By Michael Aushenker
With the holiday lull behind us, it’s back to business for the Westside art scene, with several prominent galleries breaking out the brie and pinot noir to celebrate openings this weekend.
At the William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, “Shape, Shift” — a group show featuring Dawn Arrowsmith, Michael Braden, Chris Trueman and Peter Lodato — opens Saturday.
Both Braden and Lodato are Venice-based abstract artists.
Lodato, who for an earlier exhibit drew inspiration from Goya, El Greco and other Spanish artists, continues to explore how light and space resonate with viewers in his new paintings.
Braden, who moved from Seattle to Venice 11 years ago, said he will contribute four works to the exhibit. If there is an obsession with “line, point and volume” in Braden’s work, it may be because he studied physics and architecture before becoming a professional artist.
“There are no straight lines in the environment,” he said. In his paintings, “everything’s done by hand. There are no straight edges, using colors and tensions of line to create a tension in the viewer that is uncomfortable.”
Taking his cues from Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series as well as Gerhard Richter and Willem DeKooning, Braden has delved into an abstract expressionism concerned with “turning the line into a plane geometrically” and draws inspiration from “Prospects and Refuge,” a 1976 treatise by Oxford social geographer J. Appleton.
“It’s the notion of understanding aesthetics and what makes people comfortable … that boundary between security and the hunt; our deep instinctual need to seek out places to find food,” he said.
The exhibit runs through Feb. 15. An opening reception takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Also at Bergamot Station on Saturday, Lora Schlesinger Gallery opens two exhibits.
“Hamon” is a collection of abstract works by Brooklyn-based artist Maya Ando, a Yale graduate who used aluminum to create cloud-like patterns. Ando talks about her works at 4 p.m. Saturday at the gallery, followed by an opening reception.
“The Myth of Balance” features a series of colorful new works created with aluminum, mylar, silk and epoxy resin by Tucson, Ariz., artist Carrie Seid, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Seid talks about her work at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Both exhibits run through Feb. 15.
In Venice on Saturday, both the Shulamit Gallery and C.A.V.E Gallery debut new exhibits.
Hot on the heels of its fall show with artist/cartoonist Gary Baseman, Shulamit Gallery opens its year with “Zol Zayn” (Yiddish for “what if”), which includes four site-specific video installations by Los Angeles-based artist Jonas N. T. Becker. Becker, who teaches photography at Scripps College and the Art Institute of California, explores in her work “the imaginary space between what can be seen and what we suspect, hope, or believe is real,” according to the gallery’s website. The exhibit has an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and continues through March 4.
C.A.V.E gallery, meanwhile, is showing new artwork by Brazilian street artist L7m, known for his vivid spray-painted images of birds on Sao Paulo city walls, and Orange County artist Gustavo Rimada, who has drawn creative inspiration from Dia de los Muertos imagery, the works of Frida Kahlo and the glamour of Hollywood actresses of the 1920s and ‘30s.
For his new show “Anatomy,” Rimada has created a series of 25 works using acrylic on canvas and wood to explore anatomical images, including hearts.
“I’ve been doing the hearts on a lot of stuff lately,” Rimada said. “A lot of the themes are related to my religion, the military [in which he served]. It represents me.”
After opening receptions on Saturday, both shows continue through Feb. 2.
C.A.V.E. Gallery, 1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 450-6960; cavegallery.net
Lora Schlesinger Gallery (at Bergamot Station), 2525 Michigan Ave., T-3, Santa Monica. (310) 828-1133; loraschlesinger.com
Shulamit Gallery, 17 N. Venice Blvd., Venice. (310) 281-0961; shulamitgallery.com
William Turner Gallery (at Bergamot Station), 2525 Michigan Ave., E-1, Santa Monica. (310) 453-0909; williamturnergallery.com