Works by Miguel Arzabe & Juan Sorrentino, curated by Aimee Friberg
April 9th - May 17th
April 9 – May 17, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 9, 6–9PM
Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Verge Center for the Arts and CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions are pleased to present Las Cosas que Pintan / Painting in an Expansive Field, a two-person exhibition curated by Aimee Friberg on view from April 9 through May 17 at Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento. The exhibition features sound and video installation by Argentinian artist Juan Sorrentino and painting, video, and works on paper by San Francisco-based artist Miguel Arzabe. The works included in Las Cosas que Pintan / Painting in an Expansive Field take as their starting point a field of painting that has been thoroughly examined and expanded by numerous other artists since the advent of Modernism. Rather than attempting to push these boundaries further for the sake of ambition and innovation, Sorrentino and Arzabe investigate the existing landscape of the medium to look for space in which poetic gesture and thoughtful intention combine to reveal truthful contradictions of human experience. The artists’ sensibilities draw from diverse sources––ranging from Modernist painting and conceptual art to indigenous crafts such as weaving and storytelling––while resisting rigid boundaries and literal translations. In Sorrentino’s single-channel video Untitled, the camera follows the artist carrying a blank canvas through a field with trees, pausing briefly at certain locations so that the canvas frames branches, grasses, shadows, and other elements of the natural landscape. These moments of arrested motion create temporary “paintings” that last only a few seconds before the canvas moves on, continuing its search for new content, much like the creative brain ceaselessly pursues novel sources of inspiration. As if moving through an infinite “forest of ideas,” the canvas seeks restful moments of sublimity, and then moves on again in search of new revelations.
In the sound installation Cuadros Sonoros (California), Sorrentino explores concepts of visual language, poetic context, and collective imagination. The piece features a grouping of blank canvases of varying sizes, each with a circular perforation containing a small speaker from which emanates the voice of a person describing a particular painting. The size of each canvas is identical to the painting being described. The voice reveals only the physical attributes of each painting, without providing the artist’s name, the painting’s title, or any other contextual information. In Cuadros Sonoros (California), the viewer/listener is invited to use his or her imagination and memory to construct a mental image of the picture, an image that is inevitably informed by subjective experience, so that each individual interpretation of the work becomes deeply personal and utterly unique.
In contrast with Sorrentino’s conceptual exploration of painting, which foregoes the use of the material itself, Miguel Arzabe’s work focuses on the ways in which the physical substance of paint holds meaning. In Tubes, a large abstract oil painting by the artist is suspended from the ceiling. Its reverse side functions as a projection screen for a series of stop-motion animations, composed of close-up photographs of paint tubes squeezing out their entire contents amidst digitally rendered color fields. The paint tubes, which were given to Arzabe by other artists who ultimately decided to stop painting, embody a sense of anxiety surrounding potential creative failure. Here, Arzabe confronts this anxiety by forcibly releasing all of the paint from each tube in a single continuous motion. The emptying of these tubes, symbols of thwarted creative endeavors, becomes a cathartic act, immediately activating empty space through color and form and yielding a dynamic flow reminiscent of bodily functions.
In a new series of single-channel videos entitled Not Painting, Paintings, Arzabe focuses the camera on observed elements of his everyday life outside the studio. The content of these seemingly random images––ingredients found in the kitchen, such as buttermilk and water, or a flock of birds noticed while the artist was jogging––visually reference formal abstraction in traditional painting practice. As hidden physical forces cause the liquids to swirl and coalesce, and unknown factors induce the birds to flock together anxiously, the possibilities of these organic flows are allowed to play themselves out to their inevitable conclusion without intervention. Here, the artist cedes a measure of control over the image-making process, rejecting the confines of conventional narrative-driven presentations. Also on view is a series of handmade paper tapestries by Arzabe made from postcards, brochures, catalogs, posters, and other printed ephemera collected over the years from art exhibitions [around the world] that the artist has attended. These tapestry pieces reference the “cultural fabric” of specific regions, making use of indigenous craft techniques to reinvest oft-discarded materials with new value by highlighting the collective, yet dispersed, creative labor involved in producing the exhibitions that they originally promoted. Arzabe worked without a final design in mind, cutting the paper into strips and gluing and weaving them together in a spontaneous act that evokes an element of chance in creation, a theme that is also present in his oil paintings.
The definition of what a painting is or can be has been challenged throughout modern history and continues to be a rich topic of debate. Through different means, the artists in Las Cosas que Pintan / Painting in an Expansive Field take advantage of this ever-expanding space of painting not to conquer new territory, but to use its own internal language to pose existential questions about its purpose. By working in relation to traditional modes of painting without actually creating paintings, Sorrentino and Arzabe bring the concerns of the medium closer to the contemporary human experience.
ABOUT MIGUEL ARZABE
Miguel Arzabe (b. 1975) is an artist based in Berkeley, California. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions globally, including Hors Pistes 2011 and 2012 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montréal, Canada; Carry On in Mexico City; Summer Drift at RM Projects in Auckland, New Zealand; Wood Anniversary at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, and in group exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Arzabe has participated in artist residency programs at organizations including the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Montalvo Art Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. His work is held in private and public collections around the world and was most recently featured in solo shows at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico and at CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions in San Francisco, California. Arzabe holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS in Environmental Fluid Dynamics from Arizona State University, and an MFA from UC Berkeley. He is represented by CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions in San Francisco.
ABOUT JUAN SORRENTINO
Juan Sorrentino (b. 1978) is an artist, musician, and composer based in Córdoba, Argentina. He creates electronic, acoustic, multimedia concert works and installations. Sorrentino’s work has been presented in diverse venues across South America, the United States, and Europe. He has been the recipient of numerous awards via the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists; the Residence Prize of Bourges; Le Fonds national d'art contemporain (FNAC); the Goethe Institute of Córdoba; and the Ministerio de Cultural de España Reina Sofia, among others. Sorrentino has exhibited at Metronom (Modena), Espacio Marzana (Bilbao), Circulo de Bellas Artes (Madrid), MARCO (Vigo), Nau Coclea (Girona), IMAGO (Buenos Aires), the Forum Cultural Guanajuato, and the Teatro Maria Grever (Léon), among others. His work is included in the collections of the Muséo del Arte Contemporáneo in Bahía Blanca; the Museo Genaro Pérez, the Emilio Caraffa Provincial Fine Arts Museum, and the Museo de Bellas Artes Evita Palacio Ferreyra in Córdoba; the ONCE Foundation in Spain; and private collections around the world. Sorrentino holds degrees from the Media Center d’Art y Disseny (MECAD) in Barcelona and the University of Córdoba (Argentina).
ABOUT CULT | AIMEE FRIBERG EXHIBITIONS
CULT is a contemporary art gallery in San Francisco that presents work by emerging and established artists from around the world. It was founded in November 2013 by curator and performance artist Aimee Friberg. CULT bridges formal, conceptual and process-based investigations, featuring works of a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, installation, video/film, performance art and works on paper. Learn more at cultexhibitions.com.
(Header image: Miguel Arzabe, Paint Tube Close-Up #1, 2015, archival inkjet photo, 26" x 17.25", edition of 3)
Verge Center for the Arts and Chef Michael Thiemann present Sacramento's favorite art party, TV DINNER 3!
The evening will kick off with a cocktail hour and live auction preview, followed by a multi-course meal showcasing dishes inspired by both Mother and the new Empress Tavern. This year's dinner will be served in an immersive, video installation drawing on color as its driving theme. A live auction will be held during dinner followed by dessert and dancing.
Don't miss this exciting evening and be sure to don your most vibrant attire as TV Dinner goes color!
WHERE: Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street (corner of 7th and S)
WHEN: Saturday, May 30th, 2015. Doors open at 5pm
TICKETS: $150/person. Purchase tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1360918
Burnett & Mimi Miller
Sierra Vista Bank
Gayle & Scott Governar
Mary & Jason Kinney
For sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, please email: [email protected]
Verge Center for the Arts is happy to announce the launch of our second annual Kids Summer Studio Camp from June 15 through July 10. This is a great opportunity for kids ages 10 to 13 to explore their own artistic abilities, learn to engage with career artists and grow their creative problem solving skills. Participants will be introduced to various means of art-making such as drawing, sculpture, ceramics and installation art. With the guidance of professional artists students will experience a one week sampler of various mediums and a one week intensive in either ceramics during session one or environmental sculpture during session two.
Scholarships are available for those demonstrating economic need. For more information on scholarships contact Iulia Bodeanu at [email protected] or 916-448-2985.
Registration is now open!
For individual weeks http://bpt.me/1368415
For two week sessions: http://bpt.me/1315678
It is going to be a great summer at Verge!
Exhibition open from January 10th - March 22nd
Friday Lunch Hour Movie (see below for movie listing)
Every Friday - noon - Free
Stories on Stage Presents: Tobias Wolff
1/30/15 - Doors open at 7pm, Program starts at 7:30pm - $10
Feral Art in Sacramento: Bill Burg on the History of Art in the Region
2/4/15 - 6:30pm - $5 suggested donation
Story Time (this one goes out to the kiddos!)
2/8/15 - 11am - Free
2nd Saturday Kiss In
2/14/15 - 6pm to 9pm - Free
The New Group Mess: A Night of Discussion and Oral Histories About the Sacramento Art Scene
2/18/15 - 6:00pm - Free
8th Annual Winter French Short Film Screening
2/21/15 - Doors open at 6pm, films start at 7pm - $15
Verge All Nighter
3/7/15 and 3/8/15 - 8pm - 1am - $5 members / $10 non-members
Story Time Part II (for the kiddos)
3/8/15 - 11am - Free
in Conversation: Nate Page, artist lecture
3/11/15 - 6:30pm - $5 suggested donation
Couch is a Verb: Brett Snyder lecture on the History of the Couch
3/17/15 - 6:30pm - $5 suggested donation
FRIDAY LUNCH HOUR MOVIES
Picks by Verge artists and staff
12pm every Friday
"A Bucket of Blood" (chosen by Bekah Wilson)
"Die Hard" (chosen by Benjamin Della Rosa)
"Big Trouble in Little China" (chosen by Natalie Head)
"Man with a Movie Camera" (chosen by Katie Thomas)
"Repo Man" (chosen by Gioia Fonda)
"Lionman" (chosen by Jose Di Gregorio)
"Fahrenheit 451" (chosen by Ianna Frisby)
"Back to the Future II" (chosen by Kyle Marks)
"Killer of Sheep" (chosen by Liv Moe)
"Inland Empire" (chosen by Susanna Tu)
Wednesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm
Sunday, 12pm - 5pm
Click here for the complete list of programming during the exhibition.
Verge Center for the Arts is pleased to present couchbleachers, by Los Angeles based visual and performing artist, Nate Page.
Nate Page is interested in sculpture that goes beyond a purely visual experience. He wants sculpture that can be experienced architecturally — where an individual can touch it, move through it, climb on it, etc. As part of his interest in cross-pollinating accessible and inaccessible spaces, Nate has been working with the idea of seating. Seating invites interaction, but its presence in a gallery space as an art object creates hesitation as to whether audiences can interact with it as art. Nate Page’s couchbleachers are both art object and an interactive, touchable environment.
couchbleachers are accessible to audiences as both art and functional object. The work has an interior that can be entered through a small door at the rear of the base, creating a unique access to the work by addressing the negative space. couchbleachers was designed as a wink at the cultural institution that is “under the bleachers,” where wayward high school students could engage in nefarious activities. The area under the structure is also a unique venue performers may utilize.
Verge will be facilitating a series of community dialogues throughout the run of the exhibition, with the goal of generating a crowd sourced history of contemporary art in the Sacramento region. The inspiration for this effort is a result of our recent merger with the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento. Facing the couchbleacher installation will be a chronology of art in the Sacramento region with key milestones identified. Viewers will be encouraged to contribute their own stories to the wall either in the form of written notes or oral histories, which will be recorded in our classroom space in the month of February during “The New Group Mess.”
In addition to this history project, we’ll be hosting a series of events and community partnerships to activate the couchbleachers installation. The tentative list of events is listed below. More will be added during the run of the show. Please check back often for the most current list of events.
Opening Reception and Scavenger Hunt
2nd Saturday, January 10, 6-9pm
Friday Lunch Hour Movies
Every Friday at Noon during the run of the exhibition
Tobias Wolff, Presented by Stories on Stage
Friday, January 30, Time TBA
2nd Saturday, February 14, 6-9pm
Story Time (this one goes out to the kiddos!)
Sunday, February 8, 11am
Sacramento French Film Festival Cesar Awards and Winter Shorts Program
Saturday, February 21, time TBA
The New Group Mess
A Night of Discussion and Oral Histories about the Sacramento Art Scene
Wednesday, February 18th, 6-9pm
THE VERGE ALL NIGHTER - slumber party and film festival
Saturday, March 7&8, 8pm til the morning
2nd Saturday, March 14, 6-9pm
Story Time Part II (this one goes out to the kiddos!)
Sunday, March 8, 11am