Muckenthaler Cultural Center
photo, ©1999 John Hazeltine
"Domestic Priorities," showing during the Summer of 2000, brings together three prominent California artists whose work draws parallels between the process of art making and the performance of routine domestic functions. Conceived to take full advantage of the residential setting of the Muckenthaler galleries, the artists transform common household objects such as teacups, vinyl flooring, dinner menus, plastic bottles, and other materials into cutting edge contemporary art. The work invites viewers to explore universally shared conventional domestic memories with renewed importance and meaning.
Los Angeles artist Steve Schmidt is represented by a new series of brightly colored collages, each made from an individual plastic beverage or detergent bottle. The resulting rectangular panels present the bright colors seen on supermarket shelves in forms that recall modernist paintings.
Bay area artist Lynn Beldner will debut several new works that continue her exploration into the ways we formulate memories connected to common household objects and mundane activities. The centerpiece of this new work is an eight foot wooden table set upon rockers over which is suspended a series of identical white tea cups (see above). Other elements in her work incorporate dinner menus folded into paper crowns and tea soaked children's clothing hanging from laundry lines.
Los Angeles artist Ayenne Applebaum applies wispy arcs of color to pre-existing designer fabrics and vinyl flooring. Her work personalizes and modifies these surfaces by claiming them as backdrops for her own grand gestures as an artist. At the same time Applebaum's consciously romantic style reminds us of the limitations and boundaries set on the individual by our consumer culture.
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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/23/11
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