At Culver City With Art Critic Megan Abrahams
My latest visit to the Culver City galleries was particularly enhanced by having the company of art critic Megan Abrahams. Even better, we seldom disagreed about the merits of art we viewed. You can find some of Abrahams’ reviews at Whitehot Magazine, and check out her art and literary blog at onbeyondwordsandpictures.com.
Four artists’ work stood out from the crowd: the oil and rayon thread-on-wood panel pieces of Brian Wills at Nye and Brown; a remarkable oil painting by the late Robert Overby at Cherry and Martin; an intriguing montage of overhead photo shots by Katrin Korfmann at Paul Kopenkin; and hand-cut photographic composites by New York-based artist Soo Kim at Angles.
One particular hit was the stunning painting by Robert Overby hanging in the Cherry and Martin Gallery. This abstract expressionistic work, a style not usually seen at this Gallery, had all anyone could put on a wish list: skillful color layering, subtle shapes juxtaposed with brash, spontaneous brush strokes, with all elements perfectly balanced to create a dynamic yet stable dance for any retina’s enjoyment.
Next on the list was the understated yet powerfully substantial work of Brian Willis at Nye and Brown, consisting of pristinely constructed fine threads layered vertically or in mixed directions over a wooden frame. The threads are so precisely spaced and the colors so carefully chosen to transition smoothly that, from a distance, it looks like an Agnes Martin minimalist painting; a perfect fit for this
It is never a surprise to encounter large photographs hanging on the walls of the Paul Kopenkin Gallery. This time on display are the overhead “bird’s eye” David Kapp-like scenic collage compositions of Katrin Korfmann. Assembling a bagful of individual overhead shots
of people – some perfectly focused, others blurred by motion – Korfmann subtly manipulates them so that the entire work skews down towards the horizon as if shot with a fisheye lens. These are works that can voyeuristically entertain the viewer again and again.
The photographic city scene composites of Soo Kim at Angles rounded out our visit. In an era when artists love to make the written messages and symbols of our culture center stage, Kim does just the opposite. She makes her point by cutting out, in square or rectangular shapes, all written signs or symbolic objects in these photographs. By placing two such censored photographs together, a
new scene magically metamorphoses. The ultimate result is a jumble of structured shapes, still recognizable as its original state but now a unique and innovative composition of our architectural nests.