Angie Bray, Looking Out going fast, 2010
Angie Bray: Shhhh
January 17 – March 22, 2015
Opening Reception: January 24, 4-6pm
A solo exhibition of photographs, drawings, sculpture, and video of Los Angeles-based artist Angie Bray. Focusing on quieting the mind and the eye in order to observe and explore the subtleties of ourselves, Bray creates aesthetic situations for the individual to discover how one sees, perceives and reacts to what is presented. Shhhh offers an illuminating overview of Angie Bray’s work with the presentation of four major installations and a series of autonomous works from the last 30 years. A catalog is forthcoming with essays by curator Meg Linton, art historian Betty Ann Brown, and artist Suvan Geer.
Angie Bray is something of a Renaissance woman with a wide range of artistic abilities and interests encouraged and enriched by her upbringing and her liberal arts education. She spent her childhood in the countryside outside Philadelphia where she attended a girls’ school that emphasized music, drama, and art in addition to academics. She studied at La Sorbonne in Paris and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, followed by a Masters in Education from Harvard University in Massachusetts. In the exhibition catalog glimpses(s) published in 2000 by the Fresno Art Museum, Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein wrote that Bray “. . . comes to art from a much larger world, from a lifetime of reading, philosophy, teaching, [and] developing educational theory.” Bray has continually exhibited her artwork since 1977 by participating in shows at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Laguna Art Museum, and the Woman’s Building to name only a few. She is known for her ethereal installations and autonomous objects as well as her dramatic work with the Rachel Rosenthal Company in the 1990s.
Bray is passionate about art and education and the two often go hand in hand. She has taught, developed curricula and lectured in various schools and colleges in Massachusetts, New Jersey and California. She founded and co-directed the TYNA SCHOOL in Laguna Beach and created a dynamic curriculum for elementary age children. She is committed to facilitating the process of self-discovery for others by provoking reactions from people with her work. As critic Cathy Curtis wrote in a Los Angeles Times Art Review from 1988 about Bray’s “Night Lies,” installation at BC Space, “Bray has tinkered carefully with the stage machinery of her deceptively simple piece and then tactfully has withdrawn to let the viewer’s musings wander freely.”
James Aldridge, The Gathering, 2010
Dusk to Dusk: Unsettled, Unraveled, Unreal
Apr 11 - July 26, 2015
Dusk to Dusk is a sublimely curated exhibition that acknowledges the "unsettled, unraveled, unreal" in contemporary experience. Drawn from a single private European collection, Dusk to Dusk presents thirty-two powerful and haunting works by renowned contemporary artists who examine issues of individual isolation, political repression, and collective ennui in the decline of the industrial age. Curated by Richard Rinehart, Director, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, the exhibition features the work of Louise Bourgeois, Gilbert & George, Richard Long, Edward Burtynsky, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Erwin Wurm, Erwin Olaf, James Aldridge, Salvador Dali, Tony Cragg, Marcel Dzama, Matthew Day Jackson, and Ruud van Empel among others. Toured by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions.
Ralph Bacerra, Untitled Bowl, 2007
Exquisite Beauty: The Ceramics of Ralph Bacerra
September 26 – December 6, 2015
Exquisite Beauty is the first major exhibition and publication to survey and document the beautiful ceramic vessels and sculptures created by Ralph Bacerra. For more than fifty years, artist and ceramist Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008) consistently challenged and expanded upon ceramic traditions by appropriating cross-cultural influences and employing innovative techniques in his studio practices. Most notably, Bacerra’s contribution to the field was the development and contemporizing of the ancient skill of applying over-glaze enamels to achieve depth and richness of color and pattern. His virtuosic works demonstrate his mastery of materials, consummate craftsmanship, and his innate understanding of the holistic unity of form and surface design. By combining elaborate shapes with intricate, lavish surface decoration, Bacerra became the undisputed master of the ornamental, earning the distinction, conferred by ceramic historian Garth Clark as the “most extraordinary decorative potter of the last fifty years.”
Exquisite Beauty will include more than sixty of the greatest works of Ralph Bacerra’s long career, showcasing dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been highlighted in a major exhibition. These masterworks, along with a fully illustrated catalog, will bring into sharp focus the extraordinary creative vision of one of the key ceramic artists of our time whose oeuvre is deserving of wider recognition and appreciation.
In addition to achieving artistic excellence in the studio, Bacerra was a passionate and effective teacher in the classroom. Bacerra was head of the ceramics department at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1963 to 1972 when the institute closed. He continued his teaching profession in Los Angeles at Otis School of Art (now Otis College of Art and Design) from 1983 through 1998. During that memorable year of 1998, Bacerra was granted the Outstanding Achievement award from the National Council on the Education of Ceramic Art and was appointed a fellow of the American Crafts Council in recognition of his exemplary body of work and his exceptional teaching career. Many of Bacerra’s former Chouinard and Otis students have risen to prominence and have become accomplished artists in the field, all benefiting from Bacerra’s technical virtuosity and keen design sensibility, and the appreciation of materials and skills that he passed on.
Curator: Jo Lauria, Independent Decorative Arts Curator and Scholar. Exhibition Designer: Michael Patrick Porter. Sponsors to date: Friends of Contemporary Ceramics, Lois Boardman Family Foundation, Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Sue Wilson Keanne, and Lin Werner.
This project is supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance
A traveling exhibition is being planned. If you are interested in hosting Exquisite Beauty between 2016-2018, please contact the gallery for a prospectus.
Ensure the artistic legacy of Ralph Bacerra. Make your gift now to support the exhibition Exquisite Beauty: The Ceramics of Ralph Bacerra, September 26 - December 6, 2015 at the Ben Maltz Gallery.