CULT is pleased to present two congruent solo shows opening on January 10th : Fritz Chesnut: Purr Valley and Rhonda Holberton. Both exhibitions run through February 22nd.
Fritz Chesnut: Purr Valley will feature new paintings by the Los Angeles based painter and Rhonda Holberton will consist of new sculptures and photographs by the Oakland based artist.
Fritz Chesnut makes poured acrylic works on canvas that explore cosmic phenomena, geological formations and the topographical. With this new body of work he examines an interplay between space and material, decay and regeneration and macro and micro. His studio practice is analogous to geological evolution, where gravity and climate dictate form. In Chesnut’s work, chance and intention are equally relevant. He employs an intuitive process that allows for an interaction of paint based on subtle shifts in viscosity and accumulation. Acrylic, oil paint and water are poured and sprayed on a horizontally laid-flat canvas. As the paint coalesces, he intervenes by lifting and tilting, creating pools, ravines and fields of color. The enamel and acrylic paint resist, forming skins, blobs and shapes that drift and float on top of wet paint underneath.
The title of the show Purr Valley conjures an idea of both literal landscape and phenomenological intuition or feeling that the paintings embody. The works can be read as surface (landscape) through the peaks and valleys and also as an expression of alchemical movement and fluidity, articulating presence and tension. Chesnut's work filters the history of 20th century abstraction (Louis, Frankenthaler, Rothko) through an immersive lens of psychedelic Southern California surf culture.
Fritz Chesnut was born in 1973 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received his BA from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995 and his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in 1997. He has had solo exhibitions at Country Club, (Los Angeles and Cincinnati) and Bellwether Gallery, (New York). His work has been seen in such venues as Public Fiction, Los Angeles, Pepin Moore, Los Angeles, White Columns, New York, The Bronx Museum, New York, and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago among many others. He is currently working on a mural for LA><ART Façade, Los Angeles, which will be completed in January 2014.
Rhonda Holberton implements multiple mediums in her practice moving regularly between sculpture, installation and photography. Her work hijacks existing technologies to reveal invisible histories embedded in site and landscape. Her practice illuminates boundaries of our observable universe, examining the distance between our trust in science and our fascination with magic and the ethereal. These investigations find form through physical manifestations: records of typography through acts of accumulation, satellite transmitted cell-phone photos and castings made from dug earth at decommissioned military bases. Her process is routed in solitary performances, both gestural and pragmatic.
For the sculptural work As Close As I Can Get, Holberton knelt before the gates of a weapons research facility, and in the last three inches of civilian access, rolled cast bars on the pavement, simultaneously sampling data and enacting a gesture of spiritual communion. While science is dependent on observable and repeatable phenomena, truth and meaning are liberated from such methodologies and seem to arise from the realms of subjective experience. Holberton’s work recovers the parts of human experience that are lost when absolute truth is thought to be found solely in scientific methodologies and conveyed in digital technologies. Her practice utilizes the complexities of these systems to point toward a reality that is immaterial and unpredictable in nature.
Rhonda Holberton has exhibited in various Bay Area galleries and institutions including Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Southern Exposure, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and Root Division. Her work was included in the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art’s Annual Juried Exhibition and in their Next New California in 2013. She has received Project Grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and Southern Exposure, and Fellowship awards from the Fondation Tenot in Paris, France. In 2012 she edited & published One: Visible Horizons, the first in a series of journals with contributions from various fields on a common theme. Holberton received her B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2007, and her M.F.A from Stanford University in 2012.
Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday noon to six pm. CULT is operated by Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, LLC. For more information on CULT programming, artists or the current exhibition email the gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org or call415-800-6604.