We are used to thinking of representational art as having a straight-forward function: showing us an image of a recognizable object. But in Modern Art, the purpose of the “representational” image has become fluid. The Santa Monica Museum of Art has an exhibit running through January 11, 2014 that plays with the viewer’s expectations. “Mathew Zefeldt: Forms Forming Forms” presents what the artist calls “an immersive environment.”
Zefeldt’s work distorts our expectations by using objectively realized elements, such as paintings of a statue’s head, as elements in creating other images. We tend to focus on the aspect that “makes sense” to our eyes, the statue’s head. However the presentation of the pieces – large works hung on gallery walls that have been dressed with a “noisy” background as part of the installation – forces the viewer to step back and see to what use the recognizable object has been applied.
The artist’s intention in this particular exhibit was to draw the viewer physically into the experience, so you need to get to the museum this week to see the works as designed.
Seeing art in person will always give the viewer a more visceral experience of the work. There are plenty of museums and galleries in the greater Los Angeles area. They can be found in surprising places.
On Abbot Kinney in Venice, you can see the abstract works of Diana Hobson at the Tech Studio.
Diana Hobson’s fine art is vigorously abstract, and yet she conveys a sense of her title subject, particularly in this work, with its hints of bridge forms, green spots, the vague shape of the island of Manhattan beside the Hudson River. It isn’t representational, but image and title together “make sense.” Come visit the Studio any day to see more of her work.
“Consistency Consistency #2” by Mathew Zefeldt, copyright by Mathew Zefeldt, used under Fair Use Practices for information and instruction.
“That’s NY” by Diana Hobson, copyright by Diana Hobson, used by permission.