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Gallery 15

Memorial Art Gallery
Extreme Materials - January 29 - April 9, 2006

Dirt Baby 2000 (edition of 10) is from James Croak's Dirt Baby series and was cast in dirt. In an interview James Croak says, "I had a bad start: my mother died when I was only two, I was passed around relatives for the next four years, typically living in one place during the week and another during the weekends. Hence my sense of the world is that it is a very unstable and scary place."

Most of the work in Extreme Materials was created since 2000 and these contemporary artists use non traditional materials like garden hoses, pencil shavings, fish skins, carrots, rubber tires, eggshells and smog. It promises to be an exciting show. I am looking forward to Vietnamese-born photographer Binh Danh, who uses the sun to print pictures on leaves.

The Exhibition opening on February 4 featured live music from Margaret Explosion and Dreamland Faces.

Binh Danh, Found Portraits Collection: from the Cambodian Killing Fields at Tuol Sleng, 2003 Chlorophyll print and resin 18.25 x 53 inches framed

Two installations from Extreme Materials went on view early in MAG's Lockhart Gallery before the show. This "teaser" featured Kim Abeles' dishes etched with smog. She created her Presidential Commemorative Smog Plates by exposing stenciled plates to the elements on the roof of her Los Angeles home; the more egregious a president's record on the environment, the darker the exposure. The work was made in 1992 so it stops at the first Bushman. There are quotes from each of the presidents and Reagan's was interesting. "Approximently 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards". Needless to say his image was one of the darkest.

There will be three lectures by the artists that should be interesting:
Devorah Sperber (February 5), Binh Danh (February 15) and Larry Fuente (March 16). I did searches on a few of the artists in the list below and found all sorts of exciting work.

Larissa Brown creates her pieces from office supplies.

Kim Abeles, Los Angeles
Lynn Aldrich, Los Angeles
The Art Guys, Houston, TX
Barton Lidice Benes, New York City
Chakaia Booker, New York City
Larissa Brown, Portland, OR
Long-Bin Chen, Panchiao, Taiwan
Mel Chin, New York City
Willie Cole, Mine Hill, NJ
Susan Colquitt, Marquette, MI
James Croak, New York City
Binh Danh, San Jose, CA
Jim Dingilian, Brooklyn, NY
Emily Dvorin, Kentfield, CA
Jan Fabre, Antwerp, Belgium
Tom Friedman, Easthampton, MA
Tom Fruin, Brooklyn, NY
Larry Fuente, Mendocino, CA
Marietta Ganapin, Astoria, NY
Pam Gazale, Tacoma, WA
Gu Wenda, New York City
Arthur Hash, Bloomington, IN
Carol Hepper, New York City
Fred Holland, New York City
Jan Hopkins, Everett, WA
Seth Kaufman, Torrance, CA
Hiromi Niizeki, Astoria, NY
Sarah Perry, Acton, CA
Jerome Powers, Evanston, IL
Devorah Sperber, New York City
Dan Steinhilber, Washington, DC
Rebecca Szeto, San Francisco
Fred Tomaselli, Brooklyn, NY
Jess von der Ahe, Munich, Germany
Nicola Vruwink, Los Angeles