|March 8 - April 12, 2003|
|Saturday, March 8, 2003, 5 - 7 pm|
|Ron Pippin New Work||Olga Seem Botanical Observations|
|Click here to read the ArtScene review|
Animals have long assumed a privileged place in the realm inhabited by Los Angeles artist Ron Pippin. In a solo exhibition of new work at frumkin/duval gallery opening March 8th they take center stage. Pippin's work has always been a very personal interpretation of archetype and myth. His early flying contraptions were metaphors for introspective travel that over time developed figurative elements incorporating both animal and human forms. The newest works in this exhibition abandon the human figure altogether in favor of an exploration and celebration of the animal form itself. Pippin attributes the change in his work to the "precarious position that animals hold in the world" and to the prospect of turning sixty this year. Although the animal figures are pared down and largely unadorned, they continue to inhabit a dream-like space where things are not always what they seem and an animalÕs underlying skeletal architecture might be represented with sleek copper tubes mounted along its exterior or horns have metamorphosed into elaborate metal contraptions. Traces of PippinÕs earlier need to provide protection still remain. For example, a group of small animal forms are meticulously covered in strips of leather held in place by small nails driven in at regular intervals that mimic the underlying musculature. Psychologists like Jung have written about the importance of archetypal animal imagery in the human psyche. Certainly PippinÕs preoccupation with them, present even in his first sculptures, speaks to that deep-seated need for connection and transformation. Pippin has exhibited with the gallery since 1990.
|Olga Seem is also preoccupied with nature, but her observations are rooted in her garden. The paintings, mostly egg tempera and acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, are meditations on the amazing breadth of shape, form and color in nature. These are not landscapes, but microcosms. Seem holds up every leaf, bud, pistil and stamen for close examination. She probes, plucks, separates and splays their most secret crevices, prodding and prying until their seeds fairly burst across the surfaces of her paintings. Hardly a flower is entirely intact, but all appear stubbornly and convincingly alive. As she has done previously, Seem often divides the painting into segments, a method that permits her to show the entire plant as well as the particular parts of its anatomy that intrigue her. In 2002 Olga Seem was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant which will provide financial assistance as she prepares for her exhibition as Fresno MuseumÕs Distinguished Artist in 2004. Seem lives and works in Los Angeles where she has been a teacher and painter for many decades. This is her 5th solo exhibition with frumkin/duval gallery where she has shown since 1996.|