Another Show, Another Closing

Lark aka Larisa Pilinsky has done it again. With her magic wand, and the help of an amazing team of friends and supporters, she threw a vibrant reception Saturday afternoon to celebrate Fourth Dimension, her two-woman show with striking newcomer Jeni Bev (Biktimirova) from Samara at Sulkin/Secant Gallery in Santa Monica (Bergamot Station T-6) which ran through February 16, 2013.

     The well-attended event combined art with live music by a cool jazz foursome (scheduled to play at the Grammys on Sunday) and later, with live poetry readings. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon. The music was good, the art was, too. The Gallery offers a number of comfortable seating spaces that make it possible to watch large works for the time many of them need to take before they begin to come to life.

     It took 15 minutes for Bev’s “The Wall of Notes” to come to lumbering life, but after that, it was a riotous show. This was her largest, most striking work at the show, a three-dimensional construction type of thing 8 feet wide that as an entity has movement and life and that as a collection of objects and eyes and alien things has not only individual life but pulses of its own.

"The Wall of Notes" by Jeni Bev.

“The Wall of Notes” by Jeni Bev.

     Jeni is inventive in her use of materials: One of the work’s most striking characteristics were four large circles that looked at first like abalone shell but instead, as the afternoon light shifted through clerestory windows the material turned out to be something in the aluminum foil family (the artist told me it was a “top secret”). If you were to score it as a musical composition, your instrument of choice would be a calliope.

     I also spent some time with artist Bev’s “Apricot Jam” –  a smaller, less ambitious work in whirling dark oranges tinged and streaked and outlined in strokes of black. After its initially splashy impact, it revealed great layers of mischief and endearing smiles.

"Apricot Jam" (side angle) by Bev Jeni.

“Apricot Jam” (side angle) by Bev Jeni.

    The art was hung in a strikingly linear narrative along the walls and through the various rooms and spaces. In addition to making the first pass through an exhilarating experience, it revealed a consistent use in almost each work by both artists of circular and spherical balls of energy, large, small, half imagined, some powerful, some decayed. It was like there was a running energy through all the work. It felt very Russian to me in the sense of the artists giving themselves totally to their work. There is no doubt that the art these women produce is who they are.

     For her own contribution to the Fourth Dimension (where, I can attest, she spends much of her time) Lark selected works that showed off her range, her lyrical grace and humor, and her recent return to assemblage. In a 5 foot-wide painting/assemblage called “Green Moon Morning” –  Lark powerfully combines fragmented, high-resolution images of the Las Vegas desert (originally produced by famous Californian photographer Yves Bodson) with her own big- and small-scale paintings and found object collages. 

"Love Under Moon" by Lark.

“Love Under Moon” by Lark.

     Artist Pilinsky also exhibited a grouping of her deceptively explicit, lovemaking action figures, created from shoe laces, from her series “Love in the Garden”. Displayed just where the music was the most intoxicating, it was not surprising how many people stopped and cocked their heads just a bit, as if to trying to figure out in what kind of festivities the figures were engaged.

     A key role in the afternoon’s success was played by the Sulkin/Secant Gallery itself. Its interior is designed to be a very human, easily habitable place where work and play and study can simultaneously take place, demonstrating that art can become more connected to the rhythms of everyday living not only in the artist’s studio but in commonly-shared working and living environments as well.

Laurence Vittes believes it’s time to take over the classical music industry. He writes for HuffPost Arts, Culture & Travel, Gramophone, Strings, Audiophile Audition, the Southern California Early Music Society, and Seen and Heard International. He co-hosts Alexey Steele’s Classical Underground classical music rave concerts in an industrial park 20 miles south of Disney Hall. He offers “How to Write About Classical Music Without Becoming a Critic” workshops for students, music lovers, performers, kids, educators, politicians, fund-raisers and organizational morale boosters. 

Published by on February 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Galleries, California, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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