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Indepth Arts News:

"VULNERABLE: Peter Liashkov, Susan Rankaitis"
2004-08-05 until 2004-09-25
ANDLAB
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

Two well-established Los Angeles artists who share a depth of intensity in exploration of art-making processes, painter, Peter Liashkov, and mixed media artist, Susan Rankaitis, will exhibit work together in a show entitled Vulnerable at ANDLAB in Los Angeles, August 5-September 25, 2004. The show's title derives in part from a quality present in each of the pieces representing the artists. The human ravages of war on are on the minds and in the hearts of both Liashkov and Rankaitis--although their responses to current world events vary from the subtly suggestive to the graphically literal.

Liashkov's large scale, iconic nudes are executed in charcoal, crayon, acrylic, pastel, oil, and metallic powders and pigments on a surface called Synskin. The vellum-like translucent fiberglass has flesh-like properties that are especially well suited to the artist's purpose. Working from live models, Liashkov's paintings evoke the universal condition of fragility through his depiction of the particular--the facial expressions, body language, and ethereal spaces occupied by his figures. In a piece entitled, Arm, 2004, the addition of a plastic prosthetic arm creates further tension between natural flesh and manufactured limb.

Rankaitis's intricately layered montages begin with up to 100 exposed negatives on light sensitive photographic paper. Her creative, alchemical processes include drawing, painting, photography, and collage, as well as bleaching, tinting, and staining. The artist's engagement with "shifting questions from information systems" result in complex works that combine imagery drawn from a wide range of sources. These include landscapes, technology, and diagrams and symbols describing scientific principles. Among Rankaitis's work in the current show is a study for a project exploring different forms of vulnerability in the brain, and her sculpture, Rocket Lure, 1990.

Both Rankaitis and Liashkov have taught art for many years. Rankaitis holds the endowed Fletcher Jones Chair in Art at Scripps College in Claremont; Liashkov has instructed students at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for more than 25 years. This show marks the first time these artists have exhibited together since 1985, when they participated in a three-artist show at the University of Southern California's Fisher Gallery.


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