Exhibition Dates: March 2-April 21, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, March 2 from 6-8PM
Gallery Hours: Friday-Saturday, 12-6PM and by appointment
1217 B Fell Street, San Francisco | www.cultexhibitions.com
CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions is pleased to present Terri Loewenthal: Psychscapes, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from March 2 through April 21, 2018. An artist reception will take place on Friday, March 2 from 6 until 8 PM.
Terri Loewenthal investigates the sublime expanse of land and sky romanticized in the still-potent mythology of Utopian California with her new series Psychscapes. Using the California landscape, she continues her exploration of the medium of photography, specifically drawing attention to the relationship between illusion and materiality. These single-exposure, in-camera compositions utilize optics developed by the artist, to compress space instead of time. The results are complex evocative environments of saturated colors and a disorienting configuration of foreground and background, that reference the history of romantic landscapes while peering into the psychology of perception.
California has long been a subject for landscape photographers such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Weston and countless others. The granite domes, pine forests, expansive desert hills and gushing streams have drawn creatives and intellectuals with an appreciation for wild spaces and a penchant for the mysterious unknown. Prior to the more obvious cultural explosion of the 1960s, Bohemian Californians were cultivating an alternative lifestyle in reverence to Nature’s wildness, that would come to influence later ecological movements and the culture at large.
Immersion in nature, and an appreciation for the free spirit, have consistently been a catalyst in Terri Loewenthal’s work. Prior to this series, the artist was known for her serendipitous images portraying her own community of contemporary Bohemians in intimate spaces and in the landscape. Psychscapes brings the artist full circle to where her photography practice began—inhabiting wild spaces. In this current era of disappearing and threatened lands, Loewenthal ventures into the vastness of California’s parks and summits, examining the captivating hold of this terrain and it’s complex ideology.
Standing in front of the works, one is brought to the sensation of beholding a vista in all its glory. Her capture of daylight’s theater of light against a geometry of mountain vista alludes to a hallucinogenic or kaleidoscopic viewing of landscape. Through this technique, Loewenthal showcases an elemental spirit of California. Beyond celebrating the simple beauty of the state’s landscape, the artist pushes the imagery into deeper realms of an apparition, positing an aesthetic notion of Arcadia. The perceived idealism of these surreal environments nods to both aura photography and the distorted experience of psychedelia, long-associated with California. The images reside at the nexus of fantasy and a heightened sense of familiarity, as viewers are met with distorted perspectives of the landscapes. The artist shares these images with the intent to inspire deeper awareness and appreciation for the preservation of wild spaces.
The artist and gallery are donating a percentage of profits to The Nature Conservancy to protect the environment in California and beyond. For more information or to preview works, contact the gallery.
About the artist: Terri Loewenthal has exhibited at diverse venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA) and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA). Her work is included in many private collections. She is also founder of The Chetwood, a residency program that provides housing for artists visiting the Bay Area. Loewenthal is a frequent collaborator with the Bay Area arts organization Creative Growth (Oakland, CA). She has a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University in Houston, Texas and is originally from Washington, D.C. and South Florida.