practice, Practice, practice: Abstract Spirituality in Los Angeles Painting, Sculpture and Performance
Curated by Doug Harvey
Dina Abdulkarim, Ryan Callis, Linda Day, June Edmonds, David McDonald, Rebecca Niederlander, Khang Bao Nguyen, Kenneth Ober, Mary Anna Pomonis, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, & Dani Tull.
March 13 - April 17 2016
Nan Rae Gallery at Woodbury University
7500 N Glenoaks Blvd Burbank, California
Opening reception: Sunday March 13, 3 - 5 pm
Gallery Hours: Weds 12- 8 pm, Thurs - Sun 12 -5 pm
8 - 9:30 PM
April 6th, 2016
What is art for? For most of its history, art was closely linked to liturgical functions by granting access to spiritual states of consciousness through formal stimulation, symbolic communication, and pictorial representations of mythological narratives. At the dawn of the era of Modernism, many artists sought ways to disengage their practice from depictions of external reality, turning their visual vocabularies inward, to depict spiritual truths primarily through the formalist languages of shape and color.
These works - later reinterpreted as mere stepping stones toward pure formal abstraction - actually functioned as records of spiritual experience (usually integrated in the artmaking process itself) as well as technologies to trigger contemplative states of awareness in the viewer. While some artists sought to transfer the spiritual charge of artmaking to a new, autonomous Church of Art, others linked their work to existing religious systems, as well as the Eastern traditions that were beginning to filter into Western consciousness.
The Los Angeles-based artists in Practice, practice, practice pursue this latter strategy today, producing their non-figurative, non-objective work in consort with a non-studio spiritual disciipline, mostly rooted in ancient religious and philosophical traditions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Amazonian Shamanism, and the cult of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. At a point when the master narratives of contemporary art have become hopelessly garbled and timid, these artists dare to reassert the original and primary function of art making, resulting in profound meaningfulness and dazzling beauty.
More essays, images, interview videos, and links online at http://abstractspiritual.blogspot.com/