By Andrea Serna
The late Linda Adair Day, an internationally recognized award winning artist San Pedro resident, is the subject of an exhibition this fall at the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach. Among her honors were grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and multiple residency fellowships. A selection of abstract paintings, collages, and drawings will reflect her concern with symbolic language and the structure of “things unseen.” Day, who passed away last year, exhibited and lectured across the U.S. during her relatively brief career. She was recently featured in “PSST: Art in San Pedro 2000-2012.” An innovative voice in her field she was a much loved educator in the Arts Department at CSULB.
Curator Kristina Newhouse has clearly created a labor of love. The title of the exhibition, “Swimming in Paint” refers to one of Day’s favorite expressions a “good day in the studio is one where I’m swimming in paint.” Day derived pleasure from art by immersing herself in an embodied state of inspiration. Paint from her studio, jazz on the radio, even the local street noise served as an inspiration.
Day frequently used physiological terms such as “pulse,” “beat,” and “breath” to describe the oscillation of color and shape she sought to foster in her creations. Day embraces beauty and the sheer tactile joy of manipulating pigment. In horizontally stacked layers of mostly muted colors laid down in wavy and sometimes jagged lines, Day’s paintings display a visible, archeological record of their creation. With her use of vibrant color, Days’ work invites the viewer to participate through interaction.
Much of Day’s work was inspired by digital glitches, the type sometimes created by data corruption on your computer files. This compares to the snow effect that used to appear on our old black and white television wired to rabbit ear antennae. Here, her geometric construction pieces, sometimes assembled with staples and glue, appear as preliminary preparation for larger work to come. These paintings embody light, space, and a sense of speed and sound through the manipulation of color, transparency, and structure. The primitive TV speaker becomes surround sound. Saturated color extends across the screen. Day said “I am dreaming of Vistavision, Cinemascope.”
Exhibit: Swimming in Paint (Sept. 8 – Dec. 9, 2012)
Venue: University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach
Location: 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach