Light, Paint & Photography
December 5, 2013 – February 23, 2014
The Bedford Gallery brings together a group of 30 local, national, and international artists who offer varied interpretations of neon. Says Bedford Curator Carrie Lederer:
"New Neon takes its cue from the revival of neon in art and pop culture, examining the ways in which the medium has been repurposed in painterly, photographic, and sculptural practices to reflect the cadence and drama of our media-saturated cultural landscape. The artists in New Neon use the vibrancy of neon light and pigment to capture our attention and our emotions. The resulting works can be interruptive, shocking, and even humorous."
Several artists in this exhibition respond to neon's roots as a minimal, yet direct form of communication used in advertising billboards and signage. For example, Tim Etchells' piece, Wait Here, plays with the speed and clarity with which a neon sign delivers information by displaying an ambiguous message.
Other artists use neon as a way to disrupt older artistic traditions, reimaging vintage subject matter in the bright colors of our contemporary surroundings. Amir H. Fallah appropriates imagery found in traditional renaissance Dutch and Flemish floral still life painting, but uses electric colors that are distinctly modern. Kristin Farr's Magic Hecksagons are inspired by folk art objects and patterns, particularly the good luck decorations known as hex signs that originate from the Pennsylvania Dutch community where her grandmother lived.
Neon colors are also used to address a social problem or to articulate a political message. Michelle Fleck's delicate paintings depict mundane scenes of urban life. In each piece she highlights certain elements using neon; a traffic cone, a construction fence, and trash all stand out, confronting the viewer about human impact on nature. While Fleck uses neon subtly, Patrick Martinez uses neon light to amplify his message. His sculpture, The 1992 Los Angeles Riots, uses a bright, seemingly shattered American flag to confront us about the prevalence of violence relating to race, money, and power in American culture.
Bill Concannon, Crockett, CA, Bill Culbert, London, UK and Paris, FR, Tim Etchells, Sheffield, UK, Michael Flechtner, Los Angeles, CA , Erik Franklin, Portland, OR, Patrick Martinez, Los Angeles, CA, Meryl Pataky, San Francisco, CA , Ron Ulicny, Portland, OR, Ethan Worden, Oakland, CA
Richard Colman, San Francisco, CA, Lisa Congdon, Oakland, CA, April Deacon, Wheelsburg, OH, Amir H. Fallah, Los Angeles, CA, Kristin Farr, Richmond, CA , Sandra Fettingis, Denver, CO , Michelle Fleck, San Francisco, CA, Justine Frischmann, San Rafael, CA, Felipe Goncalves, Baltimore, MD, Elyse Graham, Los Angeles, CA , Ana Maria Hernando, Boulder, CO, Mark Warren Jacques, Columbus, OH, Erik Jones, Brooklyn, NY, Tomokazu Matsuyama, New York, NY, Robert Moya, Los Angeles, CA , Brian Porray, Los Angeles, CA, Mark Schoening, Minneapolis, MN, Mark Whalen, Sydney, AU
From the Lenz, San Francisco, CA, Mark Peacock, Los Angeles, CA , Barry Underwood, Cleveland, OH,