QUALIFIED BY LIGHT New Work by Theodora Allen, Michael Dopp, Kathleen Ryan and Justin Swinburne
September 21 - October 21, 2012
Actual Size is pleased to present Qualified by Light, a group exhibition featuring new work by Theodora Allen, Michael Dopp, Kathleen Ryan and Justin Swinburne. The exhibiting artists employ sculpture, painting and photography to analyze symbolic qualities of light. The works are linked by a temporal luminosity. Like objects in a darkened room, the works’ surfaces slowly reveal their subjects to the viewer.
Theodora Allen's figural paintings suggest a coalescence between separate bohemian cultural movements that took place in California. “Five of Cups” (2012) depicts Judee Sill, an obscure folk singer who made her way to the Laurel Canyon music scene towards its decline in the 1970's. The scrubbed surface of “Abracadabra” (2012) depicts a faint image of an early 20th century lamp designed by Elizabeth Burton, of the California Arts and Crafts movement. Allen selectively renders her subjects in a limited palette of greys and blues. The penumbral scenes require the viewer to assemble meaning from clues masked in shadow.
Michael Dopp exposes raw canvas to a sequence of washes and dyes, leaving traces of this process visible upon the surface of the canvas. These abstract works highlight painting as a time-based medium, drawing connections to “visual music” films from the 1930’s. The geometric shapes float on the canvas, like dynamic photograms, achieving a pulsating luminosity.
Kathleen Ryan’s “Sculpture of a Pattern” (2012) is a free-standing drawing that seems to defy gravity. The large ceramic screen makes abstract references to ordinary objects and classical shapes, from chain link fences to harlequin diamonds. The structure’s large scale and mottled texture counters its lightweight form and opalescent glaze. Shadows cast from the semi-transparent sculpture seem to occupy the space between gravity and ethereality.
Justin Swinburne’s photograph, “Screen” (2010), captures the reflection of light upon a computer touch screen. Finger marks leave traces of use and animate the composition. The aluminum surface on which the photograph is printed endows the image of a darkened screen with lustrous magnetism. The photographed fingerprints are disturbingly permanent, recalling the irreducibility of one’s digital record.
Theodora Allen (b. 1985 Los Angeles, CA) is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (2014). She received her BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA ( 2009). In the summer of 2011 she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME. Selected solo and group exhibitions include Brand New Heartache, Michael Jon Gallery, Miami, FL; I Know This But You Feel Different, Marc Jancou Contemporary, New York, NY; and Ultrasonic VI, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Michael Dopp (b. 1978 Bloomington, IN) holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2009) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). Selected solo and group exhibitions include Dilate, Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; The Road Ahead, Roberts and Tilton, Los Angeles, CA; and Mind Games, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, CA.
Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984 Los Angeles, CA) is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (2014). She received a BA in Studio Art and Anthropology from Pitzer College, Claremont, CA (2006). Selected solo and group exhibitions include My head is falling out so I'm standing on my stomach, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA,; HAKKA, the Notary Public, New York, NY; and Tasteful Improvements, Workspace, Los Angeles, CA.
Justin Swinburne (b. 1985 Los Angeles, CA) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008) and recently attended the Mountain School of Art, Los Angeles, CA (January - March 2012). Selected exhibitions include Evidence of Houdini's Return, AMOA-Arthouse, Austin, TX, Untitled Document, Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago, IL; Adult Contemporary - Dirty Black Summer, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Berlin, Germany; and You Should Have Been Here an Hour Ago, Kunstverein NY, New York, NY.