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Landskin: The art of recycling

August 28, 2010|By Terri Martin
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/News-Press )

The Landskin exhibition at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale is a collective effort by four artists who explore through sculpture, painting, and printmaking, organic and artificial environments.

The artists, Sophia Allison, Autumn Harrision, Li'n Lee and Jaime Ursic, have recycled materials that have had some relationship to the environment, either positive or negative, and form new creations, some with organic roots and reality, and some with plastic (inorganic) materials and imagination.

The exhibition is loaded with curiosities from Allison's cardboard tesserae sculptures that resemble geological landforms, to Harrison's street debris bubbles. The artists are so synchronized in their sensibilities that the exhibition is completely fluid with a few exceptions. The subtlety of Ursic's work did not read as well by contrast to the scale, color and complexity of her fellow exhibitors. It unfortunately disappears next to the drama in the gallery.

Lee's imaginary coastlines and latex ocean currents are energetic and fantastical. The artist's painted sculptures depict mythical places. In an untitled piece the irregularity of a fantasy coastline is mimicked by the puzzle piece shaped cut of the finished piece.

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Lee's ground is plywood under linoleum, over which the artist runs leftover latex house paints, which swirl and blend into current-like shapes that resemble a perspective from space. Lee sculpts dried latex paint into textures that build layers over the pseudo landform, which becomes interpretive and topological. It is a wonderful way to use paint that communicates the artist's inspiration.

Allison is expansive. She manipulates a variety of papers—cardboard, foam core, watercolor paper and packaging materials, by stitching, gluing, painting, cutting, tearing and combining. Allison's work is quite intelligent, engineered and varied. She brings out the versatility of paper that reflects real world usage of paper products.

Her background in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina inspired her series titled "Blue Ridge." Shaped cardboard squares are pieced together around foam core structures that become abstractions of the mountain ranges from her childhood home. Sentiment, good engineering and memory culminate in Allison's sculptured imagined geography.

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