Time is a Tangled Web (CULT Bureau, Oakland)
Mary Fernando Conrad, Sophronia Cook, Cross Lypka, Tyler Cross, Zhivago Duncan, Jean Isamu Nagai, Rachel Kaye, Ruth Charlotte Kneass
September 28 - December 16, 2023
Artist Reception: Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6-8 PM
CULT Aimee Friberg is delighted to present Time is a Tangled Web, a group exhibition featuring work by Ruth Kneass, Mary Fernando Conrad, Sophronia Cook, Rachel Kaye, Zhivago Duncan, Jean Isamu Nagai, Cross Lypka (Tyler Cross and Kyle Lypka) and Tyler Cross at our Oakland space, CULT Bureau (482-D 49th Street in the Temescal Alley). Time is a Tangled Web opens on Thursday, September 28 and runs through November 11. The exhibition brings together works where gestures from the artists’ hands suggest a poetic dimensionality and the reverent process of craft and intentionality slows down the rampant passing of time. There will be an artist reception on September 28th, 6-8 PM.
Utilizing a range of materials and processes, the artists in Time is a Tangled Web reference the natural world, unseen energetics and the powerful role of time in the process of making. Kneass, Conrad, Cook, Kaye, Cross Lypka, Cross, Duncan, and Nagai utilize formal restraints of color, space and dimensionality to find the interstices between expansion and constriction. Time is a Tangled Web is a presentation of artists, each with a strong relationship to California, who are immersed in the physicality of their work. The passage of time is specialized within the studio, and the works selected convey how time is also a medium to be utilized for varying visual and emotional effects. The artists featured reach wide to bring the natural world to us, capturing landscape and color in their nets, preserving and reconfiguring what was once and what could be.
The two mobiles by Ruth Charlotte Kneass convey her delicate understanding of balance. The light of the driftwood mobile wavers with a breath, while the heaviness of the steel mobile turns gradually, pulled down by its inner gravity. By eliminating all extraneous elements from the medium and hanging the pieces at eye level, the viewer is swept into the hypnotic dance of each element. Observing a moving object means immersing oneself in the passage of time. Kneass’ completed works, while ever-changing, carry the kinetic and precise actions from her making process into the gallery.
Mary Fernando Conrad calls herself a solitary creature who is firmly rooted in the present, and her work is profoundly situational. Conrad based her recent book (*) making a book on artist Alan Kaprow, giving us permission to see each viewing of her work as a happening. ‘Ochre and Violet and There’s Two of Them’ is a double work, both a painting and an installation, both static and ever changing. Larry Rinder said it best when he described Mary’s work in her self-published book (*) making a book: “Nothing is the same as anything else as soon as it has the ability to trigger memory, emotion, or poetry.”
Sophronia Cook’s resin drawings are detailed condensations of her practice. She refers to her time in the studio as “extravagant time”, as within that space - physical, mental, emotional - her vast library of images can fold in on themselves. Her choice of resin as a supporting medium creates a pool of reflection while the images inside appear preserved in amber, fossils unearthed and laid bare.
Kaye’s paintings and drawings ask the eye to recognize familiar shapes and forms through her considered and repetitive mark-making and an inviting palette. Sun and Dusk play a game with each other, each a rearranging of a slanted horizon and a broken sky, sharing both bright and dark, shade and shadow.
Tyler Cross’ multi-panel paintings of acrylic and ink on linen evoke pure aesthetic rigor, the gratifying power of fields of color, and the evocative spirituality of symbolism. The works here, one dominated by blue-gray linked parenthesis layered under and over a deep umber, pink and blue, and the other with mirrored T’s in chartreuse and dark orange, oscillate off the wall in saturation.
Cross Lypka, Tyler Cross and Kyle Lypka, push the medium of ceramics beyond our expectations of how clay and glass can interact. Their collaboration takes a flat drawing, turns it into a three-dimensional piece, and then fuses the work with the elements in the kiln during the glazing process. The effort and time to create each work is visible with the pooling of glazes and crackling of surfaces, evoking the creation of a river bed or the smoothness of a limestone cliff by the ocean.
Jean Isamu Nagai, whose work is informed by the spiritual relationship between people and their landscapes, shows two paintings here that demonstrate his departure from an unadulterated repetition of pointillism to work with ethereal color and mood.
In Dopamine, Zhivago Duncan, utilizes the traditional technique of batik, laying down wax with a Tjanting (a pen-shaped tool used in batik to draw designs) directly onto his canvas, before filling in fields of color in an intensive, layered process that defies the technical impulses of oil or acrylic. The dynamic results are both surreal and primordial, heightening the dichotomy between ancient and modern.
Cross Lypka: Kyle Lypka (b. 1987 Philadelphia, PA) and Tyler Cross (b. 1992 Lancaster, CA) In 2016 they began a shared practice with the simple desire to spend time together making objects. The main objects of that desire, they explain, started out as ceramic vessels. Previously, Lypka had been pursuing figurative sculpture and Cross was studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Cross Lypka have shown at Part 2 Gallery, Oakland, CA; Blunk Space in Point Reyes, CA; Anthony Meier in Mill Valley, CA; Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA; Four One Nine in San Francisco, CA; Guerrero Gallery, Los Angeles; SpyProjects, Los Angeles. They live and work in Oakland, CA.
Tyler Cross (b. 1992 Lancaster, CA) studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. Outside of Tyler's solo practice, he also collaborates on sculptures with his boyfriend, Kyle Lypka. They have had solo exhibitions at pt.2 Gallery and JB Blunk Space in Point Reyes Station. They have exhibited at the MarinMOCA, de Young Museum, Berkeley Art Center, Anthony Meier, Spy Projects, CULT Aimee Friberg, and Guerrero Gallery in LA. Forthcoming exhibition at the Kadist Foundation in San Francisco. Tyler works and lives in Oakland CA.
Sophronia Cook (b. 1992, Sanger, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She received a BFA from Hampshire College and MFA/MA from San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited at Et Al, SOMAarts, Marin Moca, Fort Mason Center for the Arts and Spy Projects. She has been an artist in residence at Recology and Light Source in San Francisco.
Zhivago Duncan (b. 1980 in Terre Haute, Indiana) is a first-generation Syrian-American artist based in Los Angeles, California. In his work, Duncan negotiates the disconnection between physical and metaphysical consciousness through a wide range of media including elaborate large-scale paintings, drawings, raku ceramic sculptures, kinetic dioramas and immersive installations. Inspired by the evolution of human consciousness and the construction of reality through culture, Zhivago’s artistic practice coalesces into a unique story of creation drawn from imagery found in ancient texts such as the Enuma Elis, the Popol Vuh, the Dogon and Lakota myths and the Bible. By weaving elements of ancient creation myths with texts on physics, metaphysics, astronomy, artificial intelligence and contemporary philosophy, Zhivago creates fantastical worlds and his own distinctive mythology that finds its fullest expression in his paintings. Duncan received his BFA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and his work has been exhibited widely at Museo Jumex (Mexico City), Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Saatchi Gallery (London), CULT Aimee Friberg (San Francisco), Fredric Snitzer Gallery (Berlin), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin) and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Querétaro (Querétaro City, Mexico), amongst others. His works are in the collections of the Perez Art Museum (Miami), the Saatchi Collection (London), the Barjeel Foundation (Sharjah, UAE), the Olbricht Collection (Berlin) and various private collections.
Rachel Kaye lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She received her BFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Kaye has painted murals around the Bay Area, collaborated with her husband, artist Jay Nelson, on site-specific installations, and exhibited work in Paris, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Palm Beach and across the Bay Area. She recently completed a large-scale mural for the Hook Fish Restaurant in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco and has completed murals for Chandran Gallery and Facebook (Menlo Park CA). Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Refinery 29, Artsy & East Bay Express.
Ruth Charlotte Kneass (b. 1962 San Francisco, CA) lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She specializes in mobile sculptures created from a variety of natural materials. After studying industrial design at SF State and silversmithing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Ruth returned to the Bay Area in 1986 to set up her graphic design, fashion, and accessories studio, Kneass Boat Works. Kneass's mother created small-scale mobiles for years and eventually inspired Kneass to see how she might express herself through this form. Incorporating materials ranging from foraged driftwood to concrete to steel and almost everything in between, Kneass's floating mobiles seem to defy gravity, with some towering up to a lofty 14 feet tall. The interactive, serene nature of Kneass's work is nothing short of awe-inspiring and evokes a truly majestic quality that is just a pleasure to experience.
Jean Isamu Nagai (b.1979 Seattle, WA) is known for his intricate abstract landscapes inspired by the spiritual relationship between people and the natural world. Nagai’s mixed-media canvases feature a Pointillist style of dotted painting augmented with unconventional materials as correction fluid, pumice, sand, and psilocybe cyanescens. By engaging in a meditative process by which the sum of many individual dots accumulate to form a larger synergic whole, Nagai’s work both creates and explores a spiritual microcosm and macrocosm that shifts between the physical, digital and political landscape. The resulting works are hypnotic and contemplative, nodding to the transcendental and unseen. Nagia received a BA from The Evergreen State College in 2004; he lives and works on the West Coast.