Atmospheric Abstraction | Larry Bell, Gisela Colón, Mara De Luca, and Heather Gwen Martin: Quint Contemporary Art: 7547 Girard Avenue

Dec 12, 2015 - Jan 30, 2016
Installation Views

Quint Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition by four artists from Los Angeles, featuring new work by Larry Bell, Gisela Colón, Mara De Luca and Heather Gwen Martin. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, December 12th from 6-8pm and is open to the public.


ATMOSPHERIC ABSTRACTION: featuring Larry Bell, Gisela Colón, Mara De Luca and Heather Gwen Martin is a mix of paintings, mixed media works and sculptures that create atmospheric shifts in color and light. Addressing concepts deeper than aesthetics - these four artists are influenced by the light they experience, the color they derive from their environment, and the focused study of nature through geometric abstraction. Navigating through the world, the pieces are simple representations of an atmosphere ingrained in their psyche.


Larry Bell’s new works of kinetic sculpture produce visuals of crystalline reflectivity and colorful refraction.  They are made of flexible polyester sheets that are vacuum coated with evaporative metals and quartz.  The process provides the viewer with an interactive experience of absorbed, transmitted and reflective light onsurface. The twists and turns of the materials create layers of shapes and values that engage and reflect their surroundings—a feature integral to the aesthetic. Bell is historically regarded as part of the California Light & Spacemovement. His work is exhibited and in the permanent collections of numerous national and international museums, galleries, foundations, and private collections including the Tate Modern, London, the Carre d’art, Nimes, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, and many others. Bell lives and works in Venice, California and Taos, New Mexico.


Gisela Colón is a sculptor working with blow-molded acrylic that enhances the experiential quality of the material through a unique proprietary process of layering materials.  Her sculptures are an homage to the way light can change the aesthetic qualities of material; the pieces are not lit from within, but the iridescent pigmentation glows from ambient lighting. Each time one looks at these objects, they adapt and allow for a new phenomenal experience over time. Colon’s work is the subject of a national museum exhibition tour, which commenced at The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown Ohio, currently on view until December 2015; traveling to several institutions including the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen, Texas, and the Castellani Art Museum in Niagara, New York. Colón’s work is part of collections such as the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation and the Jarl Mohn Family Foundation.


Mara De Luca’s works are a reflection on contemporary culture expressed through a diverse, project-driven and contextual approach to painting. Her practice fuses together disparate ideas like the glossy advertising of high fashion brands and an expressionistic painting technique filtered through the gauze of her life in Los Angeles. De Luca uses color and texture to evoke memories of a place; dusk monochromes, nighttime clouds and glowing sunsets are a direct response to the beauty of the Southern California landscape, whereas stoic colors and metallic frames glamorize the bleakness of the industrial Southland freeways. Often referencing literature and poetry, she allows her experience of these diverse elements to inform her work. De Luca has had solo exhibitions at the Irvine Fine Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. 


Heather Gwen Martin’s gestural paintings explore color and abstraction. Through a bold palette, the brushwork and minute details in the paintings create canvases of great contrast and subtlety. The colors sing as they touch each other. Perception is called into question as our eyes move from one abstraction to the next. Martin says, "I wanted to be making a painting, because it slows things down and brings back the human element in the making and in the looking.” Martin was included among the San Diego artists in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s A Very Large Array. Martin’s work is part of permanent collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH.


Abstract art in the forms of painting and sculpture have a long history, by breaking with traditional methods and materials, these artists are continuing with an exploration into perception. In 1961, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote:

“Art is not construction, artifice, meticulous relationship to a space and a world existing outside. It is truly the ‘inarticulate cry,’ as Hermes Trismegistus said, ‘which seems to be the voice of the light.’”


Although inspired by the outside world, these works speak to the way we perceive ourselves within this space. Through color and light, these works abstract our senses and create an atmosphere of exploration.