STEPHEN ALDRICH - I've Been Framed, collage, dragons, creatures, figurative, landscape

James Griffith
Terrestrial and Celestial
Images | Biography

Stephen Aldrich
Images | Biography

Lavaughan Jenkins
Images | Biography



October 19 - November 30, 2019

Reception: Saturday, October 19, 5-7PM
Artist Talk with James Griffith: Saturday, November 16, 11AM

James Griffith paints individual animals with a remarkable amount of detail and specificity, imbuing each one with a unique identity. Using tar from the La Brea Tar Pits, a fossil product of geological time, he questions where these animals currently are within the cycles of evolution and extinction. In addition to engraving meticulous images into the tar, Griffith allows the goo itself to puddle and pool on the surface, “producing unexpected textural events, and echoing geological processes that affect evolution.” At times, these irregular abstractions flow over and around the animals like a landscape, and at times they enter the bodies of the animals themselves, influencing them to the point where it is unclear if Griffith’s star-like pinpoints are part of a sky or abdomen. “If my work inspires empathy for other species, I feel it will have accomplished the first step in expressing Darwin’s profound vision: that life on this planet is one fluid entity and that it has changed its forms and its methods of survival countless times.” This exhibition, entitled Terrestrial and Celestial, includes Griffith’s animal imagery as well as his fiery, fluid, and dynamic depictions of the Earth and Sun.

Concurrently, the gallery will present, Transfigurations, an exhibition of recent collages by Stephen Aldrich. A pivotal moment in Aldrich’s career occurred in 1968, when he met the influential photographer, Frederick Sommer. A musician and art student at Prescott College in Arizona, Aldrich was soon enlisted by Sommer to interpret his innovative, abstract musical scores, thus beginning a long mentoring and collaborating relationship. In the last decade of Sommer’s life, Aldrich worked with him on an extraordinary group of collages, while at the same time, developing his own unique approach to the medium. Working with fine 19th century engravings from books and journals as his source material, Aldrich cuts imagery with mind-boggling precision and complexity. There is an obsessive quality to the work in its overlappings, rhythms, repetitions, and patterns that may, in part, be attributed to his background in music.

Finally, the gallery is pleased to present Lavaughan Jenkins’ first solo exhibition on the West Coast. Born in Boston in 1976, Jenkins never considered the possibility of becoming an artist until he took a drawing class at Roxbury Community College. His teacher, Francisco Mendez-Diez, encouraged him to pursue the arts, which he did, graduating from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Jenkins has become recognized for his sculptures of Black men and women, created with layers of thick, juicy oil paint over armatures of wire, modeling paste, and Styrofoam. He refers to his work as “three-dimensional painting”, citing the visceral energy of Goya and Guston as inspiration. This exhibition will feature Jenkins’ male figures, vaguely resembling the artist himself, who are standing or kneeling. These pieces suggest a gamut of emotional and psychological states: determination, humility, worship, shame, resignation, and bravery.