Art in the Abstract
Whatever ones appetite for abstraction, the current show at the Great Park Gallery through Nov. 12 offers a look at what contemporary female artists are creating. The show is Painting in the Abstract: Women Inspired by the Masters, and features the work of six SoCal artists, including a few in MFA programs at UCI.
The Great Park Gallery has high, open ceilings, a reflective concrete floor and stark white walls. Light streams in through roll-up garage doors. It’s the perfect downtown loft-like place to spend time appreciating art of any genre.
While this show isn’t as instantly accessible as the “Walt and the Flying Bull” exhibit that preceded it, the abstract paintings show particularly well in the Great Park Gallery space. The large and linear Hard Edge-esque paintings of Maggie Low Tennesen and the swirling work by Fatemeh Burns are particularly intriguing. Coastline Community College professor Jane Bauman is also among the artists featured in the show. Across the plaza, a selection of work by Coastline students is also on display.
We do wish there was just a bit more context provided in the exhibit. We’re told via the wall labels, online summaries and artist bios that the work on display owes much to the influence of under-appreciated female masters of abstract art, such as Elaine de Kooning and Helen Frankenthaler. “Painting in the Abstract: Women Inspired by the Masters explores the impact and diversity of women in the Southern California art scene while showcasing how they are challenging the medium and echoing the legacies of the midcentury female masters.”
We just wish there was more of an explanation as to how the artists included in the exhibit were impacted by the artists that preceded them, and how they themselves are advancing the cause of female artists, either in the abstract or otherwise.
Great Park Gallery is open Thursday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends.