In a world bombarded with stimulation, saturated color and myriad of choices, black and white gets down to the basics. Black, the sum of all color, in relation to white, the absence of color, creates poles that can signify extremities of belief, sensation, and emotion. This reduction away from color to the duality of black and white not only presents the essentials but also opens a window to a complex range of nuance as a result of the interaction of the opposites.
Light and dark are traditionally seen as paired forces of good and evil, known and unknown, heaviness and lightness, ecstasy and despair. To see something in black and white is to see something stripped to its roots-the bottom line. The 10 southern California artists in the exhibition In Black and White work not only with physical constraints of black and white but also deal with concepts of polarity.
Equally God and Equally Satan by Marshall Astor is an installation composed out of taut strings, intended to be a simple illustration of the relationship of good and evil in Western culture.
Black and white text pieces by Mariona Barkus graphically spell out messages of urgent social concerns.
By using her body in repetitive motion, the video works and drawings by Barbara Berk become a vehicle for defining the center as it relates to the edge .
Angie Bray presents Blind Faith, comprised of motorized sticks that weave in space and scrape the nearby walls, creating drawings through their incessant activity.
Connor Everts exhibits a series of 10 lithographs depicting flattened boxes from which a landscape of body parts emerge.
With photographs (silver gelatin on paper) Craig Havens presents images from Soundings series, visions of light emanating from blackness.
Dante's Inferno serves as inspiration for the ink on paper works by Rico Lebrun . These drawings depict the human body/soul in torment.
Monumental woodcuts by Patrick Merrill depict apocalyptic visions simultaneously bear reference to biblical themes and contemporary politics.
The experience of fire and its aftermath charge the Charcoal Series by Kamran Moojedi creating images that illuminate a tension between representation and abstraction.
Pierre Picot shows ink and collage works from his series, Ecstatic manifestations of the physical universe, combining photographic newspaper images with abstracted patterning.
Artist's Lecture: Tuesday, September 9, at 1 p.m. in the Art Gallery
- Susanna Meiers