Luz Carabaño, Sophronia Cook, Cross Lypka, and Aidan Koch
Curated by Tyler Cross and Kyle Lypka
June 23 - August 26, 2023
CULT Aimee Friberg is delighted to present Last Light, a group exhibition featuring work by Luz Carabaño, Sophronia Cook, Cross Lypka (Tyler Cross and Kyle Lypka), and Aidan Koch at our San Francisco space at 1401 16th Street. Last Light opens on Friday, June 23rd and runs through August 26th. Curated by Kyle Lypka and Tyler Cross, the exhibition brings together works where gestures from the artists’ hand suggest a poetic dimensionality and an expression of movement that is visible in the temporal.
Utilizing a range of materials and processes, the artists in Last Light question the power of viewpoint, the impossibility of universal perception, the impact an artwork has on its surroundings, and the powerful role of time in the process of making. Each artwork reveals how the environment shapes the work both before, during and after its creation. Carabaño, Cook, Cross Lypka, and Koch, show us how emerging artists are grappling with the restrictions and expansions possible in formal work. Each work translates a lived experience, either corporeal or cerebral, into a physical state, using spectrums of translucency to either blur or define shape.
Carabaño’s paintings invite the eye to find knowable forms, Cook pushes our eye through the surface of her works, Cross Lypka use time and space to pull the eye through their collaborative gestures, and Koch asks our eyes to see each layer as separate before fusing them together into a recognizable landscape. Last Light is a presentation of admiration between artists immersed in the physicality of their work.
The meticulous and simultaneously ethereal nature of Luz Carabaño’s work immediately resonated with Lypka and Cross. Her small canvases Huellas and Anochecer appear to float off the wall. The images resist legibility as the experience of viewing the work takes hold. Carabaño paints from reference photographs of peculiar encounters with shadows, traces left on surfaces, and the natural world; her source images fade in the process of painting. While in her studio, Carabaño searches for elements of the unknown, the particular moment when a recognizable form evolves into something new. The viewer is left with a reverberation of that first encounter as processed by the artist. The final image is like an impression made on our sight after staring too long at the sun.
Sophronia Cook's sculptures and paintings sway between absence and overwhelming information. She investigates known human environments by recontextualizing the familiar through both fragmentation and direct citation. Empathy Displacement is a cast of a friend’s truck bed and embedded in the surface is an image Cook has been playing with for years. The collapse of time made evident through the swift hardening of the resin in the resin-casting, in contrast to the long rumination of the composition, is an example of what Cook calls “extravagant time”. To Cook, extravagant time is the overarching concept where images of everyday objects are layered and cannibalized in her studio until they emerge transformed. A faucet used as a sculptural form becomes a mark making tool; an aluminum cast of a palm tree husk is treated to look like the surface of an abalone shell, and the corrugated metal of a truck bed becomes a mold. Cook welcomes the hiccups within the process as they make her tinkering and problem solving visible.
After moving full time to the desert a few years ago, Aidan Koch’s work shifted to observe and consider the natural world she is immersed in and working to preserve. Without isolating distinct flora and fauna in her pastel renders, Koch places us inside the geometry and pure color of the views of her Southern California home. The works included in Last Light are based on Koch’s memory of two sites: a spring in the Bighorn Mountain Wilderness near her home in Landers, California, and a burn site in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sierra Mountains. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Koch finds the force of the sun upon the wide open landscape of the desert an eternal third element for her to explore in her practice.
Cross Lypka’s three-dimensional wall works and free standing sculptures are the product of shared ideals and an iterative process of collaboration. From Cross’ two dimensional drawing Lypka translates and creates the coil built clay sculptures, which the two then refine and treat the surface with glazing. In the work Noseeums, Cross Lypka have introduced grooves into the clay body (which they call aqueducts) on the top of the forms. The pieces are worked over long stretches of time, reflecting the geological formations of cliffs and river beds. The finished pieces capture the transcendent nature of how a viewer’s position in the time space continuum offers new perceptions at each vantage point.
Each tethered to gravity, these pieces transmit themes of time, touch and transmutation. The works in Last Light are a dance between the sturdiness of the form, the ripple of the surface, and a mysterious quality of surrender. The works are in conversation as the artists are, visiting and growing, exploring how time slows and speeds up within the studio, a tool as important as the hand itself.
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.
Luz Carabaño (b. 1995, Maracay, Venezuela) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA in Studio Art from New York University and MFA in Painting and Drawing from UCLA. Solo exhibitions include sombras, Lulu, Mexico City (2023); rastros, Larder, Los Angeles, CA (2022); Unfoldings, april april, Brooklyn, NY (2022); an echo, a shadow, a shape, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (2022); Ni Aquí, Ni Allá, Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL (2019). Carabaño has also exhibited in group exhibitions at in lieu, CASTLE, Chris Sharp Gallery, Make Room, and Larder in Los Angeles; Calderón and Shin Gallery in New York; and Diablo Rosso in Panama City.
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.
Aidan Koch (b. 1988, Seattle, WA) lives in Landers, California in the Mojave Desert. Koch's recent work looks deeply at the potential stories hidden in her surrounding landscapes. She's published six graphic novels, exhibited internationally, and founded the Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations in 2017. Koch's graphic novels include Xeric Award winning, The Blonde Woman, and forthcoming Spiral and Other Stories published by New York Review of Comics. She holds an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, South Bend Museum of Art, and Queens University Belfast, along with recent solo shows at 14A in Hamburg, Germany and Paul Soto in Los Angeles, CA.