Peter Sims is a critically acclaimed and celebrated artist known for his minimal, abstract paintings. His works embody a passion for color and a clean eye for design, and he combines these elements in simple juxtapositions creating striking minimalist canvases.
These abstract works are the result of a spontaneity of process. According to Sims: “My approach to painting is direct. No sketches, no ideas. I go into the studio with the feeling that anything can happen. A new painting usually starts with the paint left over from the last. I work on several paintings at once. This is analogous with free improvisational music. The trick is knowing when to stop. This requires that you ‘listen’ and pay close attention. It is no exaggeration to say that your painting is looking at, and speaking to you, just as you are returning its gaze.” Spanning 40 years, his zen-like works were created first in London, then in New York, Cape Cod and California where he kept a studio in Los Angeles in addition to commuting to Ojai to be with his son, Jasper and his mother Artist Sooz Glazebrook. In Los Angeles, his work garnered attention and acclaim via the Los Angeles County Museum, Solway Jones Gallery and Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art. To quote Art Critic David Pagel via the Los Angeles Times in 2011: “Sims works slowly, smoothly slathering on various mixtures of homemade acrylics with wide palette knives, letting them dry and then tidily applying more – or jumping the gun and letting layers run together like partially controlled meltdowns. Texture and working-class physicality take potent form in Peter Sim’s new paintings. Too loopy and goofy to care about looking smart, these wonderful disheveled and sublimely flat-footed abstractions show that it’s possible to be smart about history without making art that looks like its stuck in the past. Both playful and labor-intensive, the 57 year-old’s panels look like they come from the future.” Gallery 525 will be hosting a show of his life works May 4 – 27, 2017 with an Opening Reception on Friday, May 12th from 5 - 8pm. Peter Sims Life in Painting will highlight paintings from his early works to his the most recent painting before his unexpected passing in 2015. www.petersimspainter.com
Portraits painted on salvaged metal road signs of birds and other beings impacted by human over population and mishandling of planet earth. + a sneak peek at Tweedle deedle EEK! Illustrations of song birds and their sound words
Using mixed materials on salvaged metal road and advertising signs as her grounds, Dianne Bennett paints iconic portraits of birds and other fauna as offerendas to the sacredness of all life on earth. Referencing archetypal imagery used in the religious art of many traditions, Dianne’s work venerates and illuminates the natural world while raising questions about what we hold sacred and what is disappearing before our very eyes.
Opening Reception Saturday, February 25, 2017, 5pm to 8pm
ASSEMBLAGE BROS at Gallery 525
What draws one to engage in combining random found objects together to create an assemblage art piece is a curious process. Certainly hanging on to Aunt Mabel’s cast-offs or perusing thrift stores and flea markets for character-infused treasures isn’t for everyone, but for artists Peter Fox and Dan Levin it’s an irresistible passion and a definitive artist’s path.
The ASSEMBLAGE BROS are Peter Fox and Dan Levin and how they ended up “assemblaging” and filling up their studios full of oddities are two different stories. There is an addictive thrill for both to come up with new meanings and associations by combining disparate and incongruous elements. Assemblage is an art form similar to the medium of collage, yet it employs three-dimensional elements. A form of art popular during the Surrrealist and Dada movments, assemblage sparks new connections and meanings in the mind by altering the content and associations of the original objects placed together.
Peter Fox graduated from Harvard with a concentration in Primate Anthropology. According to Mr. Fox, this led him to the jungles of Los Angeles acting in television and movies, producing and directing plays and writing screenplays.” With lots of free time on his hand between gigs, on locations, per diem, visiting junk stores, thrift shops, antique stores, he wound up with a large collection of weird objects. He started to look at these objects and to put them together into what he came to find out was called “assemblage”. This opened his eyes to see the possibility of art in everything.
To quote Mr. Fox:
“Look long and hard enough and the Muse will take over. Work long and hard enough and soon you will find yourself filling your garage, then building a shed out back to store this seemingly endless procession of found objects that found you. It’s child’s play…remember that?”
Friendly lunacy and logic do an odd kind of dance in the assemblage art of Dan Levin > Objects of Curiosity. In his approach to the medium this artist understands that logic, even of a twisted variety, can prevent the appearance of randomness in work that’s all about discarded objects. Despite wild-eyed humor and hints of chaos, Levin’s art has a surprising cohesiveness of design through a series of variations on a particular theme. While his art may startle and amuse the observer, there is a method of the artist’s careful devising. Levin was born in Los Angeles in 1962, raised near New York City and returned to California where he earned a degree in graphic design and fine art in 1984. For over 25 years, he has exhibited in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Australia and France with work in collections from New York City to New Zealand. Having spent four years living in Australia and Europe, the artist now resides in Santa Barbara, exploring nature and fabricating assemblages. According to Dan Levin:
Opening Reception Saturday, February 11 Open Microphone
ARTISTS' CALL FOR ENTRIES LOVE TRAIN
Deadline for Entries: January 31, 2017
OPEN JURIED EXHIBITION All Artworks 14 x 14 inches or smaller Theme is open to interpretation. 2-D works must be ready-to-hang All mediums. Everyone is welcome to exhibit up to 3 pieces. Entry fee is $20 for one piece ($30 for two and $35 for three) 90% of Sales to Artists Drop-off Dates: January 30 and 31, 2 to 5pm or by appointment. Contact Sooz 805 701 1156 or Sooz@Gallery525.com
Inspired by the upbeat soul single “Love Train” released by the O’Jays in 1972, Gallery 525 is gathering artists and their works for a Valentine’s Day group show in February. Encouraged to interpret the theme imaginatively, artists of all mediums are being asked to get on board in an Artists’ Call for Entries for small works of all media sized 14” by 14” or less. The deadline for submissions is January 31st. Further entrance information is posted on the www.gallery525.com website.
All are invited to the Opening Reception of this highly creative showing of small works on Saturday, February 11th, 5 to 8pm at Gallery 525 for art, music and open microphone.
Gallery 525 celebrates the holiday season and rings in the New Year with a stellar exhibit of fine prints. An opening reception on December 3rd launches the season with good cheer, libations and an array of beautiful, thought-provoking, museum-quality art. In the simplest of terms, printmaking is a process of transferring an image from one type of surface (stone, metal, wood) to another, most often, paper. The important thing to remember is that a fine print is not a copy or reproduction. It begins with an original image that is specifically created by an artist for the purpose of a limited edition. And, since most artists do not have their own printing equipment, the prints are often collaborations between the artist and a master printer. For hundreds of years, the fine print medium has had many passionate and loyal fans. Most museums, in fact, have entire departments devoted to print collections. However, many individuals confuse fine prints with their more commercial, mass-produced, counterparts like those produced by photo-offset lithography. Or, they find the technical terms that define specific types of prints to be esoteric and mystifying. Trying to understand a broad term like intaglio, for instance, which includes engravings, dry-point and mezzotint, can make one’s head spin. But for most collectors and curators, it is the symbol (the image, the lines drawn) that is alluring, while the syntax (the technical process of surface, texture, and light) appeals to those individuals for whom complex mechanical processes are intriguing. And yet one cannot exist without the other—both symbol and syntax are necessary components of the fine print. The exhibit, Symbol & Syntax—the art of the print at Gallery 525 is a rare opportunity to see works by an international group of artists who have made beautiful and intriguing contributions to the medium outside of an urban center. On view will be an engraving by William Blake from Illustrations of the Book of Job, a woodblock (ukiyo-e) by Toyohara Kunichika depicting actors in a Kabuki play, a lithograph portrait by the pre-Raphaelite artist, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, a monotype with chine collé and collage by contemporary Santa Barbara artist, Dug Uyesaka, and prints and broadsides by Ojai artist and master letterpress printer, Norman Clayton. Fine prints have a texture and quality that is not found in other mediums. And, because they are generally more affordable than paintings, prints are a great entry point for the beginning collector who can own an original work of art by an artist they admire with the understanding that its value will gradually increase in tandem with the market value of the artist’s other works. And, because prints are usually created in limited editions, the collector can also take pride in knowing that their print is in a museum collection. Some examples in this exhibit are the Blake engraving, which is in the British Museum’s collection (and many others); a color aquatint with drypoint, “Line, Essence, Color” by Enrique Chagoya, which is in the collection of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; etchings by Max Klinger and serigraphs (screen prints) by Sister Mary Corita Kent are in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s collection. Symbol & Syntax: the art of the print is not an historical overview, but it certainly provides an entry point. It is also an opportunity for savvy collectors to augment existing collections with new discoveries. And, since this is the season for giving, a gift of original art enhances the recipient’s quality of life in deeply soul-satisfying ways.
Sooz Glazebrook, Isabella Kocum and Myra Toth are the three artists in Three Lustrous Women, and not only do they create stunning ceramic art forms that range from traditional vases and bowls made on pottery wheels to hand-built sculptural forms, they all employ lustrous glaze surfaces on their artworks adding luminescense, play of light, color and rich, varied textures. Hailing from the three different continents of New Zealand, Europe and North America, the artists bring an exciting showing of lustred ceramic pieces with divergent perspectives to Gallery 525, Ojai.
Lustre or luster glazes refer to metallic and shining glazes on ceramics that are creating during the kiln firing process. Mineral elements interact with each other at high temperatures in the kiln to form opalescent and irrisdescent glazes. Lustre-glazed ceramics, originally only available to monarchs and nobles, historically traces back to the middle ages. To obtain this effect is no easy task. The glazes must be layered on the ceramic pieces in such a way that the different elements interact chemically at designated high temperatures. In hearing Artists Myra Toth and Sooz Glazebrook refer to the process, one appreciates the difficulty and rarity of firing a ceramic piece to emerge from a kiln with a specific opalescent surface in mind. There are many go-rounds in the kiln until a desired or “surprise” effect is achieved. The results are sheer magic, and the three women in Three Lustrous Women are all ceramic glaze alchemists in their own rights. In their studios you’ll find shelves of jars with colored minerals and raw material elements, along with coded notes and tests of how they achieved their coveted results. The road to obtaining their iridescent, shining surfaces is a long one, and it’s no wonder they wish to keep their glaze recipes secret.
Myra Toth discovered ceramics and sculpture at a young age and studied with Antonio Prieto, Robert Arneson and Ruth Duckworth, amongst others. She received her B.A. from Mills College and M.F.A. from San Francisco State University. She is as adept with use of the wheel as she is with her hand-built sculptural ceramics which are inspired by subtle natural forms. She became a master of lustre ceramic glazes decades ago, and taught art, ceramics and glaze-making at Ventura College and at longtime-friend Beatrice Wood’s studio in Ojai. Currently, she is offering lustre glaze workshops at her Pyramid Studio in Ojai. www.Pyramidstudio.com
Mary Galbraith on Myra Toth (from Focus on the Masters):
"Myra Toth is a bit of an alchemist, at home with hundreds of jars filled with chemicals that transform clay into objects of stunning beauty. ..... To say that Myra draws her inspirations from nature somewhat misses the point. Myra is able, in a most intimate way, to connect twigs, branches, ears of corn or a bird’s nest with clay, taking us with her on a spiritual journey."
It was at one of Myra Toth’s glaze-making workshops at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in 2009 that Sooz Glazebrook and Isabella Kocum met. They were both artists and ceramicists themselves but wanted to learn the art of applying and firing lustred surfaces to their works. A friendship was struck between them and Myra Toth and the three of them have been in touch and inspired by each other since.
Sooz Glazebrook grew up on a sheep farm in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand that according to Ms. Glazebrook provided an “endless variety of artistic inspiration.” She received her B.F.A. from Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University, New Zealand, moved to Ojai in the late 1990s, and has been creating ceramics, jewelry and bronzeworks since. Gardening, color and spiralic shapes inform her work as does the magic of kiln firing. www.soozglazebrook.com
According to Sooz, she enjoys
“the thrill of never exactly knowing what a ceramic glaze or lustre will be when opening the kiln."
London Artist Isabella Kocum studied Art and Gold-leaf Gilding in Bern, Switzerland and then spent many years as a Dancer in New York via the Alvin Ailey Dance troupe and in Paris where she received a scholarship for Dance from the Cite des Arts. She moved to London in 1990 where she returned to Art and Gold-leaf Gilding which led to frame restoration at the National Gallery where she works currently. In 2008, she took up ceramics and has been incorporating gold gilding and lustre firing into her pieces. Her works incorporate figurative elements and are inspired by Dance. www.IsabellaKocum.com
According to Isabella Kocum,
“When light hits a golden lustrous object, a spectrum of colours reflects as if it has a soul within itself.”