Current Exhibitions


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Kelly Berg
Emergence


Images | Biography

Ayin Es
This Land


Images | Biography

Debbie McAfee
Desert Sanctum


Images | Biography


September 10 - October 22, 2022

Reception: September 10, 2022 4-6PM

Artist Talk: October 1, 2022, 11am

 

Kelly Berg

Emergence, the title of Kelly Berg’s new exhibition, is defined as “the process of coming into being.” Pyramids and geometric overlays within her compositions become a framework in which to view and contemplate the volcanic landscapes, rock formations and dramatic natural phenomena. The pyramids suggest timelessness and spirituality, acting as a connective point between humans and nature as well as geology and archeology. Jagged is the nature of Berg’s natural forms, suggesting we are on the razor’s edge between beauty and destruction.

In the spring of 2021, Berg was invited as an artist-in-residence at Boxo Projects in Joshua Tree, California and spent five weeks creating work informed by her direct observations. Her work included designing and creating mirrored and reflective pyramid sculptures that she hand-carried on hikes and to various locations in the landscape, placing them on rocks and inside caves and documenting this in photographs. These daily experiences and observations fed her studio practice at the residency and resulted in a series of paintings and photographs that would continue to inform her work over the course of the next year. Of long-time interest to Berg has been the creation of a new temporary “leave no trace” form of land art which, rather than impacting or permanently altering the land, would be a momentary interaction and collaboration between art and nature.

After her profound experiences in Joshua Tree, Berg was inspired to travel to multiple geologic locations over the course of the following year including Mono Lake (CA), Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA), and her 5th visit to Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii to see the 2021 eruption and return of the lava lake to Haleu’ma’u’ma Crater. Berg also reflected upon her 2019 artist residency with Art 1307 Cultural Institution in Naples, Italy where she spent time observing and then hiking up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius Volcano. Like her triangular and geometric compositions, Berg is connecting points from her own lifelong journey of following her passion for geology, archeology, and volcanoes to various sites around the world.

 

Ayin Es

This Land is Ayin Es’ survey of the high desert of Southern California and what it means to possess, own, or hold land in the Mojave.

Es employs a sense of play in an attempt to change the conventional perspective of property ownership by removing the limitations of how we formalize these ideas.

By addressing the meaning of place and belonging, Es is asking, what does it mean to occupy the desert, and whose land is it anyway? They suggest that we instead hold the land in the limitlessness of our imagination where we can build upon its curiousness and visual possibilities. By looking into this otherworldly terrain, maybe we can find room to “possess” freedom rather than dominate or control the land. As Es states, “Isn’t it this point of view that attracts folks to come to the high desert in the first place?” and concludes that, “Since we are all stewards of the land, we should all be accountable for its wellbeing. Monetarily retaining ownership seems almost as absurd and abstract as possessing an acre of the galaxy.”

Now a permanent resident of Joshua Tree, California, Es is known for storytelling artwork and Artist’s books—collected by institutions, such as the Getty, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. They have also won a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship.


Debbie McAfee

Using the tactility of fabric to mimic the natural environment, Debbie McAfee employs textiles to "paint" landscapes. She scans the horizon through embroidery, color, and cloth bringing physicality back into a two-dimensional plane.

In her first exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, entitled Desert Sanctum, McAfee captures moments of stillness and quiet in and around Joshua Tree. A longtime resident of the high desert, her daily walks of the area give her an intimate understanding of the surrounding terrain. Documenting vegetation and rock formations, her photography acts as an archive to inform her textile collages. Once a photograph is selected, she slices the image into squares and then re-presents those fragments with collaged and sewn fabric, creating grid patterns of the desert. She prunes trees and rocks into geometric shapes, adorned with stitching that might resemble topography. Each square of her quilt-like construction is assembled with playful, organic, forms.

McAfee was born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Los Angeles, she holds a BFA in film and photography from California College of the Arts. McAfee is a member of the Los Angeles Art Association and has exhibited at Gallery 825, USC Fisher Museum of Art, and other California institutions.