By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer
Maybe it’s just me, but the quality of exhibitions at Warschaw/Transvagrant Gallery seems to improve with each new opening.
Warschaw/Winter is an eclectic group exhibition featuring artist works previously featured at Warschaw/TransVagrant Gallery. Painting in its various guises, from geometric patterns to biomorphic abstraction to solar-burned works, play alongside large scale photographs, sculptures made largely of pigmented rubber, Sumi ink drawing and ironic 3-D assemblage. The common denominator is quality.
Ron Linden is unfailing in his ability to curate artists with national and international reputations. This latest show includes emerging artists as well as the solidly established and mid-career artists that San Pedro is known for. Craig Antrim, Merwin Belin. Arnée Carofano, Katy Crowe, Nate Jones, Hyung Mo Lee, Ron Linden, William Mahan, Jay McCafferty, Elizabeth Medina, Heidi Pollard, Yong Sin, Gary Szymanski, Marie Thibeault, Ted Twine, and HK Zamani are artists in the exhibit.
Warschaw Gallery is as unconventional as the artist who manages the exhibit space. Hidden in a breezeway in the Pacific Warner Building, with entrances on Pacific Avenue and on 6th Street. The gallery receives foot traffic primarily from people visiting Off the Vine wine bar, or the local pot shop. It is doubtful that most of the people passing through the gallery realize the significance of the art hanging on the wall. Happily, local artists and art enthusiasts follow his exhibitions devotedly.
Linden is an art professor at Los Angeles Harbor College and curator of the Harbor College art gallery. He kicked off his career with a masters in fine arts from the University of Illinois and left a tenured position in the Midwest to move to California. His resume contains positions at the some of the most prestigious art institutions in Los Angeles, but he supported himself for many years as a set builder and artist in the film industry. He has been instrumental in the development of the San Pedro arts district.
Lindens understated restrained work is included in the exhibit.
“Although Linden’s abstract painting utilizes, in unexpected and subtle ways, techniques acquired in his three decades working in the scenic industry, its deeper base is his ongoing interest in the philosophical conundrums of modern art,” wrote art critic Peter Plagens of Lindens work in the online website CUE Art Foundation . “Working with mixed materials, Linden’s layered compositions strike an odd but convincing sense of balance and solidity.”
Jay McCafferty’s delicate solar burned, process driven work is included in this show. As well as the whimsical paintings of Ted Twine.Emerging artist Elizabeth Medina has contributed an abstract impressionist piece reflecting her interest in the work of Richard Diebenkorn. Medina is a masters in fine arts student at Otis College of the Arts.
Angels Gate artist Hyong Mo Lee is another emerging artist, whose work on paper exhibits a rigorously detailed hand-penciled drawing. His education includes attendance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
“My drawing strategy is similar to the slow growing process of stones, trees and mountains,” Lee said. “It is an incremental process — laborious and time consuming — whereby a single cellular unit or mark is repeated until all surface is filled.”
Stand outs in this show are photographer Ray Carafano and his wife, photographer Arnée Carafano. The two photographers reside and work at Gallery 478 on 7th St. Their studio is a popular stop on the San Pedro art walk night.
Ray has worked in black and white abstract landscapes for much of his 50-year career. Recently, his composition has moved further away from representational references and muted color has lent a haunting impression to his photos.
His wife Arnée, also an accomplished artist, has developed her own distinctive style. Two pieces focusing on the Pacific Ocean, confirms her shared interest in the abstract perspective.
Many more works stand out in this exhibition. The exhibition will be displayed in the hallways of the old building at the corner of 6th Street and Pacific Avenue. If you are stopping by the dispensary, or heading for a glass of wine, your visit will be enhanced by a few minutes spent viewing the art at Warschaw Gallery.
Winter runs through Jan. 16, 2015.
Details: (310) 600-4873
Venue: Warschaw/Transvagrant Gallery
Location: 600 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro