Those following the contemporary art
scene for the past few years will recognize the momentum surrounding an
enormous body of work produced by Lisa Adams, Kim McCarty, Meg Cranston,
Jill Giegerich and Becky Guttin. Each of these talented women has
weathered the fickle fields of the art circuit to truly become both the
inspiration and vision for California's contemporary art movement. Gallery
C's newest exhibition, 3LA Woman2 (March 25 - May 22, 2004), highlights the
works of these influential Los Angeles painters.
As visual thinkers that truly provoke compelling dialogues, these women
epitomize what it means to be an artist. By pushing the boundaries,
creating controversy and inspiring thought, discussion and change, seek to
awaken the consciousness of the public. "LA Woman" pays homage to the
experiences, contributions and art produced by Adams, McCarty, Cranston,
Giegerich and Guttin. The exhibition1s selected works address sexuality and
humanity, as well as the artist1s interpretation of nature in a
Until the beginning of the contemporary art movement, many female artists
throughout history had to rely on their relationships with male artists to
gain exposure for their work. Either as a wife (Georgia O'Keefe, Lee
Krasner), a mistress (Camille Claudel) or a daughter (Artemisia), these
talented artists were first branded 'women' and second 'painters.'
The Feminist artists of the 1970s and 1980s came a long way in breaking down
gender barriers, often featuring the struggles of those who came before them
in their art. Commentary on women's roles and traditional women's work
confronted viewers in the photos by Nan Golden and Cindy Sherman, the bold
text of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger and the noted installation from
Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party". 3LA Woman2 artists Adams, McCarty,
Cranston, Giegerich and Guttin follow the tradition of extending and
breaking boundaries, which began thirty years ago, and continue to inspire
conversations about the world in which we live.
Much of the draw of Lisa Adams' quirky works lie in their underlying social
commentary. Often whimsical and sometimes dark, her clever paintings poke
fun at human sexuality, the entertainment industry and pop culture. "My art
explores ideas about the contentious relationships between abstraction and
story-telling. It points to a kind of symbolism which pursues a
contemporary view of the use of signifiers or subjects, in art. I use
contrasting surface techniques to communicate different aspects of
consciousness and existence," states Adams.
Having exhibited at numerous museums and galleries, Adams is a recipient of
a Fulbright Scholarship. She has been an artist-in-residence in Slovenia,
Finland, Japan, Holland and Costa Rica. Adams teaches at a number of
prestigious institutions and is a resident of Los Angeles.
Joining Adams' art are Kim McCarty1s symbolic portraits which exhibit a
preoccupation with transitional states. Her works evoke feelings of hope,
defiance and a sense of vulnerability. Her paintings are almost voyeuristic
in their intensity of the subject1s expressions and their stark setting.
McCarty explains, "I have always been interested in trying to identify an
expression that suggests both longing and loss. I am interested in the
adolescent expression, which exhibits fragility and vulnerability."
Born in Los Angeles, McCarty has been painting for twenty years. She has
exhibited internationally in both galleries and museums. McCarty attended
Art Center College of Design and received her Master of Fine Arts from
University of California, Los Angeles.
Another artist, Meg Cranston, has been investigating aspects of body and
soul for several years, with energy and wit. Recent shows have featured
drawings and sculptures of bad teeth and their imagined physiognomic
significance, a large composite photograph of an average-size American, and
a performance about the life of Marvin Gaye. Cranston's work often combines
text and imagery from popular culture.
Cranston muses, 3Most of my recent works have been objects that have implied
action. That is most clear in the group of works entitled "Magical Death".
Literally, I have created piñatas of myself. For me, creating the works and
eventually seeing them used is a way to rehearse suffering and death."
Showing internationally since 1988, Cranston has been the recipient of a New
School of Social Research Faculty Development Grant, an artist grant from
the Penny McCall Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a faculty research
grant from the Center for Asian American Studies at UCLA. She lives in Los
Angeles and teaches at Otis College of Art.
The thought-provoking installations and paintings of fellow "LA Woman"
artist Jill Giegerich have been met with critical acclaim for a number of
years. Ever prolific, Giegerich's newest body of work continues to examine
the human condition. By not specifying a particular gender, her androgynous
works speak to larger issues in life, which are equally experienced by both
sexes. According to Giegerich, "My work has always played in the arena of
the subliminal. I make objects that exist between an implied potential to
bring closure and the actual refusal of the work to do so. Imagine coming
upon an interesting face in a public place; something compelling bleeds to
the surface, but can never be known. My work has the same intention as myth;
its virtues bloom in the rumination of the spectator."
Born in New York, Giegerich lives in Los Angeles and teaches at University
of California, Riverside. Her works have been exhibited extensively at
galleries and museums around the world.
Mexican sculptor Becky Guttin creates works that humanize our relationship
to nature. Guttin's sculptures, objects, installations and assemblages are
created from a wide diversity of materials, such as plant forms and raw
industrial waste materials. Her work attempts to draw forth cultural and
spiritual meaning in objects that were once forgotten and now, newly formed.
When placed together in a gallery setting, her pieces evoke a sense of
history, provocative beauty and daily observances, which leave the viewer
humbled by the beauty in common materials.
Born in Mexico City, Guttin has exhibited at galleries and museums around
the world. She has lectured and taught at prestigious institutions and
received numerous awards for her works.
oil and spray
paint on canvas,
18 x 18 inches