May 28, 2018
Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt
Claremont Museum of Art, 05/28/2018

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Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt
Claremont Museum of Art, 05/28/2018

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt
July 13 – September 16, 2018

The Claremont Museum of Art presents Intersecting at the Edge, an exhibition that juxtaposes recent works by Los Angeles artists Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt with paintings and sculptures by seminal Claremont artist, Karl Benjamin. Using bold colors and clean edges each artist expresses a distinct sensibility that may allude to the refinement of architectural structure, the mesmerizing dazzle of echoing shapes, or the vastness of atmospheric luminosity. The exhibition is curated by Los Angeles-based artist Dion Johnson and sponsored by Louis Stern Fine Arts.

Intersecting at the Edge: Karl Benjamin, Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt will be on view July 13 through September 16, 2018 at the Claremont Museum of Art, located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

In 1959 Karl Benjamin was featured in the groundbreaking exhibition Four Abstract Classicists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art critic Jules Langsner, who wrote for the catalogue, is credited with coining the term “Hard-edge” painting. While New York based abstract painters were making expressive canvases with gestural brushstrokes, stains or drips, California artists like Benjamin were synthesizing geometry and color by painting sharp edges, smooth surfaces and solid hues.

Like the California hard-edge painters, contemporary works by Heather Gwen Martin and Eric Zammitt embrace lyrical forms and chromatic sensations. The spatial explorations in Martin’s oil on linen paintings employ vivid colors and crisp graphic elements to produce lively activity and unexpected situations. Comprised of precisely assembled bands of colored plexiglas, Zammitt’s pristine surfaces shimmer and glow.

About the Artists
A dazzling practitioner of hard-edge painting, Karl Benjamin fills each canvas with meticulously orchestrated color. His intuitive sensitivity to the peculiar union of form and color produces works that defy reason and return the viewer to the purely sensual delight of seeing.

Karl Benjamin (1925 – 2012)
Born in Chicago, Benjamin graduated in 1949 from Southern California’s University of Redlands with a B.A. degree in English literature, history and philosophy. He began his career as a teacher with no intention of becoming an artist. However, his relocation to Claremont, California in 1952, shortly after he began “playing” with paint in 1951, galvanized his sense of his career path. Benjamin was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Visual Arts in both 1983 and 1989. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions and is included in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Israel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, among others. Louis Stern Fine Arts is the exclusive representative of the estate of Karl Benjamin.

Dancing is too polite a term to describe the kinetic energy in Heather Gwen Martin’s oil paintings; it’s more like choreographed turbulence where weightless color formations blossom and flutter in crosswind currents. Her use of dramatic scale shifts amplifies the chromatic choreography and also allows for quiet moments where smaller slender shapes gently tip-toe around the vast swells of flowing space.

Born in 1977 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Martin studied at the University of California, San Diego and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been seen in museum and gallery exhibitions as far afield as Italy, New York, Detroit and Houston. Her work will also be featured in the forthcoming exhibition Chaos and Awe Painting for the 21st Century at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, and traveling to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA. Martin lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by L.A. Louver.

Eric Zammitt’s carefully placed color juxtapositions often produce curvilinear waveform compositions that appear to be the visual equivalent of a tremolo sound with progressively changing notes and volume. His work feels both natural with its radiant glow and digital with its planned structure. His sculptural pieces are towering stacks of horizontal color that fit perfectly together like a cross-section of an architectural prism.

Born in 1960 in Los Angeles, California, Zammitt creates paintings and sculptures in the medium of colored plexiglas. His intricately composed and assembled paintings and sculptures are often associated with light, music, mosaics, energy fields, and concepts of quantum theory. He has shown in the U.S. and internationally, and his work is part of many private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, California, and the Gerald E. Buck Collection.

More Information About the Artists Karl Benjamin on Color Theory video – http://claremontmuseum.org/wordpress_1181796124/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/KB_colorTheory_Quick_high.mp4

Heather Gwen Martin video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFtORDXQPXc

Eric Zammitt video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25684zuxWNY

About the Exhibition
Curated by Dion Johnson, Intersecting at the Edge reveals the rich interplay between chromatic space and pictorial motion that unites these artists’ works. In Benjamin’s Black and Gray Curves with Purple (1960), a breeze seems to gently animate planes of color; similarly, the shapes and hues in Martin’s Cue (2017) appear airborne like sails and streamers. Benjamin’s #1 (1992) feels like a party where curvy shapes dance to color rather than music, and in Zammitt’s Grey Spectral Nocturne II (2014), the party confetti rhythmically forms colorful trajectories.

About the Museum
The Claremont Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street in Claremont just steps away from the Metrolink Station. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 and free for CMA members and children under 18. The museum is also open from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month for the Art Walk.The first Sunday of the every month is Free Family Day with free admission and ARTStation, a place for children to experience art and engage with local culture. High school students in CMA’s Project ARTstART lead visitors in an art activity related to the current exhibition. ARTStation is generously sponsored by Wheeler Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty and Broadview Mortgage.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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