- Reporters Desk
By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer
Old friends Craig Antrim and Ron Linden are coming together to present Space and Substance, a contemporary and abstract exhibit at the University Art Museum in Cal State Dominguez Hills.
The two artists have distinctly divergent styles, creating a captivating pairing.
“I chose them because their work goes perfectly together,” said curator and gallery director Kathy Zimmer. “Craig’s work is very spiritual and Ron’s work is wiry and tough. Many of Ron’s paintings are delicate and fragile with an inner toughness.”
The contrast of the intellectualism in Linden’s work and the spiritualism in Antrim’s, melds the show.
Antrim is a graduate of Claremont Graduate University. His work is in the collection of the Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Cocoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. His two-dimensional pieces take on the appearance of a third dimension through his ability to layer and score his canvases. Much of his work speaks to a favorite subject of spirals, symbols and earth elements. His fascination with symbology runs throughout his work.
Antrim says he was influenced of psychiatrist Carl Jung and author Joseph Campbell. Though Jung was a practicing clinician, much of his life’s work was spent exploring tangential ideas such as Eastern and Western philosophies, alchemy, astrology, and sociology. Jung’s book, Man and His Symbols introduced Antrim to a new way of thinking. Campbell’s book, Heroes with a Thousand Faces introduced the artist to comparative mythology.
Zimmer is especially taken with Antrim’s golden paintings. He layers an iridescent gold color over a deep venetian red to create a reflection of alchemy. The only interference with the monochrome is the shifts in surface texture.
Antrim has painted all his life. He professes his love for the process of layering paint on canvas.
“I made a decision not to use gold leaf in my work because I love the process of paintings,” Antrim said. “I layer the gold acrylic paint over the canvas. I did not feel the necessity to use real gold leaf because I am not that kind of literalist. What I am interested in is the metaphor.’
Student Fernando Linderos assisted with the planning of Space and Substance.
“Antrim and Linden are masters of this simplified universe, understanding fully the discreet, yet extremely powerful metaphysical presence of spirit and space,” Linderos said. “Theirs is a movement that involves looking deeper into what makes up the interactions between people and the symbols, so as to truly understand the mystery, the endless possibilities of interpretation.”
Through his activities as an artist, teacher, curator and gallery director, Linden has achieved grassroots recognition among other artists. Most recently, he has exhibited at the Cue Art Foundation in New York. He is also a member of the Fine Arts Faculty at Los Angeles Harbor College, where he has served as gallery director since 2000. In 2007, he founded TransVagrant, a collective of artists and writers, to produce exhibitions and performances.
Lindens contribution to this show is also highly personal. Linden’s “I. M. Him, 2012” and “Absent Portrait III, 2012,” are each an abstract expression of self-portraiture. The sparse minimalism allows the viewer to reflect on their own projected image, while viewing Linden’s humorous view of his own countenance.
“These are humorous attempts at a kind of figuration. The idea is to be funny and complex at the same time.” Linden said. “I have played around throughout my career with geometric shapes, pounce patterns, cut patterns and collage. That is just a continuation with my fascination of the tools of the trade; it almost takes on a language of its own.”
Linden’s pragmatic and uncluttered view on his work is reflected in his artist’s statement:
[ARTIST’S STATEMENT] workmanlike & plain
sense of humor
“Craig Antrim’s and Ron Linden’s abstractionism is an expression of the psychological element,” said Linderos “causing spiritual ripples that cast outward creating an imaginative resonance.”
The exhibit runs through through Dec. 5 at the University Art Gallery at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The gallery is at La Corte Hall A-107. The hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Admission is free.
Details: (310) 243-3334; http://cah.csudh.edu/art_gallery
Venue: University Art Gallery at CSUDH
Location: 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson