Monday, August 25, 2008

I've been on a big roadtrip up and down the West Coast for the past couple of weeks, so please excuse the quiet. Before I left, I was over in Santa Monica and went to Bergamot Station to see the two shows at Ruth Bachofner Gallery: Gina Han: New Work; and Four Abstract Painters.

Gina Han's work is in the larger front gallery: squishy rainbow bean shapes everywhere, like a Fantasy Land for Jelly Belly lovers. These shapes appeared on canvases large and small, in carefully chosen color combinations. However, I was most drawn to the large installation of the shapes; the work, titled Flight, takes up one whole corner of the space, with the shapes flowing over the floor and up onto the wall. They operate here without any more ground than the space itself, so I was really aware of the physical nature of the paint itself (shiny, slick, plastic). Maybe because I think about similar issues with my own installations, work that deals with that fuzzy intersection of painting and sculpture always gets my attention.

The small back gallery holds the group show Four Abstract Painters. Here I saw just a very few works by artists David Allan Peters, Sara McIntosh, Robert Kingston, and Tony Beauvy. The gallery has just enough space for one or two viewers to enter and turn in place to view the work. This means that I was forced to view these paintings up close and personal, to really examine their surfaces and think about how they were made. When I was there, I felt like I was in a tiny jewelbox of abstraction, beautiful colors and inventive paint handling surrounding me. A nice jolt on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

This is the last week for both shows -- they close Saturday, August 30.

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