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Adorned: Mixed Media Works by Ione Citrin and Jerry de la Cruz

April 5 - May 2, 2004

 

The works in "Adorned: Mixed Media Works by Ione Citrin and Jerry de la Cruz" use richly textured layers of paint, photography, fiber, and found objects to reconfigure cultural icons. Simultaneously examining art's origins-from early cave paintings to European masters-the artworks in Adorned ask questions about spirituality and colonialism, often recontextualizing familiar mythical and historical icons.

Ione Citrin's large, heavily textured works suggest a tribalism that embraces many cultures within each piece. For example, "Medicine Cabinet," a three-dimensional altar-like cabinet decorated with artifacts from Western and Native American medicine opens to reveal an animal skull. Ione Citrin lives in Los Angeles and began as an artist in the late 1990s. Her work has shown widely in juried exhibitions and solo shows in many Los Angeles galleries. She recently showed work in a group show titled "Without Alarm III" at the LAPD Experience Museum. Ione Citrin has received numerous awards and honors, including the Nielson Bainbridge Gold Medal in Mixed Media in 1999.

Jerry De La Cruz's small collages address the clash and integration of differing social, political, and religious concepts and beliefs. In Adorned, Jerry De La Cruz will present ten works that contain antique art images juxtaposed with photographs and paint. In "The Conqueror" a photograph of an altarpiece frames an engraving of an early clash between the conquistadors and the Aztecs, and magazine photos of a farm field, an indigenous woman bathing, and clouds. Jerry De La Cruz is a Denver-based artist whose works have been shown throughout the United States and abroad, including exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum and the "Bringing the Dark Madonna to the Light" show which was at the Thacher Gallery in 2001. He has received awards from the Colorado Council on the Arts and has works in the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum.


About the artists

Ione Citrin lives in Los Angeles and began as an artist in the 1990s. Her work has shown widely in juried exhibitions and solo shows in many Los Angeles galleries. She recently exhibited work in a group show titled "Without Alarm III" at the LAPD Experience Museum. Citrin has received numerous awards and honors, including the Nielson Bainbridge Gold Medal in Mixed Media in 1999. (left: Ione Citrin, Shahrzad, mixed media on canvas, 1998)

She writes about her work: Anything I feel passionate about inspires me. I'll take an emotional response to a landscape, figure, or current event and express it. The works in Adorned display this diversity of subjects and include a medicine cabinet, a landscape, and several portraits. Each of my works, which I create through an intuitive process, offers a unique visual experience that invites viewers to discover the substance of my inspiration. Because I prefer the challenge and stimulation of responding to the work as it develops, I begin each piece without preconceived ideas. As I become stimulated by what is going on through the work's evolution, concepts and images begin to emerge. Abstraction and mixed media bring me closer to my subjects, helping me to arrive at the essence of a message.

Jerry De La Cruz is a Denver-based artist whose works have been shown throughout the United States and abroad, including exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum and the "Bringing the Dark Madonna to the Light" show which was at the Thacher Gallery in 2001. He has received awards from the Colorado Council on the Arts and has works in the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum. (right: Jerry De La Cruz, mixed media on paper, 2001)

De La Cruz writes about his work: After several decades in search for a particular direction in my work, I have concluded that my vision is multi-faceted. I would not be happy being single-minded in my work. Exploration is my muse and I find it difficult to focus for too long on any one theme, direction, technique, or process. Religious iconography, photojournalism and surreal juxtaposition of content tend to be my vehicles, and are present in the works in this exhibition. Here, I have used them to explore the layering of the past and present by assembling actual images (engravings, photogravures and photographs) made years ago and combining them with modern photo processes. This amalgam is then brought together by application of paint and other mediums by hand. I see my works as time capsules of my personal experience. This is why I am not interested in mass production of any particular theme or technique. My work changes because life and my ideas about it are constantly changing.

Curator's note

Adorn, v. 1. to be an ornament to; to beautify, add luster to;

A resurgent interest in painting in the past 10 years has brought curators, artists and critics to look anew at this ancient art of mark-making.

Adorned: Strategies of picture-making that overlap, intersect, meet and bump up against each other.

I speculate on what I see, a surrogate for an audience.

Adorned: Citrin and De La Cruz. Two artists. Both consider themselves explorers, investigators. Archeologists who dig into their past, and their present, to unearth some personal reflections that evolve in their art-making processes.

Adorned: recontextualizing narratives from history and mythology.

Adorned: De La Cruz. Ethnic narratives. Concerns with the oppressors and those who are oppressed. Is the personal political? Is this religious? A cauldron of tradition suggests answers. The work in the context of the big picture suggests otherwise. Integration is an on-going process. Questions produce questions produce questions.

Adorned: Citrin. The personal is personal; though myths are common. Which is why they are myths. The traditional culture of the tribe. Healing the spirit. Healing the body. Coming at this from the 21st century. From nothing and out of nothing comes stuff 'n art. And the Middle East beckons with all its Iranian adornment. Art heals, reveals and transforms.

Passion.

Heritage.

History. Personal and Collective.

Richard Kamler, Adorned Curator

 

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