A textured landscape by Curtis Hoekzema

A textured landscape by Curtis Hoekzema

Santa Monica’s First Independent Gallery (FIG) is celebrating the work of 14 seasoned Westside artists in its annual Summer Exhibition, continuing through Aug. 30 at Bergamot Station.

Look for the comic book-graphic sensibilities of Venice artist Curtis Hoekzema’s landscapes, the way sunshine hits the crevices and interstices between buildings in the Southern California geometry of Arleen G. Hendler’s oils, and the quasi-representational investigation of figurative imagery on Elliot Elgart’s canvases.

Ocean Park resident Otella Wruck describes her entries “Thicket” and “Paisley” as blending passages of black-and-white calligraphic ink drawings with patterned color fabric and gestural marks.

“‘Thicket’ is a look into a space that feels unknown and also familiar, creating both challenge and comfort,” she said.

Meanwhile, John de Heras offers cryptic mixed-media abstracts that stem from trips through Central America, Southeast Asia and India as well as “from our sprawling, heterogeneous and ethnically varied city of Los Angeles,” the lifelong Angelino said.

Traveling has allowed de Heras to collect objects to incorporate into his work, including Mexican tablecloths and packaging materials, as circles and squares represent Buddhist and Hindu concepts of contemplation.

“Although my work has symbolic references,” de Heras said, “my main concern as a visual
artist is maintaining the formal integrity of purely abstract relationships of geometric shapes that combine to emphasize the literal, flat picture plane as well as to suggest the illusion of a
three-dimensional space.”

Like a short-fiction anthology or a friend’s mix tape, some individual artists may resonate more than others, but it’s that collision of styles and
objectives that makes Summer Exhibition’s
viewing experience eclectic and interesting.

FIG Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at Bergamot Station, G6, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.  Call (310) 829-0345 or visit figgallery.com.

— Michael Aushenker