Frank Lloyd’s blog

Art, architecture and the people that I know.

Formal Themes

with 2 comments


Looking back through the gallery’s exhibition history, I am struck by how many shows have been organized around formal themes. Group shows including artists working with different materials have the potential to help viewers make connections between works that they might not have noticed otherwise. These kinds of shows can add context to individual artist’s works, and illustrate how related ideas have been explored by other artists.

Black and White, from 2007, was a group exhibition of paintings and ceramic sculpture. Working within a limited color palette, the artists emphasized composition and form. This led to the creation of bold, dramatic, and spare artworks that related strongly to each other.

Sensuality in the Abstract, also from 2007, included the work of three painters and three sculptors. Lacking a figurative focus, the paintings alluded to eroticism and sexuality through sumptuous color relationships and suggestive forms. The sculptors addressed sensuality in a similar manner, through rich surfaces and evocative shapes.

3 Abstract Painters, from 2011, focused on the planes and surfaces of geometric abstraction in the work of John McLaughlin, James Hayward, and Scot Heywood. Featuring the work of McLaughlin alongside two contemporary painters, the show demonstrated part of the evolution of abstract painting in Southern California.

Recently, the gallery presented Polyform (2013), a group show of four artists that placed contemporary ceramic sculpture alongside painting. This show illustrated the shared principles of sequencing, spatial and geometric relationships, and repetition. Consisting of multiple elements or engaging with the concept of multiplicity, the works heightened viewers’ awareness of the space they occupy.


2 Responses

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  1. I think your approach is extremely important for young artists whose academic training has made them wary of visual language in art,(though all of us swim through oceans of imagery every day).
    There is an enormous difference between the fast flood of advertising imagery;and the slow and focused attention paid to objects in a quiet room in conversation with each other.
    The quality of the latter experience is invigorating and necessary to being human.

    Cathy Zar

    January 18, 2014 at 9:00 pm

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comment, Cathy. Theoretical discussion may be prevalent in academic training, many generations away from the formal and visual ideas of programs based in Bauhaus teaching or Joseph Albers’ interaction of color. I also find the presentation to be key, and (as you mention) want the objects to be in conversation.

    Frank Lloyd

    January 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm

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