick Aguayo, Alexandra Grant, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Elana Bowsher, Amy McKay, Alice Konitz, Jennifer West, Trina Turturici, Martin Durazo, Pamela Jorden, Megan Geckler, Stacy Wendt, Chris Trueman, Kelsey Zwarka, Michelle Fierro

“Synthesis” is defined as a series of ideas that coalesce to form a system or a theory. The word derives from the early 17th century from a translation from Greek to the Latin word “sunthesis,” from suntithenai, which means ‘place together’. The word “synthetic” has the same etymology, which denotes something made and not real. With the idea of synthesis in mind, abstraction is no longer new, and has built a legacy in both modern and contemporary art for at least two centuries.

The abstractionist of the 21st century is left with the debris of the 20th century. Abstract art is now about coalescing and appropriating that detritus into new ways of seeing abstraction. At the beginning of the 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky said that, “Now I could see that objects harmed my pictures,” he concluded, noting that a “terrifying abyss of all kinds of questions, a wealth of responsibilities stretched before me. And most important of all: What is to replace the missing object?” In the 21st century, the abstract is not inevitable and a new question about the nature of abstraction is now formulated. The question is now existential, and ontological.

The 15 artists in this group show are all abstractionists based in Los Angeles, who themselves represents the convergence between various ideas of abstraction; from gestural to the hard edge and color field. Los Angeles in the 21st century has become a laboratory for art in general, and specifically for abstraction. Recent abstraction has gone beyond painting and into film, installation, and craft. This exhibition presents a sample of possibilities and approaches that may define the next iteration of abstraction; an abstraction for the 21st century.

Mario Vasquez is an independent curator and art critic based in Los Angeles.

Opening Reception: September 3, 2019, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
On View from September 3 – 13, 2019